- Why You Need an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
- What Can You Be Compensated For in a Motorcycle Accident
- Who is at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
- Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
- Protect Yourself From a Motorcycle Injury
- Common Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
- Get The Compensation You Deserve
Committed Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Nebraska
Nearly two-thirds of motorcycle accidents occur when the driver of a larger vehicle fails to see a biker resulting in side-swipe accidents, right-of-way-accidents, and other dangerous situations.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the fault of another driver, contact an experienced Omaha motorcycle accident attorney at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C. today. We have served victims of motorcycle accident injuries for years and are aware of the struggles they encounter in the claims process. We will fight for you and work to ensure that you are treated fairly.
Why You Need an Experienced Nebraska Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When you choose the Omaha motorcycle accident attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C., you choose a personal advocate who will fight for you until you get the compensation you deserve. We will stand up to powerful insurance companies and the opposing party to make sure your rights are protected throughout your claim. When considering whether or not to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, consider the following:
Our Nebraska Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Will Collect and Handle Evidence
The evidence gathered, and its quality will have a large impact on your motorcycle accident case. We will collect evidence on your behalf to make sure that your side of the story is properly detailed and told. Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers know what it takes to gather evidence and combine what they find to make your case compelling and understandable. Our attorneys will not accept attempts by insurance companies at fabricating the evidence in their favor and will fight their attempts to do so.
Our Lawyers Will Evaluate Medical Records
Relevant medical records in your case can prove to be complicated and often require careful organization and presentation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers have the contacts and resources that are necessary for getting a fair evaluation of your medical records. Once your records are reviewed, our attorneys will work to ensure all relevant findings are presented carefully and clearly.
Our Nebraska Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Know The True Value of Your Case
What many accident victims don’t realize is that the goal of an insurance company in a motorcycle accident claim is to settle for as little as possible. No insurance company is acting in your best interest. Our motorcycle injury lawyers know the value of your case, understand settlements that are fair, and will work to get you what is fair. Maximizing your settlement value is what we set out to do when you decide to work with us, and we will do all we can to ensure that this happens.
We Have Your Back If Your Case Goes To Trial
If your case cannot be settled out of court and goes to trial, you can rely on our motorcycle accident attorneys to be there every step of the way in court. Our lawyers have the skills and experience to be effective in a courtroom while defending your interests. We have an intimate understanding of the trial process and know the impact that a motorcycle accident can have on you and your family. We will take this understanding and experience into a courtroom and apply it aggressively to give you the best chance at receiving the compensation that you deserve.
Compensation for Omaha Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Compensation that is paid to the victim of a motorcycle accident is dependent on many factors of the case. Assessing fault in the accident, as well as the injuries sustained is the first step. Once fault is assessed, and injuries are noted, there will be a better idea of what amount of compensation needs to be paid.
What Can I Be Compensated For?
It is nearly impossible to put a price tag on a person’s injuries. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Omaha, you may be entitled to compensation for damages that include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of medication
- Loss of earnings capacity
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Disability accommodations
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
Who is at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
Based on the circumstances of the accident, a motorcycle accident victim may be able to pursue compensation from one or more of the following parties:
- The negligent motor vehicle driver in the accident.
- The bike’s manufacturer, if the bike experienced a defect during the accident.
- The government, if the crash was caused by road conditions that are poorly maintained.
- The motorcycle dealership, if the bike was sold with a defect that led to the accident.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Although many accidents that involve motorcyclists are not caused by the motorcyclist themselves, there remains a bias against them resulting in unfair treatment by those involved in the accident, law enforcement, and insurance companies. The motorcycle lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C. understand how unfairly motorcyclists can be treated in their cases. We will stand up for your rights so you can receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The injuries caused by a motorcycle accident often require the biker to receive immediate medical attention and endure extensive rehabilitation. In some cases, these services may prove to be insufficient in returning a person to normal. Some motorcycle accident injuries can prevent a person from returning to work, which can result in financial losses and other hardships. Victims of motorcycle accidents deserve to be fully compensated for their injuries, and that is our goal here at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf, and Lathrop, P.C.
Because motorcycles offer little protection to their riders in the event of an accident, cyclists will often sustain traumatic injuries during a crash. Even when a cyclist wears the highest quality protective gear, an accident can still result in them sustaining at least one of the following injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
All motorcyclists in the state of Nebraska are required to wear a helmet while riding. Due to the violent nature of a motorcycle accident, many motorcyclists hit their head at some point during a crash. This can cause head injuries such as a concussion, and in serious cases, a biker can hit their head so hard they are left with lifelong brain damage.
Brain injuries that occur in motorcycle accidents can cause minor to severe brain damage, and leave their victims with symptoms that include:
- Minor to severe headaches
- Minor to severe disorientation and dizziness
- Cognitive, physical, and behavioral disabilities
Wearing a helmet is the only chance that a biker has a minimizing the risk of sustaining a serious brain injury in an accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A motorcycle accident can toss and jostle a biker’s body with great force. Often, when a human body is tossed from a motorcycle at high speeds, the spinal structure can become damaged. Spinal cord injuries such as a fractured vertebra, bulging discs, and severed spinal cords are common in motorcycle accidents. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, 11.2% of riders who are involved in an accident sustain a severe spinal cord injury.
Road Rash Injuries
Road rash is almost certainly the most common injury that motorcyclists sustain in accidents. Road rash can vary in severity and is classified in three degrees.
First-Degree Road Rash – This is the least severe degree of road rash. It is classified as not serious and usually does not require medical treatment.
Second-Degree Road Rash – This is classified as road rash that breaks the skin. If serious enough, second-degree road rash may require a medical examination and can usually be treated with over-the-counter medications.
Third-Degree Road Rash – This is the most severe degree of road rash. This degree of road rash classifies a breakage of all five layers of skin exposing fat and tissue. Victims of third-degree road rash usually require immediate medical attention.
Broken and Fractured Bones
The human bone structure stands little chance in a motorcycle accident. High speeds and hard surfaces can damage the human bone structure even if a rider is wearing the proper protective gear. Broken bones can cause symptoms that include:
- Pain from pressure and movement
- Bones exposed through the skin
- Sudden deformities
- Numbness in the affected area
If a loved one has perished in a motorcycle accident due to no fault of their own, you need an experienced attorney to help pursue justice. Our motorcycle lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C. understand that we cannot heal the pain of losing a loved one. One thing we can help with is recovering compensation to help your family move forward.
Protecting Yourself From a Motorcycle Injury
Every Nebraska motorcycle rider is required by law to wear a helmet. This law is in place to help prevent the chance of a rider sustaining a brain injury and dying in a motorcycle accident.
Nebraska motorcycle law also requires:
- Every motorcycle needs at least one, and not more than two headlights.
- Every motorcycle needs a brake on at least one wheel.
- Every motorcycle needs a horn that is securely mounted and can be heard from at least 200 feet.
- Every motorcycle needs at least one mirror.
The aspect of driving a motorcycle that will protect a rider the most is driving defensively. While riding your motorcycle, be cautious around larger vehicles and stay out of blind spots. When changing lanes or preparing to turn, be sure you have plenty of room around you.
As a motorcyclist, you will not be able to control the vehicles around you from causing an accident, but you can take steps to protect yourself from sustaining a catastrophic injury. The easiest way to do this is by wearing the proper gear while you ride.
In addition to wearing a helmet, you can wear the following safety gear to protect yourself further:
- Leather boots
- Reinforced gloves
- Reinforced leather pants and jackets
- Proper eye protection
All of the above can help reduce your chances of sustaining a serious injury in a motorcycle accident. However, nothing is guaranteed, and even the most quality protective gear can’t prevent all injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Nebraska, contact us so we can ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the claims process and receive the compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
The single most important thing you should do after a motorcycle accident is get medical attention. If you’re seriously injured at the scene, ask for paramedics or get to the nearest Emergency Room. Otherwise, make an appointment with your primary care physician ASAP and ask for a comprehensive post-motorcycle accident diagnostic exam.
Seeing a doctor is the only way to understand how the accident might have affected your body and health. Many motorcycle accident injuries do not cause obvious symptoms right away.
The doctor’s exam is also important for the sake of any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit you may decide to pursue later. Don’t let much time go by between the accident and your medical exam — the sooner the better.
Here are some other things you should do after a motorcycle accident, especially if you are still at the scene and able:
- Exchange insurance information.
- Get contact information for any witnesses.
- Take as many photographs as you can (from a variety of angles).
- Notify your motorcycle insurance provider.
- Contact an experienced Omaha motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Never leave the scene of a motorcycle accident in Nebraska without notifying law enforcement and getting their permission to leave (unless you are taken away for emergency medical care). Above all else: safety first.
The Insurance Company for the Driver Who Hit Me Says It Can Send Me a Check for My Motorcycle Accident Right Away. Should I Accept It?
If an insurance company is making you a settlement offer, it’s probably because it benefits them, not because it benefits you.
No matter what they claim on television, insurance companies are not on your side. They would love for you to take the first check they offer you. Why? Because that check will come with a catch. To get the money, you will have to sign a release agreement, promising never to ask for further compensation. Courts will enforce that agreement… even if your condition gets worse, or you later learn that you should have gotten much more money.
Be skeptical of insurance settlement offers. Likewise, be careful of what you say when interacting with insurance companies. They will use your words and actions against you, even in ways you didn’t intend.
We understand that getting an almost-instant check from an insurance company can be incredibly tempting. But it is truly in your own best interest to talk to an experienced Omaha motorcycle accident lawyer first. You may be entitled to much more than you realize.
What Can I Expect to Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents tend to involve severe injuries. Bikers simply do not have the same level of vehicular protection as car occupants. Accordingly, these cases tend to involve substantial damages. Depending on the circumstances, compensation may be available for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of love, affection, sexual intimacy, or companionship
- The cost of modifying your home or vehicles for accessibility
- Pain and suffering (e.g. PTSD, mental anguish, anxiety, embarrassment)
- Wrongful death damages
Every case is different. The compensation available in your claim will depend on the nature of your accident and the facts of the case. While we cannot promise or predict a particular outcome, our Omaha motorcycle accident lawyers are committed to doing whatever we can to achieve the largest possible financial recovery for each of our clients.
How Do I Pay Medical Bills from My Motorcycle Accident While Waiting for a Lawsuit to Be Resolved?
This is one of the most common questions about motorcycle accidents, but take heart: there are several options you might not be aware of.
First, your motorcycle insurance policy might include a provision known as Medical Payments Coverage. This special kind of coverage will kick in to cover your medical bills — up to your policy limits — while waiting for your accident case to resolve.
(If you are reading this and haven’t been in an accident yet, please call your insurance provider and add Medical Payments Coverage to your existing car or motorcycle insurance policy ASAP. The coverage is generally inexpensive but very important.)
Whether you have Medical Payments Coverage or not, your health insurance policy will also likely provide some coverage for your medical expenses in the meantime. (Note: the health insurance company may ask for reimbursement as part of any motorcycle accident settlement.)
Finally, as Omaha motorcycle accident lawyers, we are often able to work out an agreement with your medical providers or their bill collectors. While these parties are not required to enter into an agreement, they are often willing to wait for payment while your motorcycle claim resolves (as long as there’s a guarantee that you will use any settlement funds to pay your bills).
There’s a lot to know about paying for your medical bills while waiting for your motorcycle accident claim to be resolved. If you have specific questions, it’s a good idea to talk them over with our office.
I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet When I Was in a Motorcycle Accident. Can I Still Obtain Compensation?
Nebraska is one of 19 states that require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, regardless of their age or experience level. (This rule is subjected to a proposed repeal almost annually, but so far, it remains the law in Nebraska.) This means if you aren’t wearing a helmet, you might get a ticket. That’s true whether you are in an accident or not.
An insurance company might tell you that if you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your motorcycle accident, you cannot recover compensation. This is not true.
Under Nebraska law, motorcyclists are entitled to recover for accident injuries caused by someone else’s negligence — even if they weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Even if your failure to wear a helmet is found to be negligent, Nebraska’s comparative fault rule will still allow you to recover (though your compensation may be reduced accordingly).
An experienced Omaha motorcycle accident lawyer can fight for full and fair compensation in your case, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer to Help with My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
At Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C., we will not charge a fee unless we are able to recover compensation for you.
If we do succeed in getting you money for your claim, our fee will be a percentage of your recovery. If we don’t succeed, you won’t pay us anything at all. There are no out-of-pocket costs and nothing to lose.
Our Omaha Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Know You Deserve More
At Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C., we take the time that is required to understand how your accident happened and how it has impacted your life. We will take on the insurance companies, investigate your accident, establish liability, and work very hard to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Your initial consultation with us is free. During this consultation, we will listen to your concerns, assess your case, and advise you on what to do next. If you or a loved one has been affected by a motorcycle accident in Nebraska, contact us now.
Always speak with one of the personal injury attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C. before you speak to any insurance company. They are used to dealing with people without legal representation, and they are NOT on your side. If there is a personal injury claim by you against their client, they will offer you much less than you are entitled.