Everyone who travels assumes a certain level of risk. For motorcycle riders, that risk is higher than it is for most others. Motorcycle accidents frequently come with serious injuries and expenses. Recovering while budgeting due to medical bills and lost wages is a tough balancing act. Unfortunately, securing compensation from insurance companies is difficult, time consuming, and in many cases, extremely frustrating.
Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys serving all of Minnesota
The legal team at Sand Law understands the unique challenges following motorcycle accidents and can assist you through the difficulties. When it comes to battling insurance companies and defense lawyers, our skilled attorneys have the experience it takes to get our clients every penny they deserve. There is no upfront fee and you only pay us when we collect. Call us at Sand Law for a free consultation to understand your rights and options under law.
The Unique Dangers of a Motorcycle Accident
An accident that may have been a mere inconvenience between two cars can have much more disastrous outcomes when a car and a motorcycle are involved. Motorcycles simply don’t have a sturdy structure to absorb the impact. Similarly, motorcyclists do not have a substantial barrier between themselves and the elements. Slick roads are more dangerous for them.
Minnesota Motorcycle Laws
Under Minnesota law, all motorcycle operators must register their motorcycles, display a valid license plate, carry liability insurance, and have proof of insurance. They are also required to protect their eyes with a shield, goggles, or approved glasses.
Inexperienced motorcycle operators have to follow stricter requirements. Those who only have a learner’s permit and those under 18 must wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation. Permit holders have restricted hours and aren’t permitted to use interstate freeways. Only fully licensed operators can transport passengers.
Common Types of Injuries from Motorcycle Accident
We have already established that motorcycle accidents are dangerous, but what are some of the most common types of motorcycle crash injuries?
Broken bones and fracture
The minimal protection of motorcycles means almost any bone can break in an accident.Fractures, especially spinal fractures, are commonplace for motorcycle riders in accidents. But even helmet-protected heads can suffer skull fractures at high speeds.
Loss of limbs
Most non-fatal motorcycle accident injuries impact legs and feet. In more extreme circumstances, amputation is necessary to preserve life.
Eye and ear injuries
Injuries to the eyes and ears are also fairly probable in motorcycle accidents. Wearing a helmet and biker goggles can mitigate the risk of these injuries, but no gear can fully guarantee safety.
Traumatic brain injuries and head trauma
According to a NHTSA study, over 15% of hospitalized motorcyclists sustained head injuries. The same study found that 77% of traumatic brain injuries suffered by motorcyclists were either moderate or severe.
Motorcyclists’ spines are particularly vulnerable. Those who fall from their bikes may become partially or fully paralzed immediately upon impact.
Disfigurement, nerve damage, and skin conditions from road rash are among the damages that can be irreversible.
Neck and back injuries
Victims left with neck and back injuries can experience excruciating, ongoing pain. They may be unable to perform normal daily routines as well as work related duties.
Even accidents that do not appear fatal at the scene can ultimately result in death. Internal bleeding can go unnoticed until it is too advanced to successfully treat.
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Common Causes of a Motorcycle Accident
Bad weather; wet or icy roads
Due to the compact nature of motorcycles, road hazards like potholes and uneven lane heights can have a far more devastating impact on motorcyclists than other travelers.
Debris in road
Objects that standard vehicles roll over unknowingly can throw motorcyclists off of their vehicles.
Vehicle turn in front of motorcyclist
The leading cause of accidents involving motorcycles is drivers turning left.
Windy conditions can cause a motorcycle driver to lose control very easily.
When merging or changing lanes accidents, other drivers’ blind spots become especially dangerous.
Car doors that are opened suddenly and unexpectedly become obstacles that motorcyclist cannot always dodge quickly.
The impacts of speeding and other reckless driving are increasingly dangerous for motorcycle riders.
Car driver under the influence
Intoxicated drivers are more likely to overlook motorcyclists who are difficult to see in the best of circumstances. An intoxicated driver’s delayed reaction time means motorcycles have a limited chance to escape their deadly path.
Sudden stops and rear-end accidents
Rear-end accidents can potentially sandwich motorcycles between two vehicles.
Manufacturer errors can leave riders with faulty parts that don’t function as they should, easily leading to a devastating motorcycle crash.
Negligence in Minnesota Motorcycle Accidents
Minnesota is a no-fault state for car accidents. But there is an exemption for motorcyclists. Under Minnesota law, riders are not required to purchase personal injury protection. This means that a motorcyclist can lodge a claim against an at-fault driver.
What compensation is available for a Minnesota Motorcycle Accident?
Lost wages, future earnings and earning capacity
You may be entitled to lost wages due to medical leave from work. You may also be able to claim loss of future earnings if a motorcycle accident has limited or ended your ability to earn.
Past, present and future medical bills
Recoverable medical expenses can include past fees like ambulance and hospital bills as well as future and recurring costs like medication and pay for professional caregivers.
Pain, suffering and emotional distress
You may also be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering and emotional distress stemming from the physical and mental toll the motorcycle accident causes.
Permanent injury and disability
At-fault drivers may have to compensate you for injuries and disabilities that leave you unable to function or to enjoy life to the same degree.
Disfigurement and scarring
Negligent parties can be held responsible for corrective surgeries to fix scarring and disfigurement.
Wrongful death and funeral expenses
When a wrongful death causes emotional trauma and financial hardships, surviving loved ones can collect for their troubles.
A claim can include the cost it takes to replace or repair your motorcycle as well as gear lost in an accident.
Other general damages
Any expenses accrued because of a motorcycle accident, such as rental car costs or pay for hired help, can be included in a claim.
Contact the Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Sand Law
If you or a family member was involved in a motorcycle accident, speak to a member of the Sand Law firm right away. We will carefully listen to the account of your accident and provide a full and comprehensive legal analysis of your case in a free consultation. Our devoted attorneys will pursue your case with vigor to win you the maximum amount of compensation possible. Reach out to us today at 651-291-7263 or by contacting us online.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at Sand Law LLC who have extensive experience practicing and writing about the law in Minnesota. The information in this article comes from this hands-on experience along with extensive research. For information about the author of this page, view our attorney bios.