Passengers on a motorcycle should always take steps to protect themselves in the event of a serious crash. For example, passengers should ensure they are wearing a helmet and holding onto the driver or the motorcycle for stability. However, there is still a possibility a passenger could be injured due to the mistake of the motorcyclist or another motorist, which is why it is important for a passenger to understand their legal rights under these circumstances. If you were a passenger on a motorcycle during an accident in Arkansas, you should consult with our experienced Fayetteville motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as possible. Our team of attorneys is committed to fighting for victims of motorcycle accidents that must contend with large medical bills and severe injuries due to the negligence of another.
The injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are often serious, whether you were the operator or a passenger. In addition to the medical expenses involved, you could lose valuable time at work. The impact of a severe injury includes more than medical treatment and recovery. Depending on the type of injury, you could be prohibited from taking part in ordinary activities. You deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering, as well as your financial losses.
Many people are conflicted when they are a passenger in an accident. Typically, the driver was a friend or family member. Suing them seems wrong. However, you still have to contend with your injury and all the negative consequences that follow. In many cases, the motorcycle operator is also a victim. Nonetheless, you need to protect your rights. The best way to do that is by calling our law offices at (479) 316-0438.
Suing a Driver for a Passenger’s Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident in Arkansas
Motorcycles are vehicles that should be operated with extreme care and caution. If the operator of a motorcycle acts irresponsibly, there is an increased risk that they could cause a serious accident. For a passenger on a motorcycle, it can be especially frightening to ride with a person that is acting negligently. Fortunately, a passenger on a motorcycle can hold the driver responsible for a crash.
After a motorcycle crash, a passenger on the motorcycle can pursue compensation from the driver that caused their injuries. In some cases, the victim may seek damages from the insurance company that insures the motorcycle driver. However, the compensation recovered from the driver’s insurance company may not be sufficient to cover expenses for injuries, rehabilitation, loss of wages, and other issues that arose due to the crash. As a result, a victim of a motorcycle accident should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit so they can request the damages needed to satisfy their expenses.
It is also important to note that the driver of the motorcycle is not the only party that could be held liable for the victim’s injuries. For example, if the driver of the motorcycle was involved in an accident with another motorist, that motorist may be liable to the passenger for their injuries if they were partly responsible for the crash.
To learn more about filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Arkansas, you should continue reading and speak with our experienced Fayetteville personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.
Comparative Negligence and Personal Injury Lawsuits Filed by Motorcycle Passengers in Arkansas
When you file a personal injury lawsuit against another party, you must prove that their negligence caused your injuries. Another way to think about this is that you have to demonstrate that another person was to blame. However, many accidents are the result of a combination of factors. For example, two cars could collide because one driver ignored a red light while the other driver was texting at the time. To address these types of incidents, Arkansas follows a modified comparative fault rule for personal injury claims.
Under a modified comparative fault rule, blame is apportioned out between all parties involved in an accident. If a victim’s actions accounted for 30% of the fault, their awarded compensation would be reduced by 30%. For example, if a texting driver was found to be 30% to blame and was awarded a judgment of $100,000, it would be reduced to $70,000. However, if a plaintiff were more than 50% to blame for an accident, they would be prohibited from receiving any amount of compensation.
Because motorcycle passengers are rarely responsible for accidents, passenger personal injury lawsuits are typically easier to prosecute than other accident claims. A passenger’s conduct rarely contributed to an accident. However, there are situations where a passenger interferes with the safe operation of a motorcycle. Our Arkansas motorcycle accident lawyers will thoroughly examine the facts of your case to determine if anything you did could have caused the accident. Our office will also prepare to defend against any allegations of misconduct the defense could raise.
What To Do if You Were a Passenger in an Arkansas Motorcycle Accident
Believe it or not, a personal injury claim begins moments following an accident. The steps you take immediately following a crash could significantly impact your ability to file a civil claim or reach a fair settlement with an insurance company.
The first thing you should do is check your injuries and seek medical attention if necessary. Because of the severity of injuries that occur in motorcycle accidents, you might not have a choice in this matter. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accident victims require emergency treatment. However, even if you believe you were not seriously hurt, you should see a doctor within a day or two. The extent of many injuries is not readily apparent, and you want to have medical documentation linking your injury with the accident if you wish to pursue an injury claim.
Understanding the chain of events that lead up to the accident is crucial for proving fault and liability. There is a wealth of evidence that is only available at the scene of the crash. If you are physically capable, you should begin gathering some of this vital information.
One of the first things you should do is call 911. The police will protect the scene, ensure medical personnel is dispatched, and collect information and statements to complete an accident report. This report will include the responding officer’s findings on what happened. If any citations were issued, they would also be listed in the report. Furthermore, an accident report will have the personal and insurance information of those involved in the accident.
Witness testimony is critical evidence. You should get statements and contact information from anyone who saw the accident. In some cases, this information could be included in the accident report. However, some witnesses will leave the accident scene before the police arrive.
Photographs of the aftermath of an accident are a vital tool used to recreate what occurred. You should take photos of the scene, including the position of all vehicles involved, the damage sustained, and any marks or skids on the road surface. Do not forget to take pictures of your injuries.
The sooner our Farmington motorcycle accident lawyers obtain this information, the sooner we can start building your case. A witnesses’ recollection of events is fresher after a few days than weeks or months after the incident. Furthermore, there could be surveillance footage that will only be available for a short window of time. The faster you act, the better your chances are of maximizing your potential compensation.
Damages Available to an Injured Motorcycle Passenger in Arkansas
It does not matter if you were a passenger or the motorcycle operator. If you were hurt due to another’s negligence, you are entitled to seek monetary recovery for your economic and non-economic damages.
Most people understand economic damages, or the financial losses associated with an injury. The most obvious expense is medical care, including emergency treatment, ambulance transportation, surgery, hospitalization, medication, and physical therapy. However, medical expenses are not limited to your treatment and care. You could recover the cost of parking, childcare, or any other expense that you incurred during treatment.
Another significant economic loss is your lost income if you cannot work. Accident victims could miss weeks, months, or even years of work. Permanently debilitating injuries could prevent a motorcycle accident victim from returning to the workforce. You should be compensated for all your lost wages, including what you would have earned in the future.
Non-economic damages are harder to describe and define. However, non-economic damages often make up a considerable portion of an injury judgment. Non-economic damages include intangible harm such as mental anguish, emotional distress, and physical suffering. Our Crawford County personal injury lawyers will evaluate your unique situation to calculate an appropriate figure.
Common Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Victims of motorcycle accidents can sustain permanent or life-threatening injuries under many different circumstances. While there are various types of injuries that may occur in a motorcycle crash, there are some injuries that are more prevalent than others.
Bone fractures are one type of common injury that may occur in a motorcycle accident. For example, if a victim is thrown from the motorcycle and collides with a vehicle or other hard surface, this could easily result in numerous broken bones.
Traumatic brain injuries are another type of injury that may happen due to a motorcycle accident. It is vital for a motorcycle rider to wear a helmet or other protective gear to prevent a head injury. However, there is still a chance of a victim suffering a traumatic brain injury if the victim’s head is struck with a significant amount of force.
These are not the only types of injuries that may occur in a motorcycle crash. Under severe circumstances, a victim could lose a limb, sustain a broken pelvis, or become disfigured. Our firm is here to provide you the representation you need if you were injured as a passenger on a motorcycle.
When to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Arkansas
Motorcycle accident lawsuits must be filed within a certain timeframe. Specifically, motorcycle accident lawsuits are civil claims that must adhere to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines the length of time that a potential plaintiff has to file a particular type of lawsuit.
It is important to note that all civil claims do not share the same statute of limitations deadline. This means that the circumstances of a case can affect the length of time that a victim has to file a lawsuit. As a result, you should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to be certain of the filing deadline for your potential case.
In Arkansas, a victim of a motorcycle accident has three years from the date of the injury to file their lawsuit against the driver responsible. If a victim fails to file a timely lawsuit, they could lose the opportunity to pursue damages for their injuries.
We understand how a passenger can be concerned about suing a driver of a vehicle, and we are here to discuss your concerns.
Contact Our Experienced Arkansas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Claim
If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle accident in Arkansas, you should consult with an experienced Rodgers motorcycle accident attorney today. Our team of attorneys has over 20 years of experience litigating motorcycle accident lawsuits, and he would like to help litigate your potential case. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential motorcycle accident lawsuit, you should contact GKD Law, at (479) 316-0438. Our firm can also be contacted online.