If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact our Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyers as you may be entitled to bring a claim for damages.
Other drivers often do not seek out motorcyclists when changing lanes or making turns, often resulting in terrible accidents. The failure of other drivers to search for motorcyclists on the road has led to many public awareness campaigns throughout Kansas and Missouri, although unfortunately the number of accidents and resulting fatalities has remained relatively steady over the last ten years.
- What do I do after an accident with insurance claims?
- How can a motorcycle accident lawyer help my case?
- Are negligent drivers responsible for my motorcycle accident?
- Can I get compensation for my motorcycle injuries?
- Motorcycle accident statistics.
- When are motorcycle accidents most common?
- What are the motorcycle laws in Missouri and Kansas?
- What is the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident in Missouri/Kansas?
- What precautions on my motorcycle can I take?
AN EXPERT KANSAS CITY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
The Kansas City motorcycle attorneys of Dickerson Oxton, LLC have been representing victims of accidents for years and are well versed in Kansas and Missouri personal injury laws. Time often seems to stand still after any devastating accident, although our attorneys will pick up the pieces and fight for your claim while you focus on the most important thing: your recovery. Motorcycle accident injuries can impact a victim far more than the ordinary motor vehicle accident, and a claim filed by our Kansas City personal injury lawyers will ensure that the court is aware of this distinction. Speak with our attorneys today for your initial consultation and free case evaluation.
HOW CAN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER HELP YOUR CASE?
You do not have to take on the legal process alone after a motorcycle accident in Kansas City. You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you during your insurance claim or lawsuit. Allowing a lawyer to handle your case can come with many benefits. Your lawyer can take over all the legal aspects of your claim, such as identifying the defendant and filing your lawsuit. You will not have to worry about making any common mistakes that could delay your claim with an attorney handling things properly for you. During your claim, your lawyer can be extremely useful in obtaining fair compensation for your losses. Your lawyer can demand a fair amount for your past and future damages, as well as negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company on your behalf. Your lawyer will know exactly how much your case is worth and will not settle for anything less. Perhaps most importantly, a lawyer can provide peace of mind during the difficult aftermath of a motorcycle accident by explaining your options, answering your questions and communicating with you often about your case.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT AND INSURANCE CLAIMS
After any accident, it is important to ensure a police report is filed which details the circumstances of the accident and includes any witness statements. Once a personal injury attorney from a reputable law firm gets involved in the case, they will be able to make the decision as to whether to contact the witnesses involved in the accident. However, the police report will often trigger insurance agents to contact both parties.
It is important to avoid speaking to an insurance agent if you are considering legal action for an injury claim against the other involved driver(s). Insurance companies are in the business of making money and will often attempt to coerce a settlement with the victim, regardless of the extent of the injuries. While an insurance company will give the victim an immediate payout, this monetary sum will not take into consideration future expenses such as lost wages and ongoing medical bills and care for broken bones, road rash, brain injuries . Insurance companies will often only consider ongoing medical care and will make a good-faith attempt to offer a modest pecuniary sum as well. However, a legal claim will often be much larger, and insurance companies know this so will often be ruthless in their attempts to coerce a settlement. Therefore, try to avoid a discussion with an insurance agent until you have spoken with experienced Kansas City motorcycle accident attorneys. A settlement may impede the ability to bring a claim for damages in the future.
OUR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER IN KANSAS CITY HOLDS NEGLIGENT DRIVERS RESPONSIBLE
Motorcyclists understand that receiving injuries is common as a rider of a motorcycle, but this does not mean they expect severe injuries each time they take out their motorcycle. While deaths resulting from car and bus accidents reached an all-time low in 2008, deaths from motorbike accidents reached an all-time high in 2008, more than doubling over the last decade.
Nonfatal injuries have equally catastrophic results, as some of the most common injuries are to the head and neck. Along with the increase in wrongful death accidents, nonfatal motorcycle accidents additionally increased over the last decade. These accidents can be caused by a number of reasons, including:
- Distracted drivers
- Motorcycle part deficiencies
- Drunk driving
- Texting or cell phone usage
- Road hazards
Many of these can be remedied by drivers who are better aware of their surroundings and take care to avoid motorcyclists. Therefore, these distracted drivers should be held liable for any injuries caused due to their negligence and a dedicated Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer at Dickerson Oxton, LLC can help ensure that happens.
GET COMPENSATION FOR YOUR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES
As a victim of a motorcycle accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, both physical and emotional. Since motorcycle injuries are so traumatic, they frequently require prolonged hospital stays and rehabilitative treatment. These costs can be significant and you should not be forced to pay for them if the accident was not your fault. Many victims additionally suffer a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, which can cause them high anxiety or depression about every getting in a motor vehicle again. You should not have to suffer through life alone in this way, and the responsible party must be made to answer for their negligence.
Accidents should not be a punishment to motorcyclists. Motorcyclists should not be forced to answer for the lack of safety which goes hand in hand with motorcycles, but should instead be shown respect on the road through safe driving and should receive compensation for injuries received due to the negligence of other drivers.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Motorcycles offer the rider an unparalleled sense of freedom that cannot be replicated in a typical motor vehicle. The feeling of being on the highways of Missouri or Kansas with little in the way of a nonstop ride, makes any motorcyclist crazy with anticipation. The highways of Missouri and Kansas offer motorcyclists a unique opportunity many do not get to experience throughout the country: traffic-free highways.
Unfortunately, the freedom that comes with driving a motorcycle offers little protection during an accident with a motor vehicle, thereby often leading to extreme injuries. The news is often full of reports of terrible motorcycle accidents and the lingering damaged caused by these accidents, which can quickly become fatal. Motorcyclists have little to protect them from the elements and only a helmet to protect their head from a collision. The rest of their body is unprotected, and therefore when a large semi-trailer comes barreling into an innocent motorcyclist, the results can be catastrophic.
The most recent data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) indicates that the overall trend of motorcyclist fatalities is on the slow decline. The number of motorcycle fatalities decreased approximately 2 percent from 2013 and 2014, and decreased 6 percent between 2012 and 2013. However, there were still approximately 4,500 motorcycle fatalities in 2014, indicating an ongoing need to determine a solution to this issue throughout the country.
WHEN DO MOTORCYCLE INJURIES AND FATALITIES MOST OFTEN OCCUR?
The Missouri State Highway Patrol keeps careful records of the total number of accidents which motorists are involved in during any given year within the state of Missouri. The total number of accidents involving motorcycles in Missouri over a ten-year period reached a peak in 2012, with a total of 2,059 crashes resulting in nearly 2,400 people injured, and nearly 100 fatalities. However, during this same period, the number of fatal crashes was the highest in 2008, with 103 accidents. In 2014, the state of Missouri reported 363,000 licensed motorcycle drivers.
Similar to Missouri, Kansas experienced a marked increase in the number of accidents involving motorcyclists in 2012, with 1,324 total accidents. Out of this number, there were a reported 1,010 injuries, and 46 fatalities. However, over a ten-year period, the highest year in terms of fatalities was in 2006. In 2014, Kansas reported a total of 219,000 registered motorcycle drivers. The trend in Kansas has been on the increase since 2004, indicating a higher number of motorcyclists involved in serious accidents. Whether this is due to a higher number of motorcyclists on the roads, or a general lack of caring by the public in terms of being aware of motorcyclists, it is important to study this number to determine what can be done to reduce the number of tragic accidents.
MISSOURI AND KANSAS MOTORCYCLE LAWS
Both Missouri and Kansas provide victims of motorcycle accidents with an avenue to claim damages after an accident. Both states are comparative negligence states, which means that an accident victim will be able to claim the full amount of damages from the responsible party after an accident. However, this amount will be reduced by the percentage which the victim was found to be at fault. For example, if the accident report indicates that the motorcyclist did not signal a lane change, resulting in an accident, the motorcyclist may not be able to recover the full amount of damages after an accident.
Additionally, Kansas is a modified comparative negligence state. Therefore, if the victim of an accident is found to be greater than 49 percent at fault for the accident or resulting injuries, the victim may be barred from any recovery. However, if the victim is found to be 49 percent at fault, then the defendant will still have to cover 51 percent of the applicable damages, as determined by the court.
It is therefore extremely important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney shortly after a motorcycle crash to ensure you receive the full amount of damages you are entitled to receive after the accident. A PI attorney will additionally assist you in determining the full amount of damages you are entitled to receive, which will often include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
After any tragic motorcycle accident, it is important to take into consideration the impact your injuries will have on your future. Some motorcycle accidents are so traumatic that the victim will be unable to return to work, and therefore consideration must be paid to the amount of wages the victim could have received over the next decades. The ongoing psychological impact of traumatic brain injuries of a devastating accident will also affect the future of any motorcyclist involved in a severe accident, and it is important to take this time to take care of yourself and truly recover from the accident.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IN MISSOURI?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to be aware of an important law called a statute of limitations. Every state has statutes of limitations. They are deadlines on a claimant’s right to file an injury claim. Without any type of deadline, a claimant could wait as long as he or she wished to bring a claim. This would be unfair to the defendant, as he or she would be permanently held in suspension by the possibility of a lawsuit. If you miss your statute of limitations on a motorcycle accident claim, the courts in Missouri will most likely refuse to hear your case.
According to Missouri Revisor of Statutes Section 516.120, the average claimant has five years from the date of the motorcycle or auto accident to bring a claim to damages. In most cases, this five-year deadline will begin counting down on the date of the motorcycle accident. If the crash victim does not notice his or her injuries until a date later than that of the accident, however, the clock will not start counting down until the date of injury discovery. If you lost someone in your family in a fatal motorcycle crash in Missouri, you have three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a claim.
Other exceptions may also apply to your case. If you are going up against a defendant who was on duty as an agent or employee of the government in Missouri, you will have less than five years to file. Tort claims against the government in Missouri have statutes of limitations of just 90 days. You may have longer than five years, on the other hand, if you were under the age of 18 at the time of your motorcycle accident or if the defendant in your accident claim is also facing criminal charges for the collision, such as drunk driving charges.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IN KANSAS?
Kansas has different statutes of limitations than Missouri. If your motorcycle accident happened on the Kansas side of Kansas City, you must follow Kansas’ statutes of limitations rather than Missouri’s. Kansas Statutes Annotated Section 60-513 limits personal injury actions to two years from the date of the accident. You will have two years from the date of a loved one’s fatal motorcycle crash to bring a wrongful death claim in Kansas. The same discovery rule and exceptions apply in Kansas as in Missouri. If you are not sure when your exact statute of limitations is on a motorcycle accident claim, consult with an attorney immediately to avoid missing your deadline.
MOTORCYCLE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
The states of Kansas and Missouri have taken great measures to increase public awareness of motorcyclists on the roads, although accidents continue to occur. Motor vehicle drivers must constantly be on the lookout for motorcyclists on the highways when changing lanes or making abrupt traffic maneuvers. Motorcyclists do not have the ability to be easily visible in all situations, although an astute driver will be able to observe a motorcyclist and make the appropriate adjustments to avoid an accident.
Motorcyclists should also take safety precautions when driving to try to curb the impact an accident may have on their health. Helmets are the number one item which can protect an individual when on a motorcycle and is often the deciding factor between death or a serious injury in a motorcycle accident.
Motorcyclists should also perform double duty when driving to be on the lookout for erratic car and truck drivers. This should not be the case for motorcyclists, but will often help protect them from dangerous and deadly accidents.
CONTACT A KANSAS CITY MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
To contact us please feel free to call us at (816) 268-1960 or via our free online contact form. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help fight for your unique needs and serve the states of Missouri and Kansas with our services.