My husband was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and has not regained consciousness. We think it was a single-vehicle accident, but we do not really know what happened. What can I do?
It may seem hopeless now, but a thorough investigation by an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can uncover far more than you have learned from law enforcement officers who may have responded to the scene.
Single-vehicle motorcycle accidents can be caused by negligent drivers who are not directly involved in the crash, defective roadways, and defective motorcycles. There is also the possibility that your husband’s accident was a hit and run rather than a single vehicle accident.
Your attorney will look for evidence such as any video, possible witnesses, evidence at the scene including signs of roadway defects and of involvement with another vehicle. The bike itself should be inspected for defects and other causes of the crash. Your attorney may also work with an accident reconstruction expert to determine how and why the accident occurred.
Ultimately, this investigation can point to the responsible party so that you can recover compensation to cover your husband’s medical expenses, lost income, and more.
Do I have any recourse if I was injured in a hit and run motorcycle accident?
It may be possible to identify and locate the person who hit you, through a thorough investigation. If so, you may receive punitive damages in addition to the damages you would have received if the negligent driver had remained at the scene. Punitive damages are typically reserved for gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing, and hit and run will easily fall into one of those categories.
If the driver cannot be located, you may still be able to collect from your own insurance carrier. If another factor, such as a defective roadway, defective bike, or defective helmet contributed to your accident or injuries, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the appropriate responsible party or parties without the need to involve the unidentified driver.
I was not wearing a helmet when my motorcycle accident occurred. Do I still have a case?
In most cases, yes. Failure to wear a helmet does not cause a motorcycle accident, so the negligent driver or other responsible party can still be held accountable. Your compensation may be reduced if it is determined that failure to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries. It is also important to note that a helmet will not protect you from spinal cord injuries, amputations, road rash and other injuries common in motorcycle accidents.
Some states still follow the doctrine of contributory negligence which is very unfavorable toward accident victims, and bars them from bringing a lawsuit if they are at all to blame for their injuries, but even in those states you may be able to recover compensation with the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.