In Indianapolis, Indiana, urban and country roads alike appeal to motorcycle enthusiasts. The freedom of the open road can prove exhilarating, but motorcycles leave their riders vulnerable to extreme injury in collisions.
When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, you may find yourself dealing with unexpected trauma and mounting bills. You may find insurance companies are reluctant to pay the compensation you deserve.
You shouldn’t have to walk this path alone. An Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer can help fight for the justice you deserve.
How our motorcycle accident lawyers can help
For over six decades, the personal injury lawyers at Yosha Law have helped Indianapolis motorcycle accident victims negotiate with insurance companies and fight for just compensation in court.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers can:
- Explain your rights.
- Explore the merits of your case.
- Assist in filing your insurance claim and any necessary legal paperwork.
- Gather forensic evidence to bolster your claim.
- Calculate the amount of damages you should seek. This includes both economic damages such as repair and medical costs and non-economic damages such as emotional distress and loss of quality of life.
- Represent you in settlement negotiation meetings and in court.
Personal Injury Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Whether you’re involved in a motorcycle accident on an Indianapolis highway or residential street, the injuries you might suffer can be catastrophic. Your body is left vulnerable and exposed; you’re sans a buffer between yourself and the road.
Minor and major motorcycle collisions alike can cause unexpected and serious personal injury. Some of the most common injuries in a motorcycle accident include:
- Broken Bones
- Eye Injuries
- Facial Disfigurement
- Jaw Fractures
- Ligament Damage
- Loss of Limbs
- Road Rash
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s vital that you seek medical attention. Nevertheless, many motorcyclists may experience serious injury as a result of an accident due to exposure.
If your accident was caused by the negligence of another, an Indianapolis motorcycle attorney can help you seek compensation for your resulting financial burdens and personal injury.
Damages you can seek after an Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident
The insurance carrier of the at-fault party may cover part of your expenses through a filed claim. However, insurance companies could also refuse to pay a just settlement and express reluctance to pay your claim.
As you deal with the stressful recovery process, you may not be equipped to determine what to include in your claim. The right Indianapolis lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit if a negotiation agreement cannot be reached.
What are Damages?
Legally, damages refer to the different categories of financial responsibility a negligent party holds under personal injury law. Damages are broken down into three broad categories:
The definition of general damages can vary depending on what type of lawsuit you’re filing. In personal injury law, general damages refer to the losses you’ve suffered that don’t have a definitive monetary value. These are also referred to as non-economic damages.
Special damages are allotted to reimburse you for quantifiable economic loss. In other words, the receipts you have for the losses you incurred in your motorcycle accident fall under special damages. These damages are also referred to as economic damages.
Punitive damages are determined by either a judge or a jury, and are used as punishment to an at-fault party. These damages are awarded to deter other people from the same egregious negligence that resulted in your accident.
For example, if your motorcycle accident was the result of an intoxicated, speeding driver, the court may add an additional monetary amount to the financial justice you seek.
Examples of Economic Damages
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine which economic damages you seek in a legal claim. Some examples of economic damages include:
- Medical Bills:
You can claim all past, present, and future medical costs associated with your motorcycle accident. Doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, prescriptions, surgeries, and treatments all fall under this claim.
- Lost Wages:
Lost wages can include any wages impacted by your accident. For example, unpaid time off of work, lost vacation time, bonuses, and tips can all be claimed.
Any costs pertaining to repairing your motorcycle (up to and including replacement and rental vehicle fees) as a result of your accident can be claimed as legal reimbursement.
Examples of Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages cover any losses you’ve endured that don’t have a set price tag. Some examples of non-economic damages you might claim after a motorcycle accident include:
- Emotional Distress:
Your collision may have severely impacted your emotional and mental state. For example, you may find yourself dealing with psychological issues such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and memory loss.
These issues can hinder your ability to fully experience daily life and deserve compensation.
- Disfigurement or Scarring:
If you’re faced with temporary or permanent disfigurement or significant scarring that may impact your life, you may include this non-economic damage in your personal injury claim.
- Loss of Quality of Life:
As a result of your motorcycle accident, you may find that you can no longer achieve the quality of life to which you’re accustomed. For example, a permanent injury such as paralysis may alter your life in extreme ways.
Motorcycle and personal injury laws in Indiana
Although these Indiana motorcycle laws may not prevent a future accident, they may help guide you as you file your personal injury claim.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Although Indiana does not enforce a universal helmet law, anyone under the age of 18 who rides a motorcycle must wear eye protection and a helmet. However, certified helmets and eye protection can greatly enhance your safety while riding a motorcycle.
It’s also important to note that Indiana state law IC 9-21-10-8 prohibits motorcycles from interstate highways.
Indiana Statute of Limitations
Indiana law § 34-11-2-4 states that the statute of limitations for personal injury claims (including motorcycle accidents) is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of your accident to file a legal claim against the negligent party.
However, exceptions are made for those who were minors or were mentally incapacitated at the time of their accident. An Indianapolis motorcycle lawyer can help ensure you file your claim in a timely manner.
What are comparative fault laws in Indiana?
Indiana is a comparative fault state. This means if you’re determined to be 50% or more at fault for your accident, you no longer have a valid legal claim for compensation. Similarly, if your fault is less than 50% but greater than 0%, the amount of your settlement award will decrease.
Comparative fault is applied in cases involving all car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
An Indianapolis motorcycle lawyer can help gather the evidence needed to prove your case. Although you can file a lawsuit on your own, without a lawyer, it may be difficult to prove another party holds 100% fault for your collision.
Valid at-fault legal claims can stem from situations such as:
- Careless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to properly signal
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Following too closely
- Reckless driving
How Yosha Law Can Investigate Your Motorcycle Accident
If you’ve suffered in a motorcycle accident in Indianapolis, you may feel overwhelmed in the immediate aftermath and focused solely on your recovery. Thus, it may prove difficult to gather evidence of another party’s fault on your own.
The attorneys at Yosha Law can immediately launch an investigation into your accident, which might entail the following:
- Gathering forensic evidence at the scene of your collision
- Obtaining any police reports and eyewitness accounts
- Hiring an accident reconstruction expert to help determine fault
How to Calculate the Monetary Value of Your Claim
A motorcycle accident lawyer can also help you determine the full merits of your claim and help you determine the settlement amount you should seek. An attorney can audit your economic and non-economic damages to calculate the monetary value of your personal injury claim.
We Can Deal with the Insurance Company
After a motorcycle accident, you may dread interactions with the insurance companies responsible for your claim. Many insurers are reluctant to pay out claims or agree to your desired settlement.
Yosha Law can handle all negotiations with insurance companies so that you can concentrate on healing. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember the following when dealing with an insurer after your accident:
- Never admit fault, apologize, or speculate on the permanence of your injuries. An insurance claims adjuster will ask you detailed questions about your injuries and the accident — fill out any necessary forms and share pertinent paperwork. However, you should avoid admitting fault, apologizing for your accident, or sharing your personal opinions on the extent of your injuries.
- Never accept the amount offered without factoring in the economic and non-economic costs you’ve incurred. It may feel tempting to just accept an initial settlement offer as a swift, lump sum offer may take care of many of your bills.
Insurers want to close out or reject personal injury claims as quickly as possible. However, it’s vital to include all of the burdens you’ve incurred (and could incur in the future) in the settlement amount you seek.
We understand the tactics used by insurance companies and will fight for the settlement you deserve. Most motorcycle accident cases are settled before they reach the courts. Thus, it’s important that all negotiators have knowledge of the nuances and legal claims that are involved in each case.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident in Indianapolis
Here are the steps you should take immediately after your motorcycle accident:
- If you can safely do so, move your bike to the shoulder of the road
- As you would in a car accident, exchange insurance information with any involved parties
- Remain on the scene of your accident and wait for first responders to arrive
- Take photo and video evidence of the accident
- File a police report
- Seek medical attention
- Contact a lawyer
Contact Yosha Law After Your Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be extremely traumatic. As you seek justice and compensation in the aftermath of your collision, you need an Indianapolis motorcycle lawyer who can guide you through your personal injury claim.
At Yosha Law, our clients become a part of our extended family. We care deeply about every individual who retains our services, and we will work passionately to help you seek the justice you are owed. Contact us for an obligation-free consultation today, and together we can explore the merits of your case.