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Motorcycle Accidents

As a motorcyclist, you understand the risks of driving on the road. Other drivers who fail to follow safety rules are putting motorcyclists in jeopardy of severe personal injuries. Because motorcycles lack the structural protection of a car or truck, a minor accident can lead to devastating damage such as head or spinal injuries.

It can be an uphill battle talking to insurance companies about a motorcycle accident. Insurance adjusters might try to paint you as reckless to minimize their payout. It’s crucial you don’t settle for anything less than what covers your emotional and physical damages. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important you contact a personal injury attorney.

Lawyer for Motorcycle Accidents in Polk County, Iowa

You understand the dangers associated with motorcycling. However, it doesn’t matter how safe of a rider you are if other drivers are at fault. If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important you gain strong legal representation. You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your damages.

Motorcycle accidents can induce serious injuries with long-term side effects. Many people involved in motorcycle accidents even suffer from psychological damage such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There’s no reason for you to suffer emotionally and mentally because of another person’s negligence. Call (515) 279-9700 to schedule a case consultation. Our attorneys can assess your case to see if you’re eligible for a settlement. 

You can contact us at (515) 279-9700 to speak to an attorney today. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people injured by motorcycle accidents throughout the Polk County area including Ankeny, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines and Alleman. 

Overview of Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa

Common Causes of a Motorcycle Accident

There’s a stigma around motorcycles that they are inherently unsafe. However, it’s reported that most motorcycle accidents are induced by other vehicles.  The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 75 percent of all motorcycle accidents involved another motor vehicle. Not only this, but 50 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents were because the motorcyclist was struck by a car. 

Listed below are some common causes of motorcycle accidents. 

  • Speeding;
  • Not using traffic signals;
  • Distracted driving such as texting or talking on the phone;
  • Weaving in and out of lanes;
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road;
  • Tailgating or following other cars too closely;
  • Unexpected hazards;
  • Constant stopping;
  • Faulty vehicle equipment;
  • Road hazards such as potholes;
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Inclement weather;
  • Road rage or reckless driving; or
  • Not following traffic signs or lights

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Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycles are exciting to own, but do not withstand accidents very well. Since motorcycles are significantly smaller than other vehicles they tend to retain more damage. In addition, the lack of protection to the rider could result in grave injuries.

In 2016, Iowa’s Department of Transportation (DOT) collected statistics from motorcycle accidents in the state. Listed below is the data composed from Iowa DOT.

  • 1,049 motorcycles were involved in an accident;
  • 1,077 people were injured as a result of a motorcycle accident;
  • The total crash rate for a motorcycle in Iowa was 55 out of 100;
  • 58 crashes resulted in the death of another person;
  • 60 people were killed because of a motorcycle accident

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The Cost of a Motorcycle Accident

You probably have an idea of how costly a motorcycle accident can be. A motorcycle is a much smaller motor vehicle than most, so it usually sustains more damage than a standard vehicle. This especially applies to motorcycles who have been hit in the front since they could have issues with the engine, headlights and other important aspects of the vehicle.

A motorcycle accident could also lead to serious injuries. Many motorcyclists are thrown from their bikes after an accident. Even with protective gear you could be seriously injured. These injuries could lead to substantial medical bills that are out of your budget. 

This is why it’s crucial you obtain legal representation. An attorney can file a claim seeking damages for you. The damages will reflect any losses you experienced because of the accident. If your case is successful, the court will grant you a settlement to cover all your damages. This means you could be compensated for any medical bills, motorcycle repairs or emotional costs.

Some damages you may recover include: 

  • Medical costs;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future earnings;
  • Motorcycle replacement or repair;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Emotional pain and suffering;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life; and
  • Loss of consortium

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Who’s Liable in a Motorcycle Accident in Iowa?

You must prove the other driver is liable if you wish to receive compensation for your injuries You can do this by filing a claim for damages, though it’s important you file it quickly. The statute of limitations for liability cases runs out after only two years.

The court will grant you a monetary settlement if your case is successful. However, you must prove the other driver’s negligence is what caused the accident. Negligence is when a person acted recklessly or omitted action a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation. 

For example, a reasonable person would never leave a child in a hot car during the day. A reasonable person understands there’s a considerable risk of death or injury when you leave a child in a hot unattended car. Choosing to leave the child alone in the car with such knowledge would be considered negligent in court.  

Hiring an attorney can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a settlement. Your attorney will have to present evidence as to why the other driver was negligent. They can subpoena witnesses to the accident, file motions to obtain important evidence, and litigate for you in court.  

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Additional Resources 

Iowa Motorcycle Crash History – Visit the official website of Iowa’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to gain access to their motorcycle accident data. Access the statutes to learn about motorcycle accidents dating all the way back from 1960.

How to Report an Accident – Visit the official website of the Iowa’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to learn more about how to report an accident. Access the site to download their accident report form, how to get a copy of the police report and the appropriate contact information. 

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Lawyer for Motorcycle Accidents in West Des Moines, Iowa

If you or someone you know has been injured from a recent motorcycle accident, it’s crucial you contact a skilled personal injury attorney. Depending on the circumstances, you could be eligible for compensation due to your damages for your injuries and other damages.   

Make the right decision by calling McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. at (515) 279-9700. You can visit us at our office in West Des Moines, but we practice throughout the Dallas and Polk County area. Some of these communities include De Soto, Ankeny, Polk City, and Woodward.