Indiana motorcyclists enjoy the freedom that comes with riding and having the wind rushing around them while they cruise along the scenic highways and roads in the state. While it may be fun to put your skills to the test, a collision with other vehicles in Greenwood, Indiana, can cause serious injuries. Motorcycles give you very little protection from contact with other objects or from the street.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, it could take weeks or months to recover, and some riders end up being permanently disabled. When you combine your emotional and physical struggles, you have a long road to recovery to contend with. Our Greenwood motorcycle accident lawyers can help give support and guide you through the litigation process during this difficult time.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents happen every day in Johnson County, and they often lead to catastrophic consequences because passengers and riders are more vulnerable to injury than people in cars or trucks. Car occupants have a steel frame surrounding them, seat belt restraints, and airbags, while motorcyclists are much more exposed to the hazards associated with the open road. A few common types of motorcycle accidents in Greenwood, Indiana, include:
In the first type of rear-end accident, the rear-ending motorist is coming up to an intersection, but the sun’s glare makes it hard to see the traffic light. This causes the driver to miss the light changing to red, and they accelerate into the back of a stopped motorcycle, causing injuries.
In another type of rear-end collision, the rear-ending motorist is on an expressway in stop-and-go traffic. The driver gets a text notification, and they look down for a few seconds to check the phone. Unfortunately, in these few seconds, the car collides with a motorcyclist who is idle in the lane.
Even though this type of accident accounts for just a small of all vehicle accidents in the state, they have a higher fatality rate at 24 fatalities per 1,000 accidents. This accident happens when one vehicle leaves its lane and travels into an oncoming vehicle’s path “head-on.”
Injuries Often Sustained After a Motorcycle Crash
In Indiana, 112 people died due to a motorcycle accident in 2018. Studies also showed that 1,930 motorcyclists sustained non-fatal injuries from accidents in the state. These incidents are why it’s essential that everyone involved in these accidents has to receive medical attention right away. Common injuries you see with a motorcycle accident include facial fractures, road rash, disfigurement, burns, and broken bones. The injuries you obtain can range from minor to severe, such as spinal cord injuries, limb amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis.
Road rash is the most common injury from a motorcycle accident. If you don’t properly treat your skin after a crash, you can develop permanent damage such as infections, skin irritation, and surface nerve damage.
Broken bones, fractures, and burns are also very common injuries many people don’t classify as severe. However, they can cause permanent nerve damage, disfigurement, and disability. You can take steps to protect yourself by wearing protective gear such as jackets, helmets, and pants made of leather, as well as gloves and heavy boots.
Experienced Motorcycle Lawyers Who Don’t Back Down
Determining who is at fault in a motorcycle accident can be complicated because it might not be clear what or who caused the accident. The other parties Greenwood motorcycle accident attorneys and insurance companies may try to blame you, even if you’re the victim. This is a tactic that is commonly found during settlement negotiations to pressure you into accepting a lower settlement amount. This is because Indiana uses the comparative negligence system for accidents to determine how much a settlement is worth.
Indiana’s Comparative Negligence System
Indiana’s comparative fault laws add complexity to your motorcycle accident claim, and can limit how much compensation you’re entitled to as a victim. When the court determines fault in motorcycle collision cases, they’ll analyze the accident scene to figure out if your negligent actions played a part in causing the crash.
In the state of Indiana, you can claim damages as the victim if you are 50% or less at fault for the accident. The court will reduce how much compensation you’re entitled to in proportion to how much you were at-fault for the accident. If the judge found you to be 10% at fault for your accident, they’ll allow you to claim 90% of the total damages the court awards you.
However, if you’re found to be over 50% at fault for the accident, you might not be entitled to any damages. There are several factors in play when determining fault, and this makes it tricky to come up with a solid number. A few instances that can help figure out how much both parties’ negligence contributed to the accident include:
- Changing lanes quickly
- Distracted driving
- Failure to check blind spots
- Reckless driving
Our Greenwood motorcycle accident lawyers have helped many accident victims understand their cases and get the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a free consultation. We work to stay focused on your case and needs while fighting to protect your right to recovery fair, full, and complete compensation.
What Types Of Evidence Will Help Me With My Case?
Ideally, it’s a good idea to collect evidence immediately at the accident scene. You’ll need evidence to support the cause of the crash, any injuries you suffered, and the damage amount you’re entitled to. A few important types of evidence include:
You’ll need to prove how much compensation you should receive. A few pieces of evidence you’ll want to collect and organize includes:
- Medical bills
- Pay stubs and documentation that shows your benefits and commissions of the job you lost
- Receipts and estimates for the cost to replace or repair your motorcycle, clothing, helmet, and any property that sustained damage in the crash
If you have a dispute with the insurance company, you may need to bring in expert witnesses to support your claims. It’s also common to need a medical expert, an engineer, an accident reconstruction expert, and an economic expert.
You’ll need a copy of the defendant’s insurance policy to help figure out how much coverage they have to compensate you. You also want to look at your policy because you may have to file a claim if the defendant is underinsured or uninsured.
Having extensive medical records is critical when you’re an accident victim. These records can help establish how serious your injuries are, the treatments you require, and the final prognosis for recovery.
Use your cell phone to take pictures and videos at the accident scene. Make sure you record damage to all involved vehicles, weather conditions, the crash scene, your injuries, skin marks, and anything else that supports your case and proves how the accident happened. If you’re too injured to take pictures, ask a bystander for help.
The officer from the Greenwood police department arriving at the accident scene will conduct a short but thorough investigation and write a report. Police reports aren’t admissible in court, but they can have helpful information to help you prove what caused the crash, including:
- Accident scene diagrams
- Narration about the cause of the crash
- Officer’s conclusions as to who was the at-fault driver
- Statements from the negligent driver and you
- Traffic citations issued
- Witness statements
Gather the witness statements and contact information of anyone at the crash site. Witnesses can corroborate the cause of the accident. If they’re strangers, they can be much more convincing when it comes to persuading the insurer’s liability for your injuries.
What Are The Laws in Indiana For Motorcycles?
Several laws in Indiana govern motorcyclists. Knowing what they are can help ensure you don’t run into any trouble with the police and keep you safe as you ride. They include:
In Indiana, to ride a motorcycle legally, a person must be at least 16.5 years old and have a motorcycle endorsement for their general driver’s license. To get this endorsement, you’ll have to:
- Go to an authorized Ride Safe Indiana provider to complete a Safety Course when you’re 16 years and 90 days old. Then, you’ll take the graduation proof to your local BMV.
- If you’re at least 16 years and 270 days old, you have to go to the BMV to take a written test and get your motorcycle permit. Then, you’ll take a motorcycle skills test by going to an authorized Ride Safe Indiana entity. Finally, you must take your signed and stamped motorcycle permit to the BMV to get your motorcycle endorsement.
- You may also need to complete a vision test. If you’re under the age of 18, you have to have a guardian or parent sign an Agreement of Financial Liability.
By law, motorcycles require certain equipment and features to be road-safe. In Indiana, if you have a bike manufactured after January 1956, it has to have the following:
- Hand or foot brakes
- At least one but no more than two headlamps that meet set visibility guidelines
- Handlebars that extend 15 inches or lower above the seat
- Turn signals, speedometer, and rearview mirror
- Rear reflectors that are 20 and 60 inches off the ground and visible by another vehicle at night between 100 and 350 feet
In Indiana, riders who are under 18 are required to wear a helmet when they are on the road. If you ride off-road, you don’t have to wear a helmet by law. You also have to wear a helmet if you’re a permit holder.
Motorcycle Traffic Laws
Generally, motorcyclists are permitted to use traffic lanes fully, and other motorists can’t drive in a way that stops the biker from using the lane. In addition, motorcyclists are permitted to legally ride side-by-side with a second motorcycle in a single lane as long as both riders agree to do so. Riders must have headlights on during the day and night hours.
Motorcyclists are subjected to the same traffic rules and regulations that apply to other vehicles on the road. Bikers must also have at least the minimum insurance liability coverage and follow traffic signals and signs.
Riding In Indiana
Indiana is a beautiful state with stunning scenery for riding your motorcycle. A few notable routes to consider taking include:
- Nashville Brown County Loop – This is a 20-mile route of smooth roads, quaint shops, and beautiful scenery. Start at the IN46 east of Nashville and turn onto Salt Creek Road before heading toward Gatesville. You’ll head west on Gatesville Road to Clay Lick Road before going back toward Nashville. You’ll experience beautiful and curved roads, hills and forests, and a picturesque creek for a backdrop. It’s a busy route in the fall, but spring and summertime are quiet.
- SR450 – Travel on SR450 west of Bedford to ride along the White River and quaint farms nestled in stunning scenery. You’ll ride through rolling hills until you get to Lawrence and the Williams Dam. It’s a great tourist attraction and a great spot to chat with other bikers and take in the view of the lake.
State Road 135 South – While you’re in Brown County and around Nashville, this route will extend your ride. This area is widely known for the Big Biker Fest held yearly in Bean Blossom. Travel on State Road 135 South from Bean Blossom toward Story. You’ll get long and winding streets on this ride.
Serving Greenwood, Indiana
Greenwood shares a border with Indianapolis, a mid-sized town with just over 63,000 people. You’ll find a thriving downtown area in this city with restaurants, shops, the Indy South Greenwood Airport, and museums. Some great things to do in the city include visiting the Regal Greenwood & RPX, the Greenwood Park Mall, and the Otte Golf and Family Fun Center.
In the northern part of the city, Pleasant Run Creek winds through several municipal parks that are the perfect backdrop for walking or bicycling.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
Contact our office if you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Greenwood or Johnson County. Our experienced and dedicated Greenwood personal injury lawyers are ready to discuss your case, answer your questions, and give you a free case consultation to help you figure out your options.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT VICTIMS