Motorcycle accidents in Indianapolis happen more often than you would think. Such accidents have serious repercussions like injuries, damage to property, lost wages, and sometimes death. Motorcycle accident cases can be complicated, and having an experienced Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer in your corner is a huge benefit.
A motorcycle accident attorney in Indianapolis understands the challenges that are faced by the riders, including restricted visibility, and the very real risk of sustaining serious injuries in the event they are involved in a crash. Following an accident in Marion County they can can offer you expert advice and guide you through the legal process while helping you build a solid case.
How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
There are a few questions that you can ask yourself if you want to know if you have a case:
- Is the other party at fault? If the driver of the other motor vehicle is at fault, you can file a lawsuit. If you aren’t to blame, you can hold them liable and seek compensation for your damages. Your case will be strong only if you can prove it.
- Do I have bruises caused by the accident? If you are in pain and suffering, you may file a lawsuit. The jury will consider your medical bills and lost wages. It is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you think you aren’t badly injured. This will help you determine the severity of your injuries and get the help you need. And remember, don’t throw away your medical records; they can be used as evidence.
- Did I incur any damages? For example, you may file a lawsuit if your motorcycle is damaged in the accident. Don’t forget to record the damage by taking photographs or having the bills from the repair shop. Helmets and other protective gear destroyed can also be compensated.
- Do I have strong evidence to prove my case? Depending on your evidence — medical records, witness testimonies, and police records — you can determine how strong your case is. You must gather all the evidence you can as soon as possible before it is lost or destroyed.
If you are still trying to decide whether you have a solid case, hire an Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer to help you with the process. They can help you prove who’s liable, get proper compensation, and gather the necessary evidence.
Should I Call the Police After a Motorcycle Crash?
It’s vital to call the Indianapolis police department immediately after a motorcycle crash. This is because of the following:
- If people are injured, the police will get them medical help immediately. The injuries might not seem apparent initially, but they can manifest afterward. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- The police will write down every detail of the accident, including the place, time, and names of those affected. They will also interview those who witnessed the scene and take photographs. This may be used as evidence.
- They will assemble evidence such as debris and skid marks. This can determine who is at fault. If you don’t call the police immediately, it may be impossible for the lawyer to collect evidence later.
- The police record can be used as evidence when making an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit. Legal forces will trust it to be the most complete and objective incident record.
- Sometimes, insurance companies will not consider your claim if you haven’t filed a police report. They may not see the accident as serious if the police aren’t involved. A police record will also prevent the other party from making exaggerated claims.
Before the police arrive, you need to check yourself for injuries and remain silent until they come. Calling the police ensures all parties’ safety and protects your legal rights.
Can I Sue for The Injuries I’ve Sustained?
Yes, you can sue if you were involved in a motorcycle accident and suffered injuries.
To put the legal responsibility on the other person, your motorcycle accident lawyer in Indianapolis will examine the situation and assemble evidence proving that the other party didn’t follow the rules and crashed your vehicle. They also have to prove that the collision made you sustain injuries. If your lawyer can prove all the above, the other party will be liable for the damages in court.
If the opposite party has insurance coverage, you may decide whether to deal with the insurance company directly or file a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, the latter is usually the best option of the two.
You should be aware that the state of Indiana has a time limit for filing personal injury cases. For the case to be valid, you must file it within two years after the accident occurred. Furthermore, be aware of the local state laws concerning these cases.
You can seek the help of your Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney to consider your legal options. And having an experienced lawyer on your side increases the possibility that your personal injury case will result in a positive outcome for you.
I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet, How Does That Affect My Claim?
According to Indiana rules and regulations, only minors (under 18) should wear helmets while riding a motorcycle. There is no specific law telling adults to wear head protection. This doesn’t mean that not wearing a helmet will not affect your claim; it will.
You will still receive compensation, but it will not be the compensation you would’ve gotten if you wore a helmet. Indiana is a “comparative at fault“ state, which means you may still receive payment for your damages even if you are partly at fault.
However, insurance companies can claim that you contributed to the severity of the injuries. On the other hand, while filing a lawsuit, the jury can say that you were negligent.
To secure as favorable a judgment as possible for you if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, hire an experienced Indianapolis motorcycle crash lawyer to help you. They can use their knowledge of federal and state laws to build a strong case for you.
Note that it is important to wear helmets even if it isn’t required by law for most residents. It protects you from injuries, especially head trauma, during an accident. If you wear a helmet, wear a DOT-approved helmet. This will increase your chances of getting full compensation.
What Type of Evidence Will Help Me With My Case?
You must gather the necessary evidence for your case to prove that the other party is at fault. The following evidence is needed:
- Police records: The police record can be presented to the court, which includes what caused the accident or any charges given to the parties affected.
- Witness statements: Witnesses can be questioned, and they will disclose to the court who is liable between the two parties.
- Accident reconstruction: An accident reconstruction specialist will collect physical evidence, such as vehicle damage or skid marks, and analyze the incident in detail.
- Medical records: Another piece of evidence could be your medical records, pointing to the injuries you have incurred in the accident.
- Traffic laws: If you can prove that the other party has violated traffic rules, such as not stopping at a red light, this can be put towards the evidence.
The specific evidence needed for an accident varies according to the particular details of the accident. An Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorney will help you assemble the necessary evidence and build a solid case for yourself.
I Was Injured in a Motorcycle Crash But Didn’t Have Insurance. Do I Still Have a Case?
In Indianapolis, it isn’t legal to ride a motorcycle without insurance. Your legal options are limited, but here are a few:
- Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. They can help you determine which Indiana laws apply to a motorcycle accident case and liaise with insurance companies. This can protect you against devious ploys insurance companies use to avoid paying for settlements.
- You may be compensated if you can successfully prove that the other party is at fault by collecting the necessary evidence. However, the compensation will be limited, but that is the price you must pay. You will receive the payment only if you sue them directly.
If you can’t do the above, you will be legally required to pay for the damages incurred by the other party. It is vital to have insurance coverage for your motorcycle as it will make your legal situation less complicated. Furthermore, you can also face criminal charges like a fine for not having insurance coverage. So, the taking away point is always to insure your motorcycle.
Factors That Affect Settlement Amounts
There are several factors that can affect settlement amounts, including:
- Who was liable for the accident? You will receive a higher settlement amount if the other party has been proven liable. If it is shared, the settlement amount will be different. As we discussed above, Indianapolis follows a “comparative fault” rule. This means that if you win, even if you were partly at fault, you will also receive compensation.
- How severe were the injuries? If the injuries are severe, the settlement amount reflects the victim’s suffering. The effect of the injury before and after the incident is also considered when determining how much the settlement should be.
- How costly were the medical expenses? All medical bills concerning the accident are accounted for, including hospital stays, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
- How much income did you lose? Your lost income is accounted for if you missed work because of the accident. This involves part and future lost money.
- How much does the insurance cover? Your settlement will be low if the other party isn’t fully insured.
- Attorney’s fees – Attorney fees, including the cost of medical specialists, court cases, and others relating to the case, are considered.
There are some great places for Indianapolis bikers to ride in Indiana. Some of the best places to ride are:
Brown County State Park
Brown County State Park is located in the hills of Southern Indiana and provides scenic paths, including winding roads through appealing forests and valleys.
The route offers a unique riding experience highlighted by beautiful dunes and Lake Michigan views. You can choose from various routes, like the 20-mile Dunes Scenic Byway. Even though the route is straight, you will see 3 miles of dunes and a variety of vegetation and animals on the way.
Ohio River Scenic Byway
It is a 302-mile ride that passes by the Ohio River in Southern Indiana. It offers picturesque views of the river and spectacular towns and villages. Nevertheless, it is popular among the youth and has some nice curves and elevation changes.
Amish country, located in the rural side of northern Indiana, is occupied by various Indiana communities. You will see beautiful scenes of rolling farmlands and small towns along the way. It is peaceful and pleasing to the eye.
The forest occupies over 200,000 acres of southern Indiana, which can be a route that motorcycle riders can take. While riding, you will see beautiful views of the forests and valleys.
Helping Indiana Riders Get Justice
Here at SLG Accident Attorneys, we are aware of the problems that motorcycle riders face and are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT VICTIMS