We have all seen the famed bumper sticker “Start Seeing Motorcycles.” However, for some reason, this message still has not resonated with a significant number of drivers on our roads and highways. Throughout Minnesota, there have been at least 1,000 motorcycle crashes per year consistently since 1997. Motorcycle accidents are inherently more dangerous those only involving cars or trucks – with the fatality rate being around 8 times higher in crashes involving a motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents in Minnesota often involve factors that are unique to Minnesota. For example, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the following categories are the top ingredients involved in motorcycle accidents:
Other Motor Vehicles
The most common type of motorcycle accidents involves crashes with other motor vehicles. As stated, if this other vehicle is a car or a truck than the damages can be exponentially greater. There are also instances where motorcycles are involved in accidents with other motorcycles. These often occur during group rides or motorcycle rallies.
Deer and Other Animals
Minnesota’s wildlife population plays a modest role in causing motorcycle accidents. Deer are the primary culprit and can be a major hazard for motorcycle drivers, especially in rural parts of the state. Safety precautions such as installing “wolf whistles” or “deer warning whistles” on your motorcycle is a way to reduce your risk of hitting an animal on the road.
Just as motorcycles can be difficult to see for automobile drivers, the same is true about pedestrians for motorcycle operators. In any case involving an accident with a pedestrian, the motor vehicle operator is typically at fault. This is because they often owe a heightened duty to pedestrians. Also, in accidents involving pedestrians, the damage or injury to the pedestrian is almost always exponentially higher.
Vehicles parked on the side of the road or in parking lots are involved in a surprisingly significant portion of motorcycle accidents throughout the state. There are a number of instances where the owner of the parked vehicle may be liable for the accident. These include being parked illegally or when the owner or an occupant of the vehicle opens a car door that is exposed to traffic. However, too often motorcycle accidents involving parked vehicles are due to inattentive driving on the part of the motorcycle operator.
Trees, telephone poles, circuit boxes, road signs, etc. Because of their nature of being fixed, these objects generally have a portion of their mass buried in the ground – thus making them that much more unforgiving. Often times these objects are also owned by the government so there can be a risk of criminal liability if they are damaged or destroyed. In Minnesota, this offense is referred to as criminal damage to property.
Accidents involving motorcycles and bicycles can be messy. The fact that both the motorcyclist and the bicyclist are exposed to the elements plays into the dangerousness of these accidents. Helmets should always be worn by both those operating motorcycles and bicycles to reduce the risk of serious head injuries.
What Are Motorcycle Accident Cases Worth?
Motorcycle cases vary in a range of value as far as financial compensation goes. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Sand Law appreciate that your case is very personal to you. That is why we take the same tenacious approach to every case we handle. Jury awards and case settlements can range from thousands to millions.
It is unfair to speculate as to what your case might be worth without enough information. That is why our motorcycle injury lawyers conduct an in-depth investigation into every case to give you a fair evaluation as to what your case could be worth. The best part about this is that the investigation is absolutely free of charge with no obligations on your part.
Multiple At-Fault Parties
Courts in Minnesota use the “Comparative Fault” technique of allotting liability in personal injury matters. Our personal injury lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in handling cases where comparative fault is at issue.
The way comparative fault works is that a jury or judge can assign a percentage of fault to both the Plaintiff and the Defendant in a personal injury case. Whoever’s percentage of fault is higher is then liable for that percentage of damages. So if the Defendant is found to be 75% at fault, then they have to pay 75% of the total damages awarded to the Plaintiff.
Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases involving a motorcycle accident is six years in Minnesota. There may be, however, some exceptions that apply to this rule. For instance, if the lawsuit is against a governmental agency – then the statute may be expedited. That is why if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and have sustained injuries – it is important to contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. This is so you can preserve your right to obtain compensation for your losses.
What Type Of Damages Am I Entitled To In A Motorcycle Injury Lawsuit?
Minnesota law affords parties in a personal injury lawsuit to recover “damages” or compensation for the following: Lost Wages; Medical Bills; Disfigurement; Mental Anguish/Emotional Harm; Pain and Suffering; and Humiliation.
The motorcycle accident and personal injury lawyers in our office fight for your rights to get you the most compensation possible. Let our experienced team of personal injury attorneys fight for you.