Wiener & Lambka, PS, has extensive experience handling motorcycle cases. Over the years, the lawyers have learned that cases involving motorcyclists come with their own set of challenges. The first challenge a personal injury lawyer faces in these cases is convincing the jury and judge that the motorcyclist took every precaution possible to prevent injury on the road. There is a pre-existing bias against motorcyclists on the road and attorneys need to have the skill set to change the perspective of the court officials. There in an implicit tendency to blame the injured victim and assume they were somehow at fault. It is necessary to show that the person involved in the incident took all the right measures to stay safe on the road. Injured motorcyclists take on this embedded bias, as well as the similar bias that anyone who rides a motorcycle is assuming the risk of injury due to that decision. A personal injury lawyer needs to show that this bias is not always applicable because if the court looks at the case through that bias, then the motorcyclist will not be viewed as a victim, but rather as the cause of the incident. Personal injury lawyers will bring to light all the ways their client has sought medical attention and recovered from the injuries caused by the incident, showing that the motorcyclist suffered and took care to improve themselves. Showing that the injured motorcyclist took responsibility for his or her injuries helps a case to result in the injured party’s favor. As soon as you believe you have a case, contact the personal injury lawyers at Wiener & Lambka to begin the legal process. Personal injury attorneys excel in their line of work and they will make sure your case is handled properly, without bias from insurance companies or legal personnel. Having a lawyer advocate for you will ensure that your case is treated with justice and care.
Motorcyclists face hazards while driving on the road that drivers of other motor vehicles do not encounter. First of all, motorcyclists are very exposed, given the nature of the motorcycle. Due to the structure of a motorcycle, a motorcyclist is more likely to face serious, sometimes fatal, injuries in an accident as opposed to drivers of cars with doors and intense protection. Cars are all-encompassing, meaning the body surrounds people on all sides and provides extra protection, but motorcycles offer little to no protection. Due to the nature of a motorcycle, and how different it is in comparison to other street-legal automobiles, motorcyclists are at risk for certain things that people driving cars and trucks do not have to worry about. Potholes, uneven surfaces, railroad tracks, garbage, car parts, any type of debris – all of these are concerns to the motorcycle rider. Another thing to consider is that a smaller mode of transportation makes the drivers harder to see, and motorcyclists are often overlooked or invisible to other drivers on the road. Due to the difficulty other drivers have with seeing motorcyclists on the road, motorcyclists have to take on a more acute sense of awareness and exercise more caution than your typical driver. Incidents involving motorcycles are often confounded by intoxication and/or high speeds. As with anyone operating a motor vehicle, it is in the best interest of motorcyclists to not drive while under the influence, especially due to the high risks already associated with riding a motorcycle.
The bias we mentioned earlier is so universal that sometimes, motorcyclists do not come forward, or they accept blame when it is not their fault, because they believe the bias themselves. Anyone who is a victim of a situation might start thinking about all the ways they could have prevented the incident, but when it comes to motorcyclists, it is important to remember that they share the same rights as every other driver while on the road. Deciding who is at fault in a vehicle-motorcycle accident should be a process that follows the same guidelines as those applied to vehicle-vehicle incidents.
Both drivers should consider the following factors:
* Was either operator intoxicated?
* Were the rules of the road obeyed or did either driver fail to follow street laws?
* Were any of the operators driving while distracted?
* Was the incident a result of something wrong with the roadway?
* If roadway repairs were needed but not carried out, could the government be at fault for not preventing these types of crashes?
* Was the collision the result of improper maintenance of either vehicle or the result of a problematic product – something that was or should have been recalled and fixed?
Personal injury cases involving motorcyclists can become complex very quickly and for that reason it is pertinent that you seek legal help from a lawyer who has the skill set to represent you to their best ability. While you may still be reeling with the reality of the accident, it is best to reach out to an attorney as soon as you are able because they will begin working on your case immediately and a solution can be found sooner than later. An attorney is beneficial in helping you refrain from making statements based on feeling rather than fact, and if you are faced with accusations from the other party, a lawyer will know how to respond. The possibility that the incident was partially or fully caused by a malfunction on part of one of the involved vehicles is very high.
Defective car parts are not the fault of drivers and therefore the investigation into who is liable becomes broader, now involving manufacturers and car companies. If a defective part has caused an incident, you will be compensated financially but you will also, in turn, save others from experiencing the dangers of defective parts. If a car part was not properly thought through during the engineering process, or the manufacturers made an error in crafting the part, then the defect is enough cause for a legal claim.
If you are involved in a collision while riding your motorcycle, you should first and foremost check for any physical injuries you may have sustained. Get medical attention for any injuries you sustained in the collision. If you have been injured, reach out and seek medical assistance as soon as possible. If you feel off in any way, it is best to seek medical attention, even if you don’t believe you necessarily have a life-threatening or serious injury. This is especially important for motorcycle riders involved in a collision because not all injuries show clear symptoms right away.
Internal injuries, like concussions and bleeding, are examples of invisible injuries that only a doctor can detect right away, due to their subtle symptoms.
If you do not feel that you are in dire need of a physical evaluation, the following tips can advise you on what you should do next:
Any drivers involved in a collision, whether they are at fault or not, must remain at the scene of the crash and wait until police officers arrive, at which point the drivers must provide statements. Drivers are required to cooperate with the police and provide their name and vehicle registration, driver’s license, etc. It is legal to call for medics and seek medical attention immediately following a collision if injuries were sustained during the accident.
Police will need to document the scene of the accident for the sake of records, and it is even more important if deaths or serious injuries occurred, so it is advised that vehicles not be moved before authorities arrive. On the other hand, if the vehicles are presenting a hazard and can be moved to a safer place, then that should be done. If photos can be taken in a safe manner, prior to moving the vehicles out of their positions, then it is advised that the drivers do so, for the sake of documentation. No matter how straight-forward you might believe the accident to have been, failure to document the scene leaves room for the possibility of the other driver saying something different later. Many accidents involving injured motorcyclists happen when the driver of a car or truck does not see the motorcyclist due to their blind spot intervening, so documenting the scene properly will help investigators to understand what happened. Documentation ensures that everyone can see the truth of the situation and understand how the accident occurred, without bias
If you are not sure whether or not a collision should be reviewed by authorities, it is always best to call the police anyway. If the accident is not life-threatening, you may be told that the police are unable to prioritize your incident and as long as the injuries are very minimal it will be advised that the involved parties come to an agreement on their own. In these instances, you can inform your attorneys that the police were called but they could not come to the scene of the accident. The police are more likely to come to the scene of the crime than to leave it up to your discretion, but regardless, pictures should still be taken for documentation purposes. Your photographs will be very important to your case. Even if you are not immediately aware of any injuries you sustained, documentation in the form of photographs will help uphold any personal injury claims that you want to make later in the process. Even in cases where you believe it’s obvious that the other driver was at fault, a police report as well as documented photographs of the scene will further support and prove your assertion that you are not at fault.
It is illegal to drive a vehicle in Washington State without proof of insurance in the car. When you sign with an insurance company, you should receive two items: an insurance card for your wallet and an insurance card to keep in your lockbox. The consequence for driving without an insurance card proving that you and your vehicle are covered is very expensive in Washington State so be sure to have a card on you at all times.
If you are involved in a crash, it is very likely that you are required to report the accident to your insurance provider. Insurance policies are contracts, and both the insured and the insurer must uphold their end of the deal, including filing reports when accidents occur. Everything will transpire smoothly if cooperation takes place. Call your insurance agent and notify them as well. Make sure you follow the specific requirements in your policy and document your efforts. Keep a copy of your conversations with your insurance agent for proof of communication if needed later. If you do not uphold the conditions of your insurance policy, your insurance provider might reserve the right to deny you coverage and that will make your case that much more stressful to resolve.
Try to safely take pictures at the scene. You should photograph any angle you feel is relevant to the accident. Examples of relevant pieces of information are the position of the vehicles, insurance cards, photographs of the drivers’ identification cards, visible injuries, and broken glass on the roadway. If you notice something later on, such as a bruise or some form of damage to your vehicle, be sure to take a picture anyway because these details are still important to include in your case. Any additional chance to take photos should be taken advantage of. Pictures of the scene are especially important and helpful if the motorcycle has been completely totaled as a result of being hit by a vehicle. Physical injuries on your person should be documented in the form of photos as well. The human body begins repairing itself the second it experiences trauma, so the sooner you take pictures of your injuries, the better, because waiting might mean losing your proof.
While you have a duty to cooperate with the authorities and your own insurance company, you are not required to give a statement to the adverse driver or his insurance company. The best course of action is to seek legal advice before speaking to them because they will seek to record your statement. Insurance agents will often try to influence your statement in favor of their client, so it is best to avoid interacting with them without your lawyer present. Unfortunately, not everyone knows that they do not have to speak with the other party without legal aid present, and we have run into sticky situations where unnecessary problems are caused by providing statements to the other party. It is a good decision to refrain from providing a statement to the other party’s insurance company until you have contacted a lawyer for advice.
If there are witnesses to your collision, obtain their contact information and an understanding of what they saw. If you ever need to prove the validity of your claims in court, witnesses are extremely beneficial. Anything that might help you later should be recorded and collected at the time of the incident.
As discussed above, if you are injured in any way, you should seek medical care. It is not unusual for victims in crashes to assume their injuries are not as bad as they seem, or even more detrimental, that the injuries will go away on their own. The problem with taking this approach in the context of a car accident case is that the insurance company for the other driver will use any delay against you and claim that if you were all that hurt, you would have sought medical care. If you do not receive medical attention for your injuries, your reasons could be valid but the other party might take that as a reason to call you irresponsible and blame you for perpetuating your injuries. By the same logic, it is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions and follow up as appropriate. It is important that your injuries be documented for use as evidence so tell your doctor about any injuries you noticed to your body. You can state that you were injured in X, Y, and Z ways but if you do not have documented evidence your statement will not hold up well in court.
Some of the more common types of injuries include…
Police reports and tickets are not admissible evidence in court. Regardless, these are still important pieces of information. If you receive a ticket that you do not believe is justified, then you have a right to challenge it in court. Follow the instructions on the ticket given for this process. You can always turn to legal aid and ask an attorney to assist you in fighting a traffic ticket. If you have hired a personal injury lawyer for your case, they can handle tickets for you as well because it is in their skill set. Keep in mind that the ticket can have bad consequences to both your injury case as well as your long term financial interests as it can raise your insurance rates for years to come.
If your own insurance company is requesting a statement from you, then you should provide one to them because they are on your side and they only want the best possible outcome for your case. Under Washington State law, anything you tell your insurance company is between you and the agency. While not as pressing as if the other insurance company wants a statement, it is advisable to contact an attorney to go over the unique facts of your matter before providing any statement on the matter, even to your own insurance company. You should never give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. The only insurance company that has your best interest in mind is your own. If you are being asked to provide such a statement, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney to discuss this. The insurance agency that represents the opposing party is not owed a statement and there is no legal ground for them to ask for one, so don’t feel pressured to provide a recorded statement. Answering base-level questions is reasonable, but the best route to take is to speak with a lawyer in order to decipher the best plan of action.
If you have ever Googled yourself or another person, you know that you can sometimes find information about them that you otherwise would not know. Depending upon the settings in your social media, others can have access to interesting information about you. If you have a Twitter account, for example, your tweets can appear in searches via Google. Facebook does not privatize your posts unless you adjust your settings, too. If someone wants to find out information about you, your social media accounts ae their best bet. Your friends can have different settings than you do and thereby allow investigators to find out information about you from their pages. While the prospect of bringing a legal claim is good reason to make sure that you don’t have unwanted information available to the world on social media, this is probably a good policy in any event. Also, deleting social media posts or editing them in any way after the incident can be considered altering evidence, which is not a good charge to have against you. To help your case, do not post about your case because that way, you won’t give the opposing party anything to use against you. Do not post about your case in any way, shape, or form. Anything you post will only hurt you in the end. Do not post anything that you wouldn’t want a judge or jury making decisions about your case to see.
Consultations with us are absolutely free and you are under no obligation to retain us after the initial meeting. Most personal injury attorneys have the same policy. We want you to talk to us about your case so we do not charge a free for the initial conversation.
Motorcyclists injured in accidents can benefit the most from free consultations because they need to start their cases especially early, due to the nature of the incident.
There are many times where having an attorney in your corner is a good idea:
· If a recorded statement is needed by the insurance company.
· If you are asked to provide a copy of your medical records.
· If the property damage adjuster is being rude or uncooperative.
· If the opposing party’s insurance company is not complying with standards or respecting your time.
· If your own company is not cooperating in helping you with areas of coverage on your policy such as opening a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim or helping with property damage.
· If your accident involves any possibility of the other person’s insurance company alleging that you were partially or fully at fault.
It is difficult to select an attorney. Just about every attorney who wants another case will say they are the best fit for you. Some attorneys will happily tell you about how good they are in order to obtain your business. Here are some ways to decide for yourself who is the best lawyer for your needs:
2. Next, find out what their track history looks like. With attorneys, just obtaining a win-loss record is deceiving. Attorneys select what cases they want to work on and which ones to take to trial. If an attorney feels that a case is too hard to bring to trial, they often times will not take it on because the work and expenses necessary are not justifiable. Attorneys tend to only sign onto cases that have a greater chance of settling in their client’s favor. Winning is only half the battle anyway. Your client might not be granted everything they hoped for, even if you win the case. The proper question is more, how successful have your cases been? Their previous outcomes are not a guarantee that yours will result the same way but it at least provides some evidence that the chances they will successfully win your case is clear.
3. People leave reviews for just about anything these days and that includes their experiences with attorneys. One site that hosts reviews of lawyers is called AVVO, but unfortunately, they use algorithms that can be manipulated so their ratings may be faulty. By reading honest reviews by people who were once represented by the attorneys at hand, you’ll receive more transparent insight than any other resource can give you. For a true summary of an attorney and his/her practice, turn to the written reviews of the people who know what it’s like to be represented by the lawyers firsthand.
4. Another option is to call the lawyers yourself and ask them questions. Do they treat you kindly and respectfully? Do they offer to consult with you and discuss the details of your case? Do you feel comfortable? Listen to your heart because instincts do not lie. At the end of your case, in order to obtain a settlement, the insurance company is going to have you sign a release. The release you’ll be presented with will essentially say that you accept what is being offered and you will not try to get more money for anything in the future. If you cannot trust your attorney, or they don’t make you feel at ease, then you’ll be setting yourself up for a lot of frustration and potentially failure. Find someone that you trust and work with them to make sure that your legal matter resolves successfully for you.
The negligent party is responsible for all of your reasonable losses. This means that anything you lost, be it an item or an occupation or something replaceable, should be rightfully returned to you in the form of compensation. Depending upon what insurance you have on your vehicle, you may be entitled to payment of your medical bills by your own company, up to the limits of your policy. Property damage claims and a car rental are handled via your provider. See if your insurance provider offers wage-loss and home-helper provisions. In very unfortunate circumstances, some people can take utilize their insurance provider for the sake of paying funeral expenses. The limitations of your insurance provider will dictate what you can obtain for compensation. Following the crash, the other party’s insurance company will usually just pay for property damage at first. Your other losses will be compensated for in a check later on. Because you need to be in a proper position to know about your future as it relates to the accident in order to sign off on that release, the bodily injury payment typically does not occur until you are completely done with your treatment and have knowledge of your medical future. The coverage your insurance provides you will help you pay for damage in the meantime.
If your motorcycle was not fully totaled, you should have it restored to its original condition right before the accident transpired. You may have the vehicle repaired at a body shop of your choice. Some insurance companies keep a list of body shops covered under your policy.
If a rental car is owed to you while your car is in the shop, you can take the insurance provider up on that offer, or you can have the money that would normally go towards a rental car paid directly to you instead. As a general rule of thumb, don’t give your money over to a service provider until they have completed the work. Before you agree to send your vehicle to a repair shop, find out what they charge and what they believe needs fixing, and then compare it to your notes. If your vehicle is deemed a “total loss,” which means that it would not be cost effective to make repairs, then you are owed the “fair market value” of the vehicle. “Fair market value” is what your car or truck could have been sold for the day before the accident. Market value is dependent upon many factors such as age, mileage, condition of the body and paint, condition of the interior, tread on tires, damage history, recent maintenance expenses, etc. The insurance company must perform a market survey by calling dealerships and checking newspapers ad for the selling price on comparable vehicles. It is best to do this yourself, too. “Book figures” are not something the law allows insurance companies to offer. Used car guides are not the best reference because they are more concerned with trades instead of being resold. You will likely have a hard time obtaining a total loss settlement offer without the following evaluations factors:
In order to retain the salvage – or, damaged vehicle – then you can match the highest bid you’re offered for the salvage that the insurance company gets from a junk yard. It usually takes about two weeks from the date of reporting a claim until a total loss offer is made as it takes time to determine all of the above. If you have any questions about the process or its details, feel free to call us at any point.
There are two important considerations if you were a passenger in a motorcycle accident. As a passenger, you are free from fault, no matter which vehicle caused the incident. Passengers are not at fault because they were not in control of the vehicle, making them a victim who is also eligible for settlement and compensation. The second important consideration is what insurance will be available to you in the short run to help with medical bills and wage loss. We would first take a peek at the motorcycle’s insurance and then follow up with insurance companies on behalf of the drivers. In all cases, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is our main focus. If there was none, or it exhausts, then your health insurance would kick in at that point.
This depends on a lot of factors. The first question to answer is whether or not you are happy with how much was offered to you. Does it sound fair to you? Beyond this happy scenario, however, are most of the cases. It is common for an insurance company to attempt to settle a claim for less than their monetary worth. Insurance companies are never trying to trick you but rather they want to keep the fiscal damage at a minimum, for the sake of their client. An attorney is your best bet when it comes to demanding higher settlements. Since consultations are free, it is best that you take full advantage of the opportunity. The most promising way of ensuring that you are treated fairly is by hiring an attorney to act as your legal representation. A consultation is your only honest way of understanding your situation and figuring out what is best for you.
In Washington, you have three years in which to either resolve or properly file and serve a lawsuit. Failure to take necessary legal steps prior to the three-year mark will cause you to lose your rights to claiming compensation. In order to have time to correct any issues that arise or adhere to legal expectations, we suggest that you compete the necessary steps within two years’ time. If your preference is to avoid a lawsuit altogether, the sooner you act, the better. It takes time to gather the medical records and review same and understand a case for presentation, negotiation and settlement. Again, an early consultation with a good personal injury attorney is advised.
Being partially at fault does not mean that you cannot bring a claim. Oddly enough, sometimes, partial fault benefits our clients and the case ends in higher rates of compensation in response to their legal claim. In order to provide an honest and accurate answer to this question, legal discussion would be necessary. As with any car accident case, a consultation is free and advisable so that you know your rights.
Hopefully, you have insured yourself against this scenario. As a protective measure, it is so important that your automobile insurance policy includes UIM (under/uninsured motorist coverage). This addition to your policy protects you if you are involved in an accident where the other party either has no insurance or not enough to cover the extent of the damage.
Learn more about Uninsured Motorist cases here.
According to the Washington State universal helmet law, all riders must be wearing a helmet while riding. There are some states who do not uphold the universal helmet law and therefore only require it for some people, depending on their age.
We researched comprehensive and recent statistics regarding motorcycle accidents in the US. The following information is from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute. The information can be found on their website as well.
Unlike cars, motorcycles are not the most stable and they are harder to see in traffic. When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they’re more likely to be injured or killed. In 2015, an estimate was made by the federal government stating that the number of motorcyclists who died in crashes was 29 times higher than those killed while driving vehicles.1Because serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, helmet use is important. When it comes to preventing death, helmets are 37% effective, and in terms of brain injury, helmets prevent them by 67%. Yet only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not designed for on-highway use, but in recent years more than 300 riders died in crashes on public roads annually. In December 2017, the United States Department of Transportation‘s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) posted a series of data about motorcyclists and ATV-riders involved in accidents.
In 2016, approximately 4,976 motorcyclists died from crashes. Since the early 1980s, motorcyclist deaths have been on the decline until 1998, when this number started – and continues – to increase. In 2016, approximately 13% of all deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes were motorcyclists, which is more than double the number of these deaths recorded in 1997.
“Calls were returned in a timely manner, and the office staff is friendly. I’d recommend Wiener and Lambka to a friend in the future.” - T. Their“The Staff at Wiener and Lambka are friendly and understand customer needs. They reduced their fee on my case and didn’t even take any on my son’s.” - M. Ngo“A job well done! The staff at Wiener and Lambka made a point of explaining everything to me and if necessary I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.” - O. Yusuf“The service and the staff were great. I was happy with everything, and would refer Wiener and Lambka to someone else in the future.” - I. Aleman“Wiener & Lambka helped me through the process, always discussing all of the available options. In particular, I was happy about the ease with which I was able to access my attorneys.”- B. Froton“In my moment of Crisis Wiener & Lambka lent me a helping hand. Their dedication to my case was outstanding. They stuck by my side and fought for my rights. Thank you!” - K. Tuazon“I was satisfied by the timely manner with which my case was handled. I would definitely recommend Wiener & Lambka to a friend in the future.” - D. Yusuf“Everyone was great. The staff at Wiener and Lambka make a good thing out of a bad situation, and for that, I am very thankful.” - D. Grami“You minimized my stress levels on a process foreign and scary to me. Very professional, caring, and patient with me.” - A. Maas“Everything was great. It was the best legal experience I have ever had!” - T. Hoskins"It was a stress free experience. I particularly enjoyed when, on my initial call, they sent someone out to my house to speak with me in person. I would certainly use or recommend Wiener & Lambka in the future." - M. Randall“Wiener & Lambka get the job done. I appreciated their concern and interest in my case, and would definitely recommend them to a friend.” - Y. Martin“Wiener & Lambka took care of the leg work for me and even managed to get a larger settlement than expected.” - J. Hanson"Wiener & Lambka always kept me up to date with my case. I'd certainly suggest them to a friend." - J. Trujillo“Wiener and Lambka did a good job of keeping me up to date on my case, and I’d definitely suggest their services to someone looking for an attorney.” - L. Lafond
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