Cape Girardeau Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
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In 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists across the United States were killed on the road. That accounts for over 14% of all traffic fatalities, even though motorcyclists make up only 3% of registered vehicles. That same year, an estimated 84,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries due to traffic accidents.
Motorcycle accidents aren’t always a reflection of the skill of the motorcyclist. Most accidents involving a passenger vehicle and motorcycle are not the motorcyclist’s fault. Motorcycles are often overlooked by cars and other motor vehicles. They’re also susceptible to accidents from inconspicuous road hazards that don’t typically affect larger vehicles.
Establishing liability in a motorcycle crash requires knowledge of the law and a detailed inquiry. The compassionate and dedicated Cape Girardeau personal injury lawyers at NST Law have the proven expertise to build a strong case to help you receive fair compensation for your injuries after a motorcycle accident in Cape Girardeau.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in Cape Girardeau
If you’re in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to take the necessary steps to guard your safety and protect your injury claim:
- First, call 911. Emergency personnel can evaluate you and the other drivers and passengers involved in an accident for injuries. Additionally, the Cape Girardeau police department can send law enforcement officers to observe the accident scene and conduct an immediate investigation to compile a police report. This document will prove useful if you decide to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver.
- Stay at the scene until police arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. Also, only move your motorcycle as necessary to prevent another accident. It’s important for officers to get a full and accurate picture of the accident scene. Take pictures before moving your bike.
- Photograph the scene from several angles and collect the opposing driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information.
- Collect the contact information of any witnesses. These individuals can be helpful in providing essential details to prove liability.
- Do not admit fault to the other driver, witnesses, or police. Let law enforcement, the insurance companies, and your attorney decide who’s at fault.
- Call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Cape Girardeau as soon as possible. It’s important to determine and protect your rights early on. Your attorney can also communicate with insurance companies, law enforcement, and the opposing party so that you don’t say the wrong thing or agree to something that might be more harmful than helpful.
How much is my Cape Girardeau motorcycle accident case worth?
This will vary with every case. The severity of your injuries is one of the most important factors. Available damages after a motorcycle accident can include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic losses have a proveable monetary value. These financial losses include medical bills, lost wages, and property damages. Non-economic losses are intangible losses without a measurable monetary value, such as pain and suffering. In Missouri, there’s no limit to how much compensation you can receive for non-economic losses.
Sometimes, a court will award punitive damages when you suffer substantial injuries caused by the other party’s willful and blatant disregard for your safety. For example, punitive damages might be awarded if you’re hit by an intoxicated or reckless driver. Missouri also doesn’t provide a limit for punitive damages.
If you’re uninsured at the time of the accident, you cannot claim non-economic losses against an at-fault insured driver. Missouri law provides exceptions if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or is convicted of involuntary manslaughter or second-degree assault related to the accident.
What if my family member died in a Cape Girardeau motorcycle accident?
While no amount of compensation can make up for your loss, you have the right to recover economic and non-economic losses if someone’s negligence results in a motorcycle accident that kills your loved one. Economic losses in a wrongful death case can include loss of income and burial expenses. Non-economic losses include loss of companionship, guidance, counsel, training, and support. Survivors are also eligible to recover non-economic losses the deceased could have claimed, such as the pain and suffering experienced before their death.
To file a wrongful death action, you must be the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased. If none of those relatives exists, a sibling or descendent of a sibling may file. If those individuals additionally don’t exist, the court can appoint a plaintiff ad litem or administrator of the estate.
Only one wrongful death action can be filed on behalf of an individual, but multiple eligible parties may file jointly to receive benefits. Cape Girardeau wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within three years of the date of the accident.
Can I still receive compensation if I’m partially to blame for the accident?
Missouri is a comparative fault state, meaning you can still recover damages even if you’re partially at fault for the accident. The court will diminish your award in proportion to your share of the blame. For example, if you are 30% at fault in a motorcycle accident, you can only collect 70% of your total damages.
At NST Law, we account for all contributing factors to minimize any diminishment of your compensation. We will take steps to secure all relevant evidence and speak with witnesses to the crash.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for my injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Cape Girardeau?
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit in Missouri is five years. While this may seem like sufficient time, it’s important to contact a motorcycle accident attorney promptly to allow the necessary time to conduct a thorough investigation and gather the required resources. Additionally, the sooner you file, the sooner you can receive the compensation needed to aid in your recovery.
Why should I hire a Cape Girardeau motorcycle accident attorney at NST Law?
Personal injury laws are complex, and you’ll need resources like expert witnesses and knowledge of deadlines to optimize your case outcome. Navigating the system by yourself could lead to forfeiture of all or a portion of your compensation.
Additionally, insurance adjusters seek to minimize the insurance company’s payout. They have no duty to look out for your interests, and they enjoy a significant advantage when you don’t have legal representation to protect your rights.
At NST law, we have over 32 years of experience fighting passionately to receive fair compensation for our clients. We attribute our success to our extensive network, our creativity, and our willingness to retain experts and leverage multiple resources. Our results are a direct reflection of our commitment to each client:
- $6.3M on behalf of a 65-year-old man killed in a multi-vehicle truck accident
- $3M for a husband and wife that suffered traumatic injuries after a tractor-trailer accident
- $1M for our client who suffered significant injuries in a motorcycle accident when another driver turned in front of him
We take pride in the communities we serve, and we’re passionate about helping others in and out of the courtroom. We want to help you, too. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a motorcycle crash in Cape Girardeau, contact us right away for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Cape Girardeau Motorcycle Accidents
After an accident, it’s normal to have many questions. We provide a transparent environment where you can ask questions and voice concerns and we will get you the answers you need to make informed decisions about your future.
Missouri law requires accident victims to report all accidents resulting in death, injury, or damage of $500 or more to the local police as soon as “reasonably” possible. This report will also be needed by the insurance company and your motorcycle accident attorney.
You should never speak directly with the opposing driver’s insurance company because your statements could be used against you. Always direct them to speak with your attorney. Never admit fault, agree to a settlement, or sign any documents without your attorney’s approval.
NST Law works for you on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront. In the unlikely event we fail to obtain compensation for you, you will not be responsible to pay us any fees. We only get paid if you win.
Cape Girardeau motorcycle drivers are required to carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. The required minimum coverage limits are as follows:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property
The law also requires Missouri drivers, including motorcyclists, to carry uninsured motorist coverage with the following coverage at a minimum:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
These coverage limits are minimums, and we advise you to purchase as much insurance as you can afford. The minimal amounts required by law may fall short of providing all the coverage you need in an accident.
As of August 2020, motorcyclists over the age of 26 are not required to wear helmets on Missouri highways. However, the City of Cape Girardeau still requires motorcyclists to wear helmets on city streets.
Motorcyclists who wear helmets have a 42% lower chance of death and a 69% lower chance of serious injury during an accident. If you’re not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, this could potentially reduce your compensation under Missouri’s comparative negligence law.
Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist rides on the white line in the middle of a multi-lane road. There’s no city ordinance or state law that prohibits it. However, it’s dangerous, and could potentially reduce your compensation under Missouri’s comparative negligence law in the event of an accident.
The length of time to receive compensation varies. It can take several weeks to months to investigate the accident, interview witnesses and experts, and negotiate a settlement. If the case goes to court, the process can take longer. Fortunately, most cases settle outside of court.