Injuries from motorcycle accidents can be life-threatening that require extensive medical treatment and extended periods of physical therapy. If you or someone you love has been hit and injured while riding a motorcycle - or was perhaps a passenger on a motorcycle that was involved in a collision - it is important to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham to assist with your potential lawsuit.
For nearly a hundred years, our law firm has been helping Wisconsin residents and our lawyers have recovered millions in compensation for our personal injury clients, including a $500,000 settlement obtained by attorney Mark Sewall, on behalf of a motorcyclist that sustained a leg injury after colliding with a vehicle.
Contact us today for a free consultation with a qualified motorcycle accident injury attorney.
For help and answers, call (877) 888-5201.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Wisconsin?
If you wish to pursue compensation for your losses, it is important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the accident has occurred. Wisconsin personal injury cases have a three-year filing deadline, meaning that in most instances, cases must be filed within three years from the date of when the accident occurred. If the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations is extended to the minor’s 20th birthday.
However, as each case is different, you may be required to file BEFORE this deadline or, under the "Discovery Rule" you may be eligible to file AFTER the deadline.
If you have any questions about the statute of limitations or are unsure if your time to file has passed, we recommend that you reach out to one of our motorcycle accident attorneys for advice.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Do I Have a Case if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
Yes, you still may have a case. Failure to wear a helmet is not a reason to avoid taking legal action, or at least to meet with a licensed injury attorney to discuss your options. You should contact us to discuss your individual situation.
Compensation Amounts for Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Victims
Survivors of motorcycle accidents can potentially suffer significant injuries that may leave them disabled or performing at a reduced capacity for the rest of their lives. This can not only effect the lifelong income potential of the victim, but also may incur ongoing medical treatment costs - especially as the victim ages.
Our attorneys believe that motorcycle accident victims should not have the burden of these financial losses. Some considerations that may be included in a claim are:
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Medical equipment
- Prescribed medication
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Funeral costs
Wisconsin law requires drivers to have at least $25,000 in coverage for injuries in an accident they cause. However, many Wisconsin drivers have higher insurance coverage. This would cover your medical costs and lost wages after an accident caused by a negligent driver.
Additionally, we will work towards getting you compensated for the emotional, non-monetary losses you have suffered, like:
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship
If you have been in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one because of the negligence of another driver, it is important that you seek legal help from a competent injury attorney. At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, and we understand how difficult the recovery process can be for motorcycle accident victims and their families.
Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
If you are a motorcycle accident victim and that injury was the result of negligence from another motorist, that negligence must be proven in your lawsuit.
In order to have a case against a negligent driver, our motorcycle accident lawyers in Appleton will need to prove four elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
This is to establish whether the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care. The at-fault party had an obligation to act in a reasonable manner to protect himself or herself - and others - from unnecessary harm.
Breach of Duty of Care
It must then be determined that the at-fault individual failed to uphold his or her legal obligation and caused you harm by not acting in a way that a reasonable person would have if he or she were in the same situation.
Our attorneys will need to prove that there is a direct link between the accident and your injuries. Medical documentation and police records are crucial for this, as they connect the accident to the injuries you suffered.
The final element of negligence our lawyers will need to prove is that the at-fault party’s acts of negligence caused you to suffer monetary damages, such as medical bills or lost wages. If the accident did not cause you to suffer damages, there is no case.
These four elements are crucial for proving negligence. If our Appleton motorcycle accident attorneys determine that the motorists acted negligently, we will work aggressively towards getting you the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Need some help? Call (877) 888-5201.
Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic experiences that can potentially leave victims with a lifetime of pain and suffering. While it is important that victims prioritize health and safety first and foremost, there are some steps that can be taken after experiencing a motorcycle accident to help protect your legal rights.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
It is crucial to your health and your potential personal injury case to get the medical attention you need. If you believe your injuries are minor, it is still important to see a doctor as some injuries may be difficult to see on the surface. Your doctor will also provide you with official documentation that links your injuries to the accident. This paper-trail may be evidence that is used to help validate your claim.
Collect Contact Information from All Involved Parties
It is important to gather information from everyone involved in the accident, from the driver to any passengers in the other vehicle. Some of the information you should collect includes:
- Name of driver(s)
- Name of passengers
- Names of insurance companies
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
Take Pictures of the Scene
Having pictures of an accident scene is important as memories can fade over time. If possible, try to take various pictures from every possible angle of the scene. The pictures should detail damaged vehicles, skid marks or other road debris, any visible injuries, and anything else that you believe is relevant to the accident.
NOTE - due to the severity of many motorcycle accidents, the rider is often unable to take photos however, family members or loved ones that attend the scene may be able to help with this important task.
Collect Witness Statements
Witnesses can provide detailed information of what they recalled happened at the time of the incident. If they allow, ask if you can record their statement. It is important to do this as soon as possible for an accurate account of what occurred, as important details may be forgotten weeks or months after the accident. Also, be sure to get their contact information in case your lawyer or insurance company needs to verify what was said.
File a Claim
Most accident cases are settled with insurance companies. However, it is important to know that insurance companies are a business. They might not be looking out for your best interest and may attempt to settle for less than what you should receive. This is why we recommend that you contact our legal team first. We know how insurers think and can take care of filing any and all insurance claims on your behalf.
Keep an Accident Journal
Keeping an updated journal of events may possibly be used as evidence in favor of your case. Accident journals should document any pain you have and how it changes day to day. The journal should also keep track of doctor’s appointments, physical therapy appointments and medications you take. Also, take note of the time missed from work and other inconveniences, such as daily activities that you can no longer participate in.
Keep Track of All Documents
Make sure to obtain a copy of all documents relating to the accident. This includes the police report, medical reports, prescriptions and important paperwork from insurance companies. These documents are useful pieces of evidence that may contribute to the success of your claim.
Seek Legal Assistance
An experienced Appleton motorcycle accident lawyer can guide you through the entire legal process. He or she will handle communication with insurance companies, involved parties, witnesses and police. He or she will understand the law and any limitations that may set you back from collecting compensation.
Contact one of our compassionate attorneys at Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham and we will be able to walk you through every step of the process. Ph: (877) 888-5201.
Types of Motorcycle Collisions
In 2016, there were a total of 2,250 motorcycle accidents on Wisconsin roads. In these accidents, 1,973 people were injured. Many motorcycle accidents occur because of the negligence of other motorists. Often, motorists simply do not look out for motorcycles. Some common types of accidents include:
- Collisions with vehicle doors – These accidents occur when a motorcycle collides with an open car door, and are typically in areas that have parallel parked cars adjacent to a road with steady traffic flow. When a driver neglects to check if any vehicles are approaching before opening his or her door, this type of accident can occur.
- Left-turn crashes – These accidents often occur in interactions when a motorist attempts to make a left turn and hits a motorcycle who has the right-of-way. If drivers are not paying attention or they misjudge the speed of the approaching motorcycle, these crashes are much more likely.
- Lane-change crashes – Motorcycles are difficult to see, especially when they are hidden in a blind spot. These types of accidents occur when drivers fail to look for motorcycles before changing lanes.
- Rear-end crashes – These types of accidents often occur when a motorcyclist is stopped at a red light or stop sign and a motorist fails to stop before hitting the rider from behind.
Our law firm has helped many motorcycle accident victims recover compensation for their injuries. If you believe you may have a case, contact our Appleton motorcycle accident lawyers so that we can discuss your situation and review the options that may be available.
Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Motorcycles offer little protection for riders. As a result, riders are vulnerable to severe injuries if they are involved in an accident. When motorcycle accident victims come to us, they often have serious injuries and are burdened with medical bills that they are unable to pay. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Road rash
- Neck injuries
- Paralysis, such as, paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones and fractures
- Amputation of a limb
- Spinal cord injuries
At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, we understand how difficult dealing with these injuries can be. For decades we have been helping to provide a legal voice for accident victims throughout Wisconsin. Let our team of legal professionals handle the details of your lawsuit while you can focus on the recovery process. Ph: (877) 888-5201.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by either driver error, inclement weather or road hazards - or a combination thereof. We are prepared to thoroughly investigate the cause of your accident and work towards obtaining fair and just compensation on your behalf.
Some common forms of driver negligence that may lead to motorcycle crashes include:
- Tailgating a motorcycle: When motorists drive closely behind a rider, they run the risk of hitting them from behind whenever a rider stops or maneuvers unexpectedly. As motorcycles are generally much more agile than other motor vehicles, motorists that "tailgate" riders often do not have the time needed to make sudden stops or changes in direction.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving has become a tremendous issue in today’s society. Motorists that text and drive, use GPS systems or simply chat with other passengers do not have their full attention on the road. This presents a danger to riders that cannot predict when a driver is distracted.
- Speeding: Motorists who speed reduce their chances of seeing a motorcyclist and having enough time to react to avoid a collision.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly impairs a driver’s senses. This makes it even more difficult for a driver to see a motorcycle in his or her path.
- Sudden stops: Vehicles that make sudden stops in front of motorcycles put riders at great risk of them hitting the vehicle from behind.
- Inexperienced drivers: Inexperienced drivers who are not used to sharing the road may also cause an accident. These drivers are not in the habit of taking precautions like checking blind spots and consequently, this puts motorcyclists at risk for injury.
- Rapid lane changes: When a motorist quickly changes lanes without signaling or checking blind spots, he or she risks colliding with a motorcyclist.
Negligent driving puts all motorists on the road at risk, and when negligent driving results in a crash with a motorcyclist, there are often severe consequences. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, reach out to an Appleton motorcycle accident lawyer to take legal action.
Speak to a Licensed Appleton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, we understand how traumatic motorcycle accidents can be. These are often life-changing events that may cause a lifetime of consequences. That is why we often use all of our available resources to pursue the maximum compensation available for your case.
Call us today for a free consultation with a skilled attorney from our firm. He or she will evaluate your situation and guide you through the next steps of the legal process. Our office is located just blocks from the Outagamie County Courthouse and if you are unable to come to us due to your injuries, contact us and we can come to you. We work on contingency, so we do not get paid unless we obtain compensation on your behalf. This means there are no upfront fees or costs and it is free to call us to discuss your claim in a legal consultation.
Call us today at (877) 888-5201.