Motorcycle Accident Attorney in St. Louis, Missouri
Many people find riding a motorcycle to be frightening. Without the protection of metal behind a car or truck, it seems like a risk to safety. Many people ride a motorcycle for the feeling of passion, freedom, camaraderie, fun, and stress relief. Others ride because motorcycles offer a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to travel.
Whatever the reasoning, motorcycle riders have a right to not only enjoy the ride but to be safe while sharing the roadway with other vehicles. The rules of the road apply to everyone, regardless of the number of wheels they’re driving on. However, it is true that when someone breaches their duty of care on the roadway, motorcycle riders often pay the highest price, but they don’t always receive a fair settlement of their personal injury claim.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at The Law Office of Steve Slough believe victims of negligence deserve justice, and we are willing to do everything we can to ensure they receive it. If you've been injured in a motorcycle crash in St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, or Madison County, Missouri, or in St. Clair County, Illinois, or if someone you love was killed, we will be in your corner from start to finish.
What Should I Do If I Am in a Motorcycle Accident?
The first thing you need to do after a motorcycle accident is seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t think you are injured or aren’t sure if you are, allow first responders and an ambulance crew to examine you and transport you to the emergency room. Trauma physicians know what obvious and inconspicuous injuries to look for, what diagnostic testing to order, what immediate treatment you need, and what type of specialist to refer you to if necessary. Don’t risk your recovery by skipping this step.
Reach out to your insurance company to open a claim. You can then file for any benefits in your motorcycle insurance policy, such as medical payment benefits or uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. The insurance company for the negligent party also needs to be notified of your intent to file a motorcycle accident claim or motorcycle wrongful death claim.
Contact a personal injury attorney at The Law Office of Steve Slough. We can discuss the circumstances of the crash and take steps to investigate and collect evidence of fault. We will walk you through every step necessary to file a motorcycle accident claim and garner a fair settlement. You will have a tremendous number of questions, and we will have the answers. Moreover, we will become your voice with the negligent party’s insurance company. You will make all the necessary decisions, but they will have to come through us to speak to you.
We will work with you to obtain documents of everything you will need to advance your claim. From the crash report to the ER physician’s diagnosis, to witness statements, medical records, and documentation of lost wages, we will help you gather what you need.
What Missouri Laws Apply to Motorcycles?
In addition to following the rules of the road, there are ways motorcycle riders can increase their safety while operating one. Not all recognized safety measures are codified in Missouri law. Here is what is and what is not.
Lane splitting is not prohibited by Missouri law but is dangerous to do. Driving between lanes of traffic makes it difficult for vehicles to see you and stay on the other side of their lane to allow you to pass safely. Even though lane splitting is not illegal, it may be used by the insurance company as evidence of fault if a crash occurs while you are traveling between lanes.
Helmet laws require that they be worn by operators of any age with only a permit, and operators and passengers under age 26. Those aged 26 and older can ride without a helmet so long as they have health insurance.
Passengers are allowed to ride behind the operator if there is proper seating. That means it should have a seat and footrests for the motorcycle passenger.
Required motorcycle equipment includes a working headlight, taillight, brake light, and turn signals. It must have a horn and front and rear brakes in good working order. Motorcycles are also required to have rearview mirrors.
It is important that you comply with these laws and even safety recommendations. Otherwise, you may be assigned some percentage of fault for an accident.
How Is Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Determined in Missouri?
Missouri is a fault state, so those who cause a crash by their negligence are financially responsible for the damages incurred by those they injure or kill. If you file a motorcycle accident claim against them, you have a duty to prove they were negligent.
To do this, you need to prove that the driver owed you a duty of care, that the driver breached that duty of care, and that because of that breach, you were injured and incurred damages. While this sounds black and white, the negligent driver’s insurance company will throw shades of gray into the mix.
Missouri observes pure comparative fault, so even if you or your loved one was partially at fault, you can still pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim. However, any financial recovery you are awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 40% at fault and the other driver is 60%, and a jury awards you $100,000, your award will be reduced by $40,000.
Can I File a Claim for Someone I Love?
Surviving spouses, children, parents, and siblings can file a wrongful death action if their loved one is killed due to someone else’s negligence. If your loved one’s injuries have left them incapacitated, you can petition the court to appoint you as their conservator and pursue a personal injury claim on their behalf.
Of course, you will still need to prove that the other driver’s negligence resulted in the harm and losses suffered.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney Serving
St. Louis, Missouri
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or a loved one incapacitated or killed, you deserve compensation for your damages. At The Law Office of Steve Slough, we are dedicated to seeking justice for each and every client we represent. Call our office in St. Louis, Missouri, today to schedule a free case consultation.