Idaho Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
With mountains and lakes, valleys and plenty of open road, Idaho is arguably one of the most beautiful states in which to operate a motorcycle. And while the majority of motorcycle rides that are taken are done without any issues–and the motorcyclist makes it back home safely–this is not always the case. Indeed, dozens of motorcyclists are involved in accidents every year in Idaho, and many are killed as a result of these crashes. When a motorcycle crash occurs, the motorcyclist almost always sustains an injury. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that per vehicle mile traveled, the number of deaths on motorcycles is more than 27 times that of the number of deaths for drivers of passenger vehicles.
If you are involved in a crash in a motorcycle crash in Idaho, our experienced Idaho motorcycle accident attorneys at the offices of Hansen Injury Law are here to help you. We know how tragic these crashes can be, and understand how important having a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side is. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
Who Pays for Injuries Incurred by a Motorcyclist?
Because Idaho is an at-fault insurance state, the party who is at fault for a motorcycle accident is responsible for paying for damages. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash and your own negligence was the cause of the crash, this may mean that you cannot recover damages unless you carry certain insurance types through your own insurance company.
On the other hand, if another driver (or other at-fault party) was responsible for your crash, you can bring a claim for damages directly against the driver. Because drivers in Idaho are required under law to carry liability insurance, the at-fault driver’s policy should offer you compensation for your property damage and bodily injury expenses.
Keep in mind that you also have the right to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. Filing a lawsuit may be your best option if you have suffered significant damages, including psychological injuries and pain and suffering, and are unable to reach a settlement with an insurance company out of court.
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Injuries Sustained by Motorcyclists
When a motorcycle crash happens, it is very, very likely that the motorcyclist and any passengers they are carrying will be hurt. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. The same source provided by the IIHS cited above reveals that serious head injury is one of the most common causes of death amongst motorcyclists involved in a crash. When head injuries are not fatal, they can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that leave the motorcyclists with permanent impairment.
- Road burn injuries. If a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike, they may skid along the ground before coming to a stop, incurring bruises, lacerations, bone fractures, and road burn injuries along the way. Road burn injuries are caused by both the skin being ripped due to contact with the ground and heat that is produced from friction. These burns are not only painful, but can lead to more serious injury types and concerns (like infection), and be permanently disfiguring.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is the long bundle of nerves that runs the length of the spine and is responsible for sending messages between the body and the brain. When the spinal cord is impacted, its ability to communicate is disturbed. The result can be tragic: permanent partial or complete paralysis occurs when the spinal cord is injured.
- Internal injuries. The body houses a number of important internal organs, most of which are protected by bones like the rib cage and pelvis. However, with enough force or with penetration, organs like the heart, lungs, kidneys, and internal systems like blood vessels, can be impacted. This may lead to a number of serious and life threatening complications, including internal bleeding.
- Bone fractures. When a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike or pinned between their bike/other vehicle and another object, the bones may have so much pressure put on them that they fracture. Fracture injuries are painful, and may require surgery and physical therapy to repair.
In addition to the physical injury types suffered by a motorcyclist in a crash, consider that a motorcyclist often sustains psychological injuries as well. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic accident is common, as is the development of depression as a result of injuries, lifestyle changes, loss of quality of life, and physical and mental limitations. A motorcycle may also be totaled, resulting in a huge loss in property damage expenses.
Comparative Negligence and Motorcycle Accident Claims
The state of Idaho has implemented a rule of comparative negligence that comes into play in motorcycle and other personal injury claims. The rule of comparative negligence holds that an injured party is allowed to recover compensation from an at-fault party so long as the injured party’s degree of fault for the accident/injuries does not exceed the fault of the defendant. For example, if you are injured in a motorcycle accident and you were 20 percent to blame for your crash, you can still bring forth a claim against the party who was 80 percent at fault as your degree of fault did not exceed 50 percent.
However, while you can still bring forth a claim even if you were partially to blame for your injuries, the amount of damages you are able to recover from the defendant will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. Using the example above, if you were 20 percent at fault and suffered $100,000 in damages, you can only seek $80,000 (80 percent) from the defendant against whom you have filed a claim.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Here to Represent You
At the offices of Hansen Injury Law, our motorcycle accident lawyers in Idaho know how much you have suffered, and how much is on the line. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and need to file a claim to recover compensation, call our experienced, knowledgeable personal injury lawyers today. We know how to build your claim and negotiate for the damages you deserve.
Hansen Injury Law Firm
Boise, Idaho 83703
Phone: (208) 577-5300