St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

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St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

After any motor vehicle accident in St. Louis, an injured rider is likely to face expensive financial problems and wonder what they can do to recover these losses. When another driver is responsible for their damages, the injured person has the right to seek compensation. Motorcycle accidents usually result in severe injuries and expensive economic damages, and a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney is a valuable resource for anyone recovering from such an accident.

Motorcycle accidents can cause devastating injuries and often result in a loss of life for riders. While many believe that motorcycle accidents predominantly occur on large highways or in poor weather, this is actually not the case. Low-speed motorcycle accidents frequently result in life-altering injuries, and crashes are more frequent during the summer months and in fair weather. If you have been in a motorcycle wreck, your medical bills can quickly add up, and you may be uncertain about how to get your life back to normal. For many who have been injured in motorcycle accidents, the best chance at receiving compensation for your personal injury damages is with the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO.

At The Cagle Law Firm, our St. Louis motorcycle accident attorneys realize how difficult this situation can be, and we know how to help you and your family seek the necessary compensation so that you can move on with your life.

What Causes Most Motorcycle Accidents?

You might have a very clear idea of what happened during your accident. However, your lawyer will have to carefully investigate and gather all available evidence to build a strong and convincing case about why you should be awarded damages from the negligent party. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer will study the police report, photographs, medical records, and any accident reconstruction data.

While no two accidents are the same, some of the most common motorcycle wrecks involving other motorists that a personal injury lawyer sees include:

  • Another driver distracted by their passengers, phone, or even food. Distracted driving is one of the most commonly cited causes of all vehicle accidents in the St. Louis area, and motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to inattentive drivers. Your attorney can help gather evidence like cell phone data and traffic camera recordings to help you prove fault for this type of crash.
  • An intoxicated driver of another vehicle. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal, carrying penalties including fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. If a drunk driver causes an accident, they may also face liability for the victim’s damages, and if they cause severe bodily injury or death, it could escalate their DUI charge to felony status.
  • Failure to yield or stop when turning or at an intersection resulting in a T-bone car crash involving a motorcycle. Traffic violations within intersections are extremely hazardous to motorcyclists. Traffic camera footage is often crucial for proving liability for these types of accidents. Always contact law enforcement if you are in a crash. The incident report will be initial piece of evidence for you and your legal team.
  • Potholes and poorly maintained roadways. It’s possible to have grounds for legal recourse against the government entity responsible for road maintenance. However, suing any government entity is very different from suing another private party, and the claimant faces strict procedural rules and limited recovery.
  • Debris negligently left on the road. Injuries from road debris can lead to civil suits, but the injured rider will need to identify the party responsible for leaving the debris on the road.
  • Poor weather. Drivers are expected to use additional caution during inclement weather. It’s possible for single-vehicle accidents to occur from bad weather, but it is also possible for negligence of another driver to become especially dangerous during any type of severe weather. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to the negligent driving of others during inclement weather due to reduced visibility.
  • Speeding or reckless driving on behalf of the other party. Speeding increases not only the chance of an accident but also the severity of any resulting damages. When any driver or motorcyclist speeds excessively, they can face a citation of reckless driving, and this is especially likely if they cause an accident due to speeding. Speeding is a leading contributing factor to motorcycle accident fatalities in Missouri.
  • Mechanical failures. It’s possible for a defective part in a motorcycle to cause a serious accident, and the manufacturer could face responsibility for the resulting damages under product liability law. If a mechanic performs faulty maintenance, they may face liability for the accident. Your attorney can help determine your most viable options for legal recourse when a mechanical failure of any kind is to blame for your crash.

Depending on how your recent motorcycle accident happened, a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney is the ideal resource to consult to determine your best recovery options. A good attorney will help their client secure various types of evidence to firmly establish liability for their accident. Once you prove fault, the next step of your case is to prove the full extent of the harm the at-fault driver caused and claim compensation for these damages.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

A motorcycle wreck at virtually any speed or condition can be serious for motorcycle riders. Your bike doesn’t have the same structure, restraints, or impact-absorbing qualities as a passenger car. There are thousands of motorcycle accidents every year, with many resulting in death or horrific injuries. The injuries caused by a motorcycle accident can take months or years to heal and can affect you for the rest of your life.

Of the many different types of injuries that bikers face, some of the most common include:

Traumatic brain injuries are common in motorbike accidents and can greatly impair a person for life. Wearing a helmet is still the best preventative measure for a biker to reduce the likelihood of brain damage. However, in 2020 Missouri repealed the mandated motorcycle helmet law. The newer law does not require riders to wear helmets as long as they are over the age of 26, and have proof of medical insurance and motorcycle insurance. There is also currently no mandated motorcycle helmet law in Illinois. As lawyers representing many motorcycle accident victims in both states, we understand how the use of helmets can reduce the chances of permanent brain and neck damage in the event of a crash. While we always strongly advise bikers to wear a helmet as a matter of safety, you can still recover damages whether you were wearing one at the time of your accident.

Victims of motorcycle accidents tend to suffer worse injuries than victims of enclosed passenger vehicle accidents. A helmet only provides limited protection from head injuries and may mitigate a head injury but may not prevent one entirely. Additionally, the motorcycle itself does not provide much physical protection from crash impact forces, and the rider is often ejected or thrown from their bike in a crash.

The motorcyclist could suffer many severe injuries not only from the initial impact of the other vehicle but also from the secondary impact of hitting the ground. The risk of catastrophic or fatal injuries is much greater for motorcycle accidents than most other vehicle accidents, and it is likely for a victim to suffer multiple serious injuries all at once. Some of these injuries may result in long-term or permanent medical complications that diminish their ability to work and live independently.

Why You Need a St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

After a motorcycle crash, you need to focus on your physical recovery. The physical recovery process is extremely challenging in of itself. If you are attempting to file a claim and seek financial compensation on your own while going through your physical recovery, it is just overwhelming. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can help in every aspect of dealing with gathering medical records, police reports, and accident investigations. Most importantly the attorney deals with the insurance companies. Once you do not have to worry about gathering endless documentation and negotiating with insurance adjusters, you can focus on your medical treatment, family and trying to return to something normal. Motorcycle crash cases can be complex simply due to the severity of the injuries. Handling motorcycle crash claims are often different than car accidents, so you want a winning, experienced lawyer to pursue your claim and lawsuit.

Successfully recovering what you need from the liable party typically requires proving that the other party was negligent, and their negligence directly caused your injuries. This may seem straightforward, but insurance companies may attempt to argue liability (fault) and then downgrade your injuries. Insurance companies have their own experienced adjusters and lawyers working to achieve this. Because the insurance carriers are amply represented, it’s crucial that you have a lawyer who knows how to advocate for your benefit successfully.

The Cagle Law Firm has decades of experience building strong cases for our clients and a long history of obtaining favorable results on their behalf. When you choose our firm to represent you, we will immediately begin helping you gather the evidence and documentation you need to support your claim, and our goal is to maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under Missouri law.

Claiming Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident

Proving fault for your recent motorcycle accident is just the first step of your recovery process. In civil cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. This means that you must prove the motorcycle accident was another party’s fault. The other driver does not have to prove they did not. As the plaintiff, you also must prove of damages are due to the other party’s negligence. Your St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney will help build the foundation of your case with various forms of evidence while helping you pursue compensation for your losses. Recovering your damages will typically begin with an auto insurance claim, followed by a personal injury suit when an insurance carrier is unwilling to fully compensate you for your losses.

While it is technically possible for a motorcycle accident victim to pursue recovery on their own, they are more likely to succeed with their legal efforts when they have experienced legal counsel on their side. The team at The Cagle Law Firm approaches every case with the goal of helping our client maximize their recovery to the fullest extent possible under state law. We can help you recover compensation for many things after your accident, including:

  • Medical bills. Many motorcycle accidents result in severe traumatic injuries that require immediate emergency treatment. The defendant who caused your accident is liable for your hospital bills and all other immediate medical treatment costs following the accident. The “defendant” is named, but in reality, the case is more about the insurance carrier..
  • Medication and ongoing physical therapy. Victims of motorcycle accidents often face long recovery times and need ongoing care to reach maximum medical improvement. The defendant who caused your injury is not only liable for all your immediate medical expenses but can also be held liable for future medical treatment costs related to your injuries.
  • Lost wages. If you cannot work while you recover from your injuries, the defendant may be liable for the income you are unable to earn during this time. If you were forced to use vacation time or accrued paid time off in the aftermath of your accident, you can claim the value of this as well.
  • Future lost wages. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accident victims are unable to work and earn income due to permanent disabilities from their injuries. If this applies to your situation and you are unable to return to work in the future, or if you are only able to accept lower-paying work, the party who was the cause of your accident is liable for your diminished future earning power.
  • Personal trauma, pain, and suffering. State law allows a plaintiff in a personal injury claim to seek as much pain and suffering compensation as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the injuries they endured because of a defendant’s actions. There is no cap on the amount they can claim in a motorcycle accident case, so this could be a sizeable portion of their case award if they suffered serious injuries.

The average motorcycle accident victim may be able to accurately assess their immediate economic damages through totaling their medical bills, but they are likely to struggle when it comes to calculating their projected future losses and determining fair pain and suffering compensation to include with their claim. It often takes the expertise of an attorney to gather the documentation and experts for assessing future medical needs and damages. A St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side to ensure that you maximize your final case award.

Dealing With Insurance Carriers in St. Louis

Your first option for recovering from any vehicle accident in St. Louis is to file an auto insurance claim against the driver who caused your accident. State law mandates every driver to have car insurance that meets basic coverage requirements:

  • An individual policy must include at least $25,000 to cover bodily injuries to a single victim in an accident the policyholder caused.
  • The policy must extend bodily injury liability coverage to at least $50,000 for injuries to multiple people in the same accident.
  • A policy must allow for at least $25,000 in liability coverage for property damage.

These coverage amounts may be enough to compensate the victim of a minor injury accident, but if the victim suffered severe injuries, then an auto insurance claim is likely to be just the first step in their recovery process.

Your St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney can help file your insurance claim and address any problems you encounter with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. While the expectation is that the insurance company will process your claim in good faith, the insurance adjuster is in a position to take advantage of an injured claimant. This is far less likely to occur if the claimant has legal representation. The right legal representation prevents the bully tactic that often evolves between yourself and the insurance adjuster as you recover. There is no reason to complicate your physical recovery with frequent conversations with an adjuster to argue your injuries nor should you have to be the one to collect all of your medical records and bills for the insurance company. Seriously injured folks have all they can do to recover without having a second job of negotiating with and meeting insurance adjuster needs.

Filing Your Personal Injury Claim for a Motorcycle Accident in St. Louis

When an insurance company does not offer maximum compensation to an injured claimant and/or engages in any bad faith tactics to limit their financial exposure for an accident, a personal injury lawsuit is the optimal legal vehicle the claimant can use to recover appropriate compensation for their damages. When an insurance company has denied or devalued your claim, the next step is a lawsuit. Again, you will want to involve an experienced attorney prior to make sure this is done properly.

Success with your personal injury claim or lawsuit hinges on your ability to prove that the defendant directly caused or contributed to the cause of your claimed damages. If they caused your motorcycle accident through negligence, you must prove they held a duty of care that they breached, and that this breach of duty to operate a motor vehicle in a reasonable manner to prevent injury to others directly resulted in your claimed damages.

If you have been harmed by illegal misconduct, the defendant may likely face criminal prosecution from the state, and their criminal trial will unfold separately from your civil suit against them. However, their criminal case could influence your recovery. For example, the judge handling their sentencing may award you restitution as part of the defendant’s sentence. In a civil suit, the judge or jury may add punitive damages to a plaintiff’s case award.

Your St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney will help gather the evidence you may need to prove liability for your damages in your personal injury suit. You must show how the defendant breached their duty of care, show the full extent of the resulting damages, and establish causation between your claimed damages and the defendant’s actions, meaning the defendant is solely responsible for your losses and they did not occur from any other cause.

The majority of the personal injury claims filed in St. Louis each year do not go to trial and are instead resolved through private settlement. The settlement process allows the parties involved to have more influence over the final outcome of the case as long as they are willing to compromise on mutually acceptable terms. During settlement, the parties and their respective attorneys meet in private to negotiate their settlement terms.

If settlement is not an option or if the parties cannot negotiate terms, the case will need to be resolved in litigation. This can be more time-consuming, and expensive, and the judge or jury overseeing the case has the final say on the outcome, the defendant’s liability, and the compensation owed to the plaintiff. Again, each case is unique and dependent on the facts of the crash, medical treatment and coverage. Each case does not always follow the same course of action. An experienced attorney weighs all of the options and pursues a claim or lawsuit best suited for your case.

Understanding Comparative Fault in Personal Injury Cases

It’s important to note that if a plaintiff in any personal injury case bears partial liability for causing the damages cited in the claim, their shared fault will diminish their recovery. Missouri upholds a pure comparative fault statute that requires fault in a civil suit to be divided among all liable parties respective to their levels of liability. It’s possible for fault to be on more than one defendant as well as upon the plaintiff.

When a plaintiff bears partial liability for their personal injury, the court may assign a fault percentage based on the severity of their contribution to the incident. For example, a plaintiff may incur 10% fault, and the defendant will be 90% at fault. This means the plaintiff loses 10% of their case award to reflect their comparative liability. Under the pure comparative fault rule, there is no fault threshold at which the plaintiff loses the right to claim compensation.

If you have reason to worry that you are partially responsible for causing your motorcycle accident, your attorney can help gather evidence to support your side of the case and mitigate your fault percentage. The more compensation you are seeking from the defendant, the more severe your penalty for partial fault may be, so it is vital to do everything you can to minimize any comparative fault assigned to you.

Calculating Pain and Suffering in a St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Case

One of the most important aspects of your personal injury case in St. Louis will be the amount medical treatment you require. When calculating pain and suffering compensation from the defendant it is often directly related to the severity of your injury including medical treatment you have completed and possible future medical treatment.. The average person is likely to find it difficult to assign monetary value to intangible damages like physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma from a serious accident.

There is no specific calculation used for determining pain and suffering compensation in a motorcycle accident case. Your St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney can help determine a fair amount to seek from the defendant based on the overall severity of the harm you suffered. This includes both the physical pain from your injuries as well as your mental health issues following such a traumatic event.

The medical expense coverage you seek with your claim may cover the cost of all your hospital bills, surgical costs, rehabilitative care expenses, and mental health treatment you may require in the aftermath of your accident. The pain and suffering compensation you seek should reasonably reflect the severity of your condition, and a plaintiff who has suffered life-changing injuries is likely to recover more pain and suffering compensation than a plaintiff expected to fully recover.

Time Limits for Your Recovery Efforts in St. Louis

It is vital to take swift legal action in the aftermath of your motorcycle accident. Your legal recovery process will likely begin with an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver, and you should make every effort to begin your claim filing process as soon as you are able after your accident. You should hire an attorney to make this claim on your behalf so that you know it is done in a strategic way to maximize your compensation.

Do not make statements about your physical injury should an adjuster get you on the phone. You do not have an obligation to detail your physical injuries to an insurance adjuster in the first few weeks. Those seriously injured often cannot speak or are taking medications that impair their ability to recall. Seriously injured folks do not know the full extent of their injuries nor can they predict their recovery. So, do not discuss your injuries or treatment with an insurance company without consulting legal counsel first. Our attorneys will communicate and file the appropriate claim on your behalf while meeting deadlines.

When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, Missouri has five-year statute of limitations. You have five years from the date your personal injury occurred in which to file your claim. This may seem like ample time, but those that wait three to four years often lose key evidence and witnesses’ memories fade. Also, the longer one waits to begin the process, the more time insurance companies find reasons to delay, devalue, and deny.

Timely legal action helps preserve the reliability of witness testimony and the integrity of evidence you will need to succeed with your claim. The sooner you connect with a St. Louis motorcycle accident attorney, the easier it will be for you to meet all the procedural deadlines applicable to your recovery efforts.

What to Expect from Your St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorney

When you choose The Cagle Law Firm to represent you in a motorcycle accident case, you will have a dedicated legal advocate you can contact for updates and support as your case unfolds. We have years of professional experience handling a wide range of complex vehicle accident cases and know the various challenges you might encounter as you seek compensation for your damages.

During an initial consultation with our team, you can ask any questions you would like to help you gauge our firm’s suitability to handle your case. You should gauge whether or not this relationship will work based on communication and trust. Not every person is a good fit for every firm, but you should at least begin feeling that you can ask any questions and be honest. Once we agree to work together, we will immediately get to work building the foundation of your case and constructing a legal strategy aimed at maximum compensation for your damages. After we gather the evidence needed to prove liability, we can help prepare for your auto insurance claim.

Our firm has represented clients against all the major auto insurance carriers and we are familiar with the tactics they often use to avoid paying out maximum settlements. Our team works tirelessly on your behalf for your maximum compensation. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement for your claim, we can pursue further legal action against the company to ensure the full scope of your damages are property addressed. If you have concerns about the potential cost of hiring legal counsel, our firm accepts personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay no upfront or ongoing attorneys’ fees for our representation, and you will owe nothing if our team cannot secure a case award for you. Hiring a personal injury attorney is one of the few times that your financial interests and our performance are intertwined. We only make money when we win your case. For that reason, we only represent those seriously injured. When we do win your case, your contingency fee is a percentage of the total amount recovered.

Get Help from a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in St. Louis, MO

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you will need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer working for you. The Cagle Law Firm has several decades of experience in representing everyday people who have been injured due to the negligence of others. We know how to negotiate and fight with the insurance companies so that you receive much-needed compensation. We are also successful trial lawyers and will take your case to court when needed. As St. Louis motorcycle accident attorneys, we know how difficult an accident can be for you and your family, and we understand how to help you through this challenging process.

Don’t wait too long to get the help you need after a motorcycle accident. There’s only a limited amount of time to take legal action and receive the compensation you deserve. Contact The Cagle Law Firm toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681 for a free consultation today.

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