Motorcycle owners understand the dangers and risks of riding, as well as the skills and precautions needed to ride safely. Unfortunately, even the most experienced rider can be hurt when a careless or reckless motorist is behind the wheel.
St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been severely injured in a motorcycle accident in St. Louis due to a negligent driver, you should not be forced to pay for someone else’s mistakes. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries and financial losses. The St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers of Sumner Law Group, LLC, have extensive experience handling complex motorcycle accident claims. We have helped countless riders recover millions of dollars in compensation from negligent drivers and their insurance companies. We know the tricks and tactics insurance companies use in these types of cases, and our trial team will be ready to fight for the maximum payment you deserve.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer. There are no fees to start work on your case, and you only pay us if we win money for you.
What You Need to Know About Proving Fault After a Motorcycle Accident in St. Louis
All too often, motorcycle accidents are caused by another motorist’s failure to safely share the road with riders. Unfortunately, many at-fault motorists and their insurance companies try to rely on biases and stereotypes against motorcycle riders to deflect or shift blame. This strategy can make investigating and pursuing a motorcycle accident claim more challenging. You will need strong evidence to push back against a negligent driver’s claim that you were speeding, recklessly operating your motorcycle, or weaving through traffic when the accident occurred.
In your motorcycle accident case, our investigative team may rely on the following types of evidence to help establish how the other motorist caused the accident:
- The police accident report
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Dashcam/helmet cam footage
- Nearby surveillance camera footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Vehicle damage and repair reports
- Your medical treatment records
In many cases, we may also work with accident reconstruction experts. These experts review the evidence and conduct their own testing. They will prepare a report setting forth their opinions, based on scientific principles, about how your accident occurred and who may have caused the crash.
How Our St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been hurt in a crash, our St. Louis motorcycle accident attorneys can help you by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation to recover all available evidence from your accident, including physical evidence from the scene, eyewitness statements, and reports regarding the accident
- Working with accident reconstruction and engineering experts to determine how your accident happened and who is at fault for your injuries
- Collecting extensive documentation to substantiate your losses and damages
- Filing your claim with the insurance companies, dealing with adjusters on your behalf, and aggressively negotiating for a settlement that provides you with full compensation for your losses and damages
- Advocating on your behalf at trial, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement
A motorcycle accident can leave you and your family facing significant financial burdens due to medical expenses and missed work. That’s why we represent our clients with no upfront fees. You owe nothing unless and until we secure compensation for you in a motorcycle accident settlement or at trial.
Motorcycle Accident Compensation: How Much Is Your Case Worth?
Every motorcycle accident case is unique. Your case will require a thorough assessment of both immediate and long-term anticipated losses to determine how much you are entitled to receive.
In a motorcycle accident claim, you may be entitled to pursue these types of compensation:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, physical/occupational therapy, pain medication, medical equipment, and other related out-of-pocket expenses such as transportation to appointments
- Care costs, including home health services, maintenance services (such as lawn and housekeeping services), and home renovations to help accommodate disabilities caused by your injuries
- Future treatment costs, which may be assessed with the help of medical experts
- Lost wages or income and lost earning capacity if you miss time from work or cannot return to your job due to your injuries
- Lost quality or enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Never trust an insurance adjuster to tell you what your case is worth. Their job is to pay you as little as possible. Talk to a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney from Sumner Law Group, LLC, to discuss what you are truly entitled to under the law.
Understanding Missouri Motorcycle Laws
Legally riding a motorcycle in Missouri requires complying with various state safety laws. The most important Missouri motorcycle laws include:
- All people operating a motorcycle on a public road in Missouri must have a Class M motorcycle license or learner’s permit, or a driver’s license with a Class M endorsement.
- Motorcycle operators and passengers must wear protective headgear at all times. Headgear must meet U.S. DOT standards. Helmets meeting federal standards will have a “DOT” sticker on the inside along with a label stating the manufacturer and helmet model name and the month and year of manufacture. Helmets bearing certification from respected independent evaluators such as Snell or ANSI will also meet DOT standards. However, operators age 26 and older with a license or endorsement (not a learner’s permit) may ride without a helmet if they have health insurance coverage for a motorcycle accident.
- Operators and passengers must also wear a helmet with a shatterproof face shield or shatter-proof goggles.
- To lawfully operate on public roads in Missouri, a motorcycle must have a working headlight, operational taillights, and brake lights, working turn signals, functional horn, front and rear brakes, and side mirror.
- Although Missouri law does not expressly outlaw lane splitting, that practice can be ticketed as unsafe or reckless driving.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash
to Protect Your Rights
You need to act quickly to protect your rights after a motorcycle wreck.
- Get examined at the ER or by your primary care physician as soon as possible Getting a prompt diagnosis and treatment will get you on the right path to recovery and ensure your injuries are documented.
- Save any evidence from the crash If you took any photos or video of the scene, save these. Also, save the names and contact information for any witnesses to the crash. If the police gave you a copy of the accident report, save that as well.
- Contact an experienced attorney right away Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the crash and secure crucial evidence before it is cleaned up or lost. Your lawyer will also handle all communication with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf.
- Keep a journal of your injuries and treatment and describe how the crash has affected your life Pain and suffering are common after a severe wreck. But they are often difficult to quantify when seeking compensation. A journal of how you are feeling, the setbacks you encounter, and other information about your recovery can help your attorney seek non-economic damages after the crash.
- Do not post about your case on social media Many of us share aspects of our daily lives on social media. However, it is vital to avoid posting about your crash or your life during recovery. You might inadvertently jeopardize your case by saying something that implies you are not as injured as you claim to be. Remember that social media is public. If your friends can see your posts, the other party’s insurance company likely can get access.
Time Limit for Filing a Motorcycle
Accident Lawsuit in Missouri
Under Missouri’s statute of limitations, you typically have five years from the date of a motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit against the party that caused your crash. For a minor injured in a motorcycle accident, the five-year period begins on the victim’s 21st birthday. If your motorcycle accident was caused by a government agency or a government employee acting in an official capacity, the time limit is much shorter.
If you fail to timely file your lawsuit, your case can be permanently dismissed by the court.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders do not have the protection offered by passenger vehicles, such as seat belts and airbags. For that reason, riders often suffer more serious injuries in a crash. Common injuries include:
- Road rash, or the abrasions caused by contact with and sliding upon the pavement or ground
- Crush injuries, when a rider is pinned between his or her bike and another vehicle
- Severe lacerations, which can cause life-threatening bleeding
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
- Neck and back injuries, including herniated or ruptured discs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Amputation or loss of limbs
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in St. Louis
Common driver-related causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Tailgating, or following too closely – motorcycles can stop at a much shorter distance than a larger passenger vehicle or commercial truck
- Unsafe lane changes (failing to signal or to check mirrors and blind spots)
- Unsafe turns (failing to signal or yield to oncoming traffic)
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Inexperienced drivers who do not watch out for motorcycles
Other non-motorist-related causes of motorcycle accidents include adverse weather, adverse road conditions, and mechanical defects in the motorcycle.
Talk to a St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by a reckless driver, contact us today for a free consultation. The St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyers at Sumner Law Group, LLC, will aggressively pursue the fair compensation you deserve.
We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. You won’t pay us anything until we win your case. There’s no risk to call us, so reach out today.