Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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On June 16, 2022, a motorcyclist tragically collided with a pedestrian, killing them both. The accident occurred on Warner Road just east of U.S. Highway 52 in St. Paul according to a TwinCities.com report. Less than two weeks later, the publication reported another St. Paul motorcycle fatality at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and L’Orient Street on June 28, 2022.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported that motorcycle accidents in 2020 resulted in 64 fatalities and 926 injuries. These accidents are preventable, and the personal injury attorneys at Milavetz Injury Law hold those accountable who cause accidents through negligence.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Minnesota
Motorcycle riders face a higher risk of experiencing a crash due to their narrow profile. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 42 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle occurred when the other vehicle was turning left and the motorcycle was going straight. This occurs because the other driver fails to see the motorcyclist.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has identified the following additional factors that contribute to motorcycle accidents:
- Careless, negligent, or erratic driving
- Failure to stay in lane
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Improper turn
- Following too closely
- Distracted driving
- Obstructed vision
- Traffic congestion
- Alcohol impairment
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle riders are more likely than drivers to suffer severe, disabling injuries or death in crashes due to a motorcycle’s lack of crash protection. Riders can drastically reduce their injury risk by wearing a full-face DOT-approved motorcycle helmet and protective clothing designed for motorcycle riders.
Injuries that can occur as a result of a motorcycle crash include but are not limited to the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Road rash
How much is my motorcycle accident case worth?
Every motorcycle crash is unique. The most important factor in determining the value of a case is the extent of your injuries. Permanently disabling injuries tend to result in higher compensation. Compensation after a motorcycle accident may include the following:
Punitive damages may also be awarded as a punishment against defendants whose conduct demonstrated a blatant disregard for the rights of others, such as in the case of drunk drivers.
Who is liable for my motorcycle accident injuries?
Liability in motorcycle accidents lies with the negligent party. Negligence occurs when any party fails to exercise reasonable care.
Potentially liable parties include:
- Other drivers who cause or contribute to the accident
- The City of St. Paul when failure to properly maintain city property, such as a roadway, causes an accident
- Motorcycle parts manufacturers when defective parts cause or contribute to an accident
- Premises owners whose failure to maintain safe premises cause or contribute to a crash
- Vehicle owners, including trucking companies, when the negligent driver is not the owner of the vehicle
Compensation is typically paid by the insurance company of the driver or other responsible party. Multiple parties can be liable for the same accident.
What if I am partly at fault for the accident?
You can receive compensation for an accident even if you were partly at fault as long as your share of fault does not exceed 50 percent. However, compensation will be diminished proportionately.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in St. Paul
The following steps should be undertaken after a St. Paul motorcycle accident:
- Call 911 to file a police report and dispatch an ambulance.
- Take detailed pictures and videos showing the other vehicle, your motorcycle, and the surrounding scene.
- Write down the details of the accident while they are fresh in your mind.
- Collect the names and contact information of witnesses.
- Exchange insurance information with the other party
Be careful not to discuss the accident, and do not, under any circumstances, admit fault.
When should I contact a St. Paul motorcycle accident attorney?
An experienced personal injury attorney will need sufficient time to investigate, interview witnesses, and request medical records. The statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims in Minnesota vary according to factors such as the age of the victim, the cause of injury, and the circumstances surrounding the conduct of the at-fault party.
For this reason, it is crucial to involve an attorney as early as possible.
How much does it cost to hire a St. Paul motorcycle accident attorney?
The attorneys at Milavetz Injury Law operate on a contingency-fee basis for the benefit of our clients. This means we get paid only after we recover compensation for you. We will be fully transparent about our fees during your initial consultation.
Do I need a Minnesota personal injury attorney to help me with my motorcycle accident case?
Attempting to navigate the legal system without legal representation places you at a severe disadvantage. Motorcycle accident cases require significant resources and a thorough understanding of personal injury law.
Why should I choose Milavetz Injury Law?
The attorneys at Milavetz Law stand up to large companies on behalf of everyday people. We believe St. Paul residents deserve a level playing field when seeking compensation from insurance companies with expensive lawyers. We have been advocating for injury victims for nearly 60 years, since establishing our firm in 1963.
In that time, we have earned several prestigious honors, including Super Lawyers and Minnesota Attorneys of the Year. We are proud of our record because it represents families and injury victims who we were able to help during their times of need.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, time is of the essence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are answers to some of the questions we frequently receive.
Is lane-splitting legal in Minnesota?
Lane-splitting is illegal in Minnesota, except for on-duty law enforcement.
What should I do if the insurance company contacts me?
Always direct the insurance company to your attorney. Avoid discussions with the insurance company because anything you say could be used against you. Most importantly, never sign documents from the insurance company without a lawyer present.
How long will it take to receive compensation?
The amount of time it takes to receive compensation depends on the insurance company’s cooperation, whether the case settles or goes to court, and the length of time it takes for the extent of your injuries to become known. Cases that settle generally result in the plaintiff recovering compensation more quickly than those whose cases go to trial.
What are the Minnesota motorcycle helmet laws?
Minnesota §169.974 requires motorcyclists to wear DOT-approved helmets if they are under 18 years of age. Licensed motorcyclists 18 and over are not required to wear a helmet. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by 69 percent and the risk of death by 37 percent. We strongly encourage all motorcycle riders to wear helmets.