- One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Arkansas is inattentive driving, and drivers not keeping a lookout for vehicles on the road that aren’t automobiles (cars, trucks, etc.).
- Motorcycle accidents can cause extremely severe injuries for motorcycle drivers and riders, up to and including mass fractures, permanent brain injury, and death.
- While motorcycle drivers and riders should wear helmets, they are not legally required to do so in Arkansas. Insurance companies may try to use a lack of helmet as leverage, but an experienced attorney will be able to keep that information out of Court in the event of a trial.
Inattentive drivers are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents across Arkansas.
I am a motorcycle rider myself, and one of the things that they teach us is that you have to be seen and heard. A lot of drivers of automobiles still fail in the area of noticing motorcyclists, even when they make every effort to make themselves seen and heard. This is when the majority of accidents happen.
It all comes back to the need for people to keep a proper lookout and to be safe and make sure that they’re paying attention to things on the road other than cars.
What Types Of Injuries Do You See As A Result Of Motorcycle Accidents?
There are many grisly injuries that are commonly seen as a result of motorcycle accidents.
These include compound fractures of every bone in your body; permanent brain injury; extensive hospital stays; helicopter flights to travel to a hospital—even fatalities.
Motorcycle wrecks are as bad or worse than bicycle wrecks for the riders/drivers of the bicycles and motorcycles. If anything, they’re worse because a motorcycle can go faster.
If you’ve got a fast car and a fast motorcycle, that’s going to create more of an impact when they crash into each other. In addition, motorcycles weigh more, so if a motorcycle lands on you or it crushes you, it does a lot more damage to you than just getting hit while riding a bicycle.
Do Motorcycle Riders And Passengers Have To Wear A Helmet Or Other Safety Gear In Arkansas? And Does It Impact A Personal Injury Case If The Rider Or Passenger Was Not Wearing Safety Gear?
In Arkansas, you’re not required to wear a helmet while driving or riding on a motorcycle. We are one of the states that did away with that requirement. It’s unfortunate that we did so, because we’ve got a case right now where a motorcycle rider is seriously injured, but his helmet saved his life.
So, even though passengers and drivers of motorcycles are not required to wear helmets, they should.
As far as affecting recovery, an insurance adjuster may try to use the driver or rider’s lack of helmet as leverage to get them to accept a lower settlement offer—and an argument like that would potentially inflame a jury a little bit, if they see that somebody didn’t take care of themselves.
Juries like to see people who care about themselves in the beginning and at the end of their case. So, an insurance company pressing on a lack of helmet, even though it’s not illegal, may affect a given personal injury case a little bit.
There are ways to get around that and motions we can file to keep the helmet information from coming into the case if we have to go to trial. In the event that such a case goes to trial, and we have a motorcycle case with somebody not wearing a helmet, we can pursue those means to keep the helmet argument restricted.
What Tactics Do Insurance Companies Use To Deny Or Limit Settlements In Motorcycle Accident Cases?
Insurance companies may use many different tactics to try to deny and limit settlements in motorcycle accidents.
For example, if you don’t properly document your injuries and don’t get the care you need from a doctor for those injuries, insurance companies can use that to get out of paying a proper claim.
Even if you go and get your injuries treated at the outset, if you don’t follow up to get the rehab that you need and any other treatment that you need, you may be harming your case.
Many people try to be tough and don’t recognize their own limits and feel they can go without care. But you are not doing yourself any favors by not holding the other person responsible for the care that you need. It’s going to impact you down the road for sure.
They can claim that since you didn’t seek treatment, you must not have been very injured after all, or that there’s no basis for the claim because there’s no medical documentation of expenses and limitations and things of that nature.
A motorcycle personal injury case is just like any other case: it is the insurance company’s job to try to find a way not to pay if possible. They’ll look at liability factors to do so. Was it at a red light versus a green light, or a he-said-she-said situation? Was it some kind of failure on the motorcyclist’s part to keep a proper lookout or yield?
The same tactics that they use in any other car wreck case, they’re going to try to use that too in a motorcycle case.
Do I Still Need To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney If It Is Clear That The Motorcycle Wreck Was The Other Party’s Fault?
You absolutely need to hire a personal injury attorney – no matter whose fault you believe the motorcycle wreck was. Why? Because there are often other avenues that somebody who is involved in a motorcycle accident can pursue for settlement than the ones that are immediately evident to a layperson.
For example, there are underinsured claims and health insurance claims, and there may be multiple policies to pursue claims against.
We just settled a case where the other driver was at fault. They had a policy that covered our motorcyclist client’s injuries, and then the owner of the car the defendant was driving had a policy as well. We were able to investigate and stack both of those policies to result in an even higher recovery than the client may have gotten on his own.
What Should I Look For When Researching An Attorney To Handle My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
When looking for an attorney to handle your Arkansas motorcycle accident claim, you should look for an attorney that primarily focuses on personal injury law.
You do not want an attorney that is in general practice, that does your will and does your divorce as well as your personal injury case. You want one that really focuses primarily on dealing with insurance companies and insurance policies.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask an attorney you are about to hire for your motorcycle case about what kind of experience they have in handling motorcycle accidents specifically.
Experience with motorcycle-specific cases helps. There are different factors discussed above that go into resolving motorcycle claims, which attorneys with specific motorcycle experience may be better equipped to handle.
We have handled dozens of motorcycle cases at our firm, and therefore know the steps to take to receive the maximum compensation for a motorcycle accident victim.
For more information on Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims In Arkansas, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (479) 337-7077 today.