Lake Charles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

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A motorcycle exposes the rider to the elements, which means that injuries from accidents can be far more severe than those sustained in a standard motor vehicle. If you are in an accident, you need a Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights.

Serious neck and back injuries are common, and fatalities happen more often than you might think. Responsibly riding a motorcycle is crucial, should be taken seriously, and always practiced with great caution. Common sense and a watchful eye can help prevent certain accident scenarios, but the fact is that we never know what’s going to happen on the road.

The most recent statistics come from 2019 and reveal that 5,014 motorcyclists were killed as a result of accidents. What may be even more shocking is that motorcyclists account for 14% of the vehicle crash deaths in 2019, and that number has doubled since 1997. When a motorcyclist is not at fault for the accident, it can be even more upsetting to deal with the debilitating injuries or loss of a loved one.

If you or a loved one has experienced a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

The attorneys at the Cox Law Firm offer decades of experience helping victims of motorcycle accidents and their families seek damages for serious injury or wrongful death.

Dedicated Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Lake Charles

Motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic and life-altering injuries for motorcyclists if they survive the crash. When a driver or other party is at fault for your accident, you should not have to cover these costs yourself. Unfortunately, filing a claim while dealing with substantial physical pain and trauma can feel impossible. An effective attorney is crucial to creating a strong insurance or civil claim, which can secure the compensation you need to recover and readjust to your life.

The team at the Cox Law Firm is proud to effectively represent those who were injured in motorcycle accidents. Our attorneys have a collective 135 years of experience, including experience with personal injury and motor vehicle accidents. We understand the extreme damages present in motorcycle accidents, along with the tactics that insurance providers and at-fault parties use to try to shift the blame to motorcyclists.

Our lawyers can help you determine the cause and at-fault party for an accident to understand if you have a potential claim. Your claim is more likely to succeed with the investigation and aid of a qualified attorney. A lawyer is also effective at calculating your claim so that the true total of your damages is fairly reflected. Working with an attorney can help you maximize the compensation you are owed. At the Cox Law Firm, our team wants to give you the caring legal support you need.

Understanding Fault in Motorcycle Accidents

Many parties might be at fault for a motorcycle accident, including other drivers, a motorcyclist, and third parties that are responsible for road upkeep or safe products. To hold another party liable for your damages, you must prove that they were at fault. The most common basis for fault is negligence. To prove that someone is negligent and at fault, you must show the following elements:

  1. The party owed you a duty to show reasonable care toward your health and safety.
  2. The party breached this duty by behaving negligently.
  3. Their negligent inaction or action was the cause of the accident, or it was a partial cause.
  4. You suffered injury, financial damages, and other recognizable damages due to the accident.

If a driver fails to take proper care while being near a motorcyclist, and this results in an accident, they can be held liable. When a driver is at fault, an insurance claim can be filed with their insurance provider. Negligence is the most common reason why a party is held liable, but recklessness, misconduct, and strict liability may also factor into your unique case.

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents often result in significant property damage and injuries, the cost of which may not be covered, even with a maximum insurance claim. When this happens, a motorcyclist may need to file with their own provider or file for the excess damages with a civil personal injury claim. An attorney is crucial to finding evidence of all elements of fault, and they can review your situation to determine how you can secure the most compensation.

How Do Comparative Fault Laws Impact an Accident?

When you are in a motorcycle accident, you may be found to be partially liable. However, this does not prevent you from obtaining compensation for your injuries. Louisiana operates under pure comparative fault laws. This means that you are allowed to file for damages coverage as long as you are not 100% liable for the accident.

Your final settlement will be reduced by your percentage of liability, which can significantly reduce your compensation. However, because motorcyclists typically suffer much greater injuries than those in larger vehicles, you could still gain a high-value settlement despite being partially liable. Your attorney can review the accident and your liability to determine whether a claim is worth it.

What Happens After a Motorcycle Accident?

As with any vehicle accident, there are certain things to avoid and certain steps to take.

What happens in the minutes immediately following a motorcycle accident can have a serious impact on your case. Knowing what to do in that moment can help relieve some of the stress of the situation and put you in a better place for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

The following dos and don’ts may be used as a guideline for what should and shouldn’t be done after a motorcycle accident.

Dos

  • Call the Police: Whether the driver who caused the accident has stuck around or fled the scene, contact the police ASAP.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Whether you feel injured or not, there are several injuries that might not present themselves immediately. You may feel fine but you’re most likely going to be in shock and full of adrenaline in the moment. Our bodies do not alert us to pain as effectively when in this state, so always have a doctor inspect you for both internal and external injuries.
  • Get to a Safe Spot: Highway accidents are dangerous due to their tendency to create debris and cause rubbernecking, which has the potential to cause more accidents. Even if you were on a smaller surface street, try to move your bike and other vehicles involved off to the shoulder and out of the way of traffic, if possible.
  • Try to Find Witnesses: If you’re lucky, someone who saw the accident will pull over to give a statement to the authorities. You can also look around the area to see if any pedestrians who witnessed the accident were present and ask if they’d be willing to provide their contact information so that a statement can be taken later, if needed.
  • Take Pictures: This is a staple for any accident. Take pictures of your motorcycle, other vehicles involved, the scene, and any injuries. Take as many pictures as you can from every angle you can. The more the better. If you can, take photos before moving the vehicles from the roadway.
  • File a Claim with Your Insurance Company: This isn’t to say give a recorded statement, but do let them know what happened and provide them with contact information for the other drivers and their insurance companies.
  • Contact Family or Friends: This is especially true if you are injured and are being taken to a hospital. It’s always good to let someone close to you know what’s going on and where you are, so that they won’t worry if they don’t see/hear from you when they expected to.
  • Journal the Events: Taking notes from your perspective can really help you remember the details. From the incident itself, to any pain you experienced, to medications and treatments you’ve been prescribed, write it all down.
  • Get in Touch with a Lawyer: Insurance adjusters, recorded statements, claims, these are all things you’ll have to deal with in the aftermath of an accident. The added stress of juggling all these things on top of recovering can put unnecessary strain on the victim and their families.

An experienced Lake Charles motorcycle accident attorney at the Cox Law Firm can handle your case, so the only thing you should be doing is resting and healing.

Don’ts

  • Leave the Scene: Unless you’re being taken away in an ambulance for emergency treatment. Stick around, talk to the police, and get information from the other drivers involved.
  • Argue with the Other Driver(s): It’s just not worth it. This only has the potential to weaken your case and shine a bad light on yourself to witnesses and investigators.
  • Talk to an Insurance Adjuster: They may claim to have your best interests at heart, but they don’t. Their sole purpose is to try to confuse you, causing you to say something that will either hurt your case or make it look like your original statement was not truthful. If you find yourself in this situation when notifying your insurance company, hang up the phone and do not answer questions without an attorney.
  • Make Speculations: No matter how much you believe the other party was at fault for the accident, don’t say so. Speculations are another thing that can taint your reputation.
  • Accept Any Settlement Offers: Even if you keep conversations with insurance adjusters to the bare minimum, they’ll still likely try to make you an offer. Never ever accept the first offer you get, and don’t accept any offer until you’ve discussed it with your attorney.
  • Give a Recorded Statement without a Lawyer Present: A recorded statement can be the nail in the coffin for your claim. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Having a lawyer with you at the time of the interview will allow him to tell you what you should and should not answer.
  • Be Scared: The best advice is to stay as quiet as you can and keep your wits about you. Stay calm. Do this and call for the help of a skilled attorney with years of experience fighting for victims of motorcycle accidents at the Cox Law Firm.

Our attorneys can help you with each step of the claims process.

What Is the Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana?

Every motorcycle accident settlement is unique because the economic and noneconomic damages suffered by an injured party are unique. Depending on your accident, you may be able to recover the following damages:

  • Medical Costs: You can recover the cost of any medical expenses from the accident, including the cost of doctor’s visits, medication, surgeries, transportation to the hospital, and hospital stays. You can also recover any future medical expenses, such as physical therapy, mental health therapy, mobility aids, medical devices, and other rehabilitative care.
  • Lost Wages: After a motorcycle accident, you may need to take weeks or months off work to recover from your injuries. A claim can recover these significant financial losses and compensate you for the wages you would have earned during that time.
  • Lost Future Earning Capacity: Many catastrophic injuries from a motorcycle accident can result in permanent pain, disability, and other forms of impairment. If you are unable to return to work full time or unable to ever reenter the workforce, you could recover compensation for the wages you would have earned during your lifetime.
  • Property Damage: You can recover damages for the repair or replacement of your vehicle and other items in the vehicle.
  • Noneconomic Damages: These include intangible damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and mental anguish.

It can be difficult to accurately value your claim, and many injured people underestimate how much they are owed. An attorney has the resources and knowledge to fairly value your claim.

Motorcycle Accident Claims and Wrongful Death

As we’ve mentioned, rider exposure on a motorcycle can often make for more severe injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, time off from work, and more. Loss of life is not only a possibility resulting from a motorcycle accident, but a common occurrence. A wrongful death claim is filed instead of a personal injury claim when an injured person doesn’t survive the accident or their injuries.

If one of your loved ones suffered wrongful death at the hands of a negligent driver, you, as the next of kin, may have a case to seek damages. Often, next of kin can seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, burial or cremation costs, loss of future income/support, loss of benefits, loss of inheritance, and a variety of emotional damages. A wrongful death claim can enable you to remain financially stable after a devastating loss, and it can also hold the at-fault party responsible for their negligence.

Louisiana laws only allow specific relatives to file for wrongful death claims. An attorney can help you determine if you are eligible.

Filing a Claim After a Motorcycle Accident

The Cox Law Firm has almost 50 years of experience fighting for injured victims. In fact, we’re one of the oldest and most reputable personal injury groups in Southwestern Louisiana. Whether your insurance claim is being disputed, you need help seeking compensation for your injuries after a motorcycle accident, or a loved one has died as a result of negligence, our experienced Lake Charles lawyers are here for you.

It’s important to begin working with an attorney as soon as possible before you become ineligible. Contact us today at 337-436-6611, we’ll evaluate your case and determine if you are eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries.

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