Negligent and careless drivers are extremely dangerous to motorcyclists. “I didn’t see the motorcycle” is not an excuse, and we will not allow your injuries to be minimized. We will not allow any opposing party to shift blame for the accident to you. If we take on your case, we independently investigate your accident and establish the facts.
When a negligent driver is responsible for your motorcycle crash injuries and bike damage, you deserve full and fair compensation. You also deserve fair treatment by the law and the insurance company that will ultimately be responsible for paying for your past, present, and future losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning power
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and long-term care
- Property damage
- Other losses
Founding attorney Ben Schmitt is an avid motorcycle rider and race sponsor. At Schmitt Law Firm, LLC, we are committed motorcycle accident attorneys in Kansas City. Call us for a FREE consultation at 816-400-1000.
Our Experience and Trial Success Benefit You
With more than 75 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys have obtained significant six- and seven-figure results in both Missouri and Kansas civil courts. We are revered as top Kansas City personal injury attorneys, and we understand what is at stake in your case.
Seeking Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries Helps Accident Victims Move Forward
Money cannot undo the property damage, physical pain, and emotional stress you face in the wake of a motorcycle accident. Making matters worse, you know that everything you are going through is a result of someone else’s poor choices, and if not for their negligence, you would not be suffering. However, seeking compensation is the only recourse you have against the party who caused your motorcycle accident. While compensation cannot turn back the clock, it can provide the following solace and aid:
- You can have the financial means to pay for the medical treatment you need for your injuries.
- You can have the financial means to pay your medical bills and avoid financial disaster from lost wages.
- You can feel a sense of closure by taking legal action.
- You can hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions and likely prevent future bikers from falling victim to the same fate.
- You can restore your sense of justice, especially in the case of gross negligence.
Steps After a Missouri Motorcycle Accident
Whether you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Jackson County, Cass County, Clay County, Ray County, Platte County, or anyplace else near Kansas City, you need to take the following steps after the accident. If you are physically unable, someone else can help. Taking these steps will protect your rights to seek compensation for your injuries:
- Collect contact information for all drivers, passengers, and eyewitnesses, including name, address, phone, email, and drivers’ license numbers.
- Record license plate numbers, registration information, and insurance information for the vehicle that hit your motorcycle.
- Take a picture of the scene of the accident, including property damage to your bike and the other vehicle(s) and information that shows the accident’s location. Also, use your phone to take pictures of any injuries you sustained during the accident.
- Call 911 to ensure that emergency services and law enforcement come to the scene of the accident.
- If conscious, give your statement to the responding police officer. Only provide basic information about your motorcycle accident. Obtain a copy of the official crash report after giving it a week or two for the officer to complete the report.
- Take special care not to admit fault or apologize. Although you may only be employing good manners, other parties might try to twist your intentions and claim you admitted fault for your motorcycle accident.
- Make no comments about your physical pain or condition and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If you deny medical treatment at the scene or refuse an ambulance ride to the nearest emergency room, you still need to get checked out by a doctor.
- Only offer minimal information to any insurance adjusters and do not let them record you. Insurance companies train their adjusters to elicit statements from accident victims that give them grounds to deny or devalue a claim.
- Never sign any authorizations, releases, or waivers for the at-fault driver’s car insurance carrier. You could jeopardize your ability to seek compensation for damages.
- Contact an experienced Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney to guide you through the claims process and protect your rights.
Proving Fault in a Kansas City Motorcycle Accident Claim
Regardless of whether your motorcycle accident occurred in Parkville, Independence, Liberty, St. Joseph, Lee’s Summit, or another town or city in the Greater Kansas City area, you must prove fault to win your motorcycle accident claim. In legal terms, fault refers to negligence and has four main elements. Your attorney must prove each of these elements for you to receive compensation from a settlement or for a court to rule in your favor. Here is a broad overview of each element as they relate to motorcycle accidents:
Duty of Care
Drivers of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, and others who share the road have an automatic duty of care towards others on the road, making it the least contested element of negligence in a personal injury claim. If you are on your motorcycle, other drivers have a legal obligation to follow the rules of the road and not commit acts that could put you in danger of an accident and injuries.
Breach of Duty
A court only considers a driver negligent in a motorcycle accident if they have breached their duty towards a biker. Breaches often include illegal acts such as drinking and driving, excessive speeding, or ignoring traffic signals and stop signs. However, not all negligent driving behaviors explicitly break the law. For example, a driver might be distracted when talking to an occupant or daydreaming about something. These driving behaviors typically fall under the umbrella of inattentive driving and often qualify as a breach of duty when they lead to motorcycle accident injuries.
You must suffer some physical, emotional, or financial harm for a court to find the at-fault driver financially liable for your motorcycle accident injuries. Unfortunately, harm is often an element in motorcycle accidents. Bikers who walk away from an accident unscathed are fortunate. It’s far more likely for a biker to suffer serious injuries because of the open nature of a motorcycle and little protection between them and other cars or the road. Severe injuries often lead to higher medical expenses and steeper economic loss.
The final element of proving negligence in a motorcycle accident requires showing that the at-fault driver’s breach of duty led to the harm a motorcycle accident victim suffered. Specifically, the driver should have known their behavior would lead to the accident. Causation is typically the most contested element of negligence in traffic accidents. It’s common for the other side to try to shift blame to the accident victims or another party to avoid financial liability.
Kansas City Motorcycle Accident FAQs
If you have recently suffered motorcycle accident injuries in the Greater Kansas City area, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Until you have the opportunity to consult with an attorney, the following frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents in Kansas City provide some preliminary information.
How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Lawsuit After a Missouri Motorcycle Accident?
Missouri has a forgiving statute of limitations, or time limit, for personal injury lawsuits. You have five years from the date of your motorcycle accident injuries to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, it’s best to take action as soon as possible. Witnesses move, and their statements become foggy as time goes by, so contact an attorney to get the claims process started.
Can I Afford a Lawyer to Represent Me in My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Yes. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you do not pay an upfront retainer. Instead, you enter a contingent fee agreement with your lawyer. This means your attorney deducts attorney fees and other costs of representation from any compensation you receive from an insurance settlement or jury award. You do not typically have to pay money out-of-pocket.
Will I Have to Go to Court to Testify for My Kansas City Motorcycle Accident Claim?
It’s unlikely, but you should be prepared for the possibility. Many traffic accident claims, including those involving motorcycles, settle before going to trial because both sides have an incentive to avoid the expense of litigation. Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company and may have to file a lawsuit if negotiations fail. Sometimes legal counsel and a lawsuit inspire insurance companies to take a claim more seriously, so negotiations might begin again. If both sides cannot agree, you will likely have to go to court to testify in the county where the accident occurred. For example, if your accident occurred in Blue Springs or Grandview, you will have to go to court in Jackson County.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer from the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Carrier?
You should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an experienced lawyer. When insurance companies are confident their policyholders have been negligent, they try to avoid large payouts by offering early settlement offers. These offers are typically far less than an accident victim deserves for their injuries. Plus, it’s likely your motorcycle accident lawyer can negotiate a better outcome for you.
How Much Money Can I Get for My Kansas City Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
It’s impossible to predict a specific value or financial outcome for your claim. Each case is different and has underlying facts that add to or detract from its value. Some factors that impact the value of motorcycle accident claims include:
- Extent of Injuries. More severe injuries typically result in a higher value claim because they take longer to heal and cause more pain and suffering.
- Long-term prognosis. Motorcycle accident victims who suffer permanent disabilities typically receive more compensation if they prevail in their claim than those who make a full recovery.
- Non-economic impact. Those who suffer more physical pain and emotional stress because of their injuries typically have a higher value claim. Damage to relationships from injuries can also impact the value of a motorcycle accident claim.
- Percentage fault. Accident victims who contribute to the cause of their accident could receive less compensation for their injuries.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Schmitt Law Firm Today
At Schmitt Law Firm, we understand the gravity of serious motorcycle accident injuries and are here to help you during this difficult time. Not only is Brett Schmitt an avid motorcycle enthusiast, but he and his legal team have the skills, passion, and dedication to help you get the compensation you deserve for your motorcycle accident injuries. Contact us today online or at (816) 400-1000 for a free consultation to discuss your accident and injuries.
We collaborate with medical experts and accident re-constructionists to evaluate the extent of your injuries and the cause of your crash. You have the same road rights as all other drivers on the road, and you deserve even greater protections. We will assert your rights to fair treatment in the eyes of the law and vigorously pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Insurance disputes are our forte. We will not allow the value of your injury claim to be diminished. We will help you get justice and hold the responsible parties accountable for your full damages and losses.
Speak with a Lawyer about Your Full Legal Options
We offer free consultations, and we will handle all the up-front legal costs of your case. It is imperative that you get a motorcycle accident lawyer involved as soon as possible before evidence is lost and insurance representatives convince you to settle for less than you deserve.
Please call our motorcycle injury lawyers in Kansas City at 816-400-1000 or email us to speak with one of our lawyers.