Gillette Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
As a biker, you’re already at a disadvantage on the road. Since you’re not enclosed in a steel frame like people in a car or truck are, normal road hazards could mean life or death to you. And yet, many drivers ignore the danger that they present to motorcycles, and drive too fast or too close to you. If you were hit by a motorist while operating your motorcycle, you deserve compensation for your injuries, damage to your ride, and future expenses. Call Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., today at (307) 257-7800 to discuss your options in a free consultation.
Riding a motorcycle in Campbell County is a great way to relax and enjoy the road. There are certain traffic laws in Wyoming, however, that must be obeyed. Violating these laws not only puts you in danger, but can also make you at least partially responsible for any accidents that occur as a result.
Some basic motorcycle traffic laws in Wyoming include:
- Riders under 18 must wear protective headgear while riding a motorcycle.
- Motorcycles are allowed full use of traffic lanes, but cannot overtake or pass another vehicle in the same lane.
- Motorcycles cannot be driven between lanes of traffic or rows of vehicles. In other words: lane-splitting is not allowed in Wyoming.
- Motorcycles cannot travel more than two abreast in one lane of traffic.
One of the most common dangers that other drivers present to motorcyclists is tailgating: driving too close to the back of the motorcycle. Many bikers slow down naturally without using their brakes, and since the brake lights are not activated, tailgating drivers may not have time to respond and can easily slam into the back of the motorcycle as a result.
Another problem bikers face is visibility. Drivers need to watch for motorcycles in lanes beside and behind them, especially when a motorcycle is passing. Since motorcycles are smaller, they can be difficult to spot - especially if a driver is distracted. This is likely to end in a collision.
Negligence and liability are the key concepts in any civil case, like a motorcycle crash claim. "Negligence" refers to actions that a reasonable person would not take. "Liability" is when someone is held financially responsible by law. For example, a man driving above the speed limit is negligent, since a reasonable person should obey traffic laws. If that speeding causes an accident, the man could be held liable for what happened.
This is very important to understand for motorcycle accidents in Wyoming, because our state uses a "modified comparative fault" system for determining damages in a lawsuit. If you contributed to the accident, it diminishes how much money you can be awarded. If a jury awards you $100,000 in a lawsuit, but you are found to have been 30% at fault for causing the accident, then you will only receive $70,000. In Wyoming, if you were 50% or more at fault for the accident, you cannot recover any damages in a civil case. That’s why talking to a Wyoming motorcycle accident attorney right away is so important.
Because of their lack of protection, motorcyclists tend to suffer more catastrophic injuries than occupants in larger, heavier vehicles when involved in accidents. Common injures to motorcyclists include:
- Rib, pelvis, and skull factures
- Road rash and lacerations, potential degloving injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crushed limbs, often requiring amputation
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
These injuries often require exhaustive medical attention over an extended period of time, including rehabilitation and follow-up surgery. If you were injured in a crash, while operating a motorcycle or as a passenger on a motorcycle, you should fully document your injuries and hold onto all medical records. It is crucial that you have documentation and proof that the doctor’s treatment recommendations were carried out in full. Although many accident victims need continuing care, in some cases victims can make a full or nearly complete recovery.
In some instances, the negligence of a driver leads to the wrongful death of a motorcyclist. In these tragic situations, the family of the biker can pursue legal action against the parties responsible for the death of their loved one. Family members are entitled to seek compensation, including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Amounts the deceased would have earned as income
- For the loss of the deceased’s support and fellowship
Losing a loved one in an accident is one of the most difficult and trying experiences in a person’s life. You and your family deserve to have the people responsible for your pain and suffering to be held accountable.
After a motorcycle accident, before talking to any insurance company or signing anything, talk to a Gillette auto accident lawyer at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. Call today at (307) 257-7800 and let us fight to make sure you are compensated fairly.
- How Motorcyclists Can Recover Compensation After a Hit-and-Run
- What Makes a Motorcycle Accident So Deadly?
- Motorcycle Safety - Wyoming Department of Transportation
- Wyoming Rules of the Road
- Motorcycle Safety - NHTSA
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