The Department of Transportation reports that over 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2016 in the United States, but fatalities are only part of the picture. When a car, a bus, or a truck crashes into a motorcycle, if the cyclist survives, his or her injuries may be life-changing. This is where a motorcycle accident attorney in Post Falls can help.
The motorcyclists who survive traffic collisions often suffer traumatic brain injuries, severe spinal cord injuries, multiple bone fractures, lacerations, and paralysis. In fact, many of the injuries suffered by motorcyclists are permanently disabling.
Idaho offers motorcycling enthusiasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and thousands in this state enjoy riding. But if you’re a motorcyclist in Idaho, and if you’re injured by a negligent driver, what are your rights?
WHAT IS TBI AND WHY ARE MOTORCYCLISTS AT RISK FOR IT?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when someone sustains a jolt or a blow to the head that causes the brain to “bounce” against the skull.
The traumatic brain injuries that motorcyclists sustain in traffic collisions may range from mild concussions to long-term, debilitating injuries. A great deal depends on the force and angle of impact.
These are the symptoms of a mild brain injury: confusion and disorientation; headaches, vomiting, and nausea; and drowsiness, fatigue, and sleep disorders. A more severe brain injury’s symptoms may also include slurred speech, convulsions, and numbness in the toes and fingers.
WHY IS A MEDICAL EXAM IMPERATIVE AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
Motorcyclists should understand that the signs of a traumatic brain injury may not always appear right away. Immediately after a motorcycle collision, you may feel great, but the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can emerge weeks or even months later.
After any motorcycling accident, see your doctor at once and have a comprehensive medical examination. Even if you feel spectacular, for your own health and peace of mind, you must have a medical exam within 24 hours after any motorcycle collision.
Any blow or jolt to the head may cause a traumatic brain injury, and even the finest helmet can’t offer full protection in a high-speed crash. Helmets are not required for adult motorcyclists in Idaho, but helmets do save lives, and in some cases, they prevent the most serious head injuries.
WHY IS IT IMPERATIVE TO WEAR A HELMET WHEN MOTORCYCLING?
However – and even though Idaho does not require helmets for adult motorcyclists – if you are not wearing a helmet when you sustain a brain injury on a motorcycle, you may be considered at least partially responsible for your own injury, and you might even be denied compensation.
A helmet doesn’t guarantee that you will not sustain a brain injury, but motorcycle riders who wear helmets sustain far fewer traumatic brain injuries in motorcycle crashes than those who don’t. A helmet is essential safety gear for every motorcyclist. Wear one.
WHAT OTHER SAFETY MEASURES SHOULD MOTORCYCLISTS TAKE?
Experienced motorcyclists already take these basic safety measures:
1. Watch for motorists who are making blind turns.
2. Avoid a vehicle’s blind spots.
3. Keep a substantial space between your motorcycle and the closest vehicle.
4. If a driver is behaving erratically, do not let that driver get behind you.
5. Be sure – always – that the lights and brakes on a motorcycle work properly.
6. Always wear boots, a jacket, a helmet, and gloves when you’re motorcycling.
IF YOU SUFFER A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY, WHAT MAY BE REQUIRED?
The most catastrophic brain injuries require life-long treatment and care. Motor skills, memory, hearing, vision, emotions, and sleep patterns can all be negatively affected. Extensive therapy, lengthy rehabilitation, and a number of surgical procedures may be necessary over time.
If you are a motorcyclist and you are injured by another motorist’s negligent driving in this state, you are entitled by law to complete compensation for your medical bills, lost income, personal pain and suffering, and all other injury-related losses and damages.
If you will require a lifetime of medical treatment for a severe traumatic brain injury, you’ll need the maximum available compensation. In Idaho, you must be represented by a Post Falls personal injury attorney who knows how to fight for and win the compensation you will need.
Every motorcycling accident is different, but the worst motorcycle collisions can become quite complicated legally. Motorcycle accidents usually leave little physical evidence. Sometimes, there are no witnesses. Even a written police report can be incomplete or in error.
AFTER A MOTORCYCLE COLLISION, WHAT STEPS SHOULD YOU TAKE?
A qualified Idaho motorcycle injury lawyer will work with your own doctor and with other medical authorities to assess your medical needs and to advocate for the compensation that will make possible the medical treatment you need after a motorcycle collision.
After a motorcycle accident, if you are able, call 911 immediately to summon medical assistance and the police. Also, if you’re able, take photos, or have someone take photos for you.
Exchange personal and insurance contact information with the other driver or drivers and be sure to ask the police how and when you can obtain a copy of the written accident report.
HOW CAN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAW FIRM HELP YOU?
If you’re injured by a negligent motorist in Idaho while you are on a motorcycle, an experienced Post Falls personal injury attorney can explain your options, protect your legal rights, and advocate aggressively for the compensation and the justice that you need and deserve.
Your attorney will promptly investigate to find out how you were hurt and who should be held liable. If another driver’s negligence is the reason why you’ve been injured, your attorney will hold that driver accountable for your medical expenses, lost wages, and related damages.
Your accident lawyer will focus on the facts and the truth in your case. Most personal injury cases in Idaho are settled out-of-court, and most injured motorcyclists don’t even have to make a courtroom appearance.
WHAT ARE YOUR HIGHEST PRIORITIES?
However, if no acceptable settlement is offered, your attorney may recommend taking your case to trial and asking a jury to award you the compensation you need.
Nothing is a higher priority than your health and your future. If a negligent motorist injures you, get the medical help you need, and then get the legal help that you need. If you’ve been injured by negligence, a good lawyer’s help is your right, and your future could depend on it.