Ellensburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcyclists in traffic accidents can suffer severe, life-threatening, and catastrophic injuries. They typically face a higher risk of being injured or killed in a traffic collision than drivers and passengers of larger vehicles. This is largely because motorcycles do not provide riders with external protection, and due to their small size, they are difficult for other drivers to see. Also, due to their size, they may be more likely to incur the most damage when matched against standard or large-sized cars and trucks.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you could receive compensation for your losses. Or, if you suffered the tragic loss of a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit that could recover damages for your family. In either case, we encourage you to seek legal guidance. Contact Herschensohn Law at (509) 955-2900 for a free consultation. Our Ellensburg motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to help.
How Can an Ellensburg Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney Help You?
Our attorneys can provide legal assistance if another party’s negligence or careless actions injured you. Once you become our client, we can handle the following tasks:
- Provide personalized legal guidance that addresses your situation
- Explain your rights, evaluate your case’s strength, and help you understand the legal process
- Investigate your case’s details and gather evidence to prove negligence and liability
- Obtain a copy of the police accident report and traffic citations (if any)
- Collect information and statements from witnesses
- Determine the severity and value of your injuries by examining medical reports and speaking with medical experts
- Consult with expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists
- Collect proof of negligence and liability, including accident scene photos and surveillance footage
- Assess the financial and personal costs of your injuries
- Review your insurance policies or those of other involved parties
- Communicate and negotiate for a fair settlement
- Advise you on whether to accept a proposed settlement
- File a lawsuit and represent you at trial, if necessary
- Keep you updated about your case’s developments
In motorcycle accident cases, you can consult our personal injury attorneys serving Ellensburg, who will accurately assess your circumstances, provide personalized advice, and offer valuable legal representation to help you pursue justice and secure fair compensation for your injuries.
What Damages Could You Recover in an Ellensburg, WA, Motorcycle Collision?
If you are recovering from or have lost a loved one in an Ellensburg motorcycle accident, you could recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are your motorcycle accident’s financial costs. To determine the value of these damages, our attorneys can tabulate your past and future medical bills, lost income, loss of future income, and other financial losses. We can prove the damages you should receive by saving medical bills, receipts, and statements.
Non-economic damages are not measurable with bills and receipts. Instead, these are meant to reflect quality-of-life losses that require special legal calculations to determine their value. For example, these can include physical pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability or disfigurement, and other subjective losses.
Certain family members who lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence might be able to recover wrongful death damages (RCW § 4.20.010), which can include funeral, burial, or cremation expenses, the loss of the decedent’s income, and the absence of their companionship and guidance.
The statute of limitations in Washington for personal injury and wrongful death cases is three years from the date of the incident (the injury or the loved one’s passing), per RCW § 4.16.080. Our attorneys will ensure your case meets the deadline, so you will not have to forfeit the right to compensation due to time constraints.
Proving Negligence in a Motorcycle Collision
Generally, in law, negligence occurs when a party or entity fails to show care for others or act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. In the context of motorcycle collisions, every driver has a legal obligation, also known as a “duty of care,” to avoid engaging in actions that will hurt others.
While another driver is not always partially or wholly at fault for an accident, very often, they are. If a driver fails to uphold their duty of care and causes an accident, they can be found negligent and, by extension, liable for the damages that occur.
Examples of negligence include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Failing to yield for a light, sign, or motorcyclist
- Driving while fatigued or distracted
- Driving while intoxicated
- Making sharp or erratic turns without looking
- Failing to see a motorcyclist in a blind spot
- Driving the wrong way
- Following a motorcyclist too closely
It’s important to note that a party does not have to have been guilty of any malice to be considered negligent; this is not usually the case. Instead, negligence hinges on whether their actions were careless or reckless and directly caused the accident.
There are four elements needed to establish negligence in a motorcycle accident:
- Duty of care: If another driver is the potentially liable party, they must have owed you a duty of care requiring them to act in ways consistent with those expected of a reasonable person in a similar situation.
- Breach of duty: If the responsible party did not act as a prudent person, this suggests they breached their duty of care to you.
- Causation: The accident must have proximately or directly caused your injuries. Some injuries are apparent immediately, while others might take longer to manifest or be more challenging to prove.
- Damages: You must have incurred economic or non-economic losses directly from your injuries. For example, these can include medical bills related to emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s visits, prescription medication, etc.
All the above elements need to be demonstrated to prove a party owes you compensation for damages. Strong evidence of negligence and damages can increase your chances of being taken seriously by insurance companies or other parties when you file your claim.
Common Motorcycle Collisions
Several types of motorcycle collisions can occur, each having its own unique characteristics and potential causes, such as the following:
- Intersection collisions, such as when another vehicle fails to yield, runs red lights, or makes improper turns
- Lane change accidents, often due to sudden lane changes, failure to check blind spots, or neglecting to use turn signals
- Rear-end collisions, especially when another driver does not maintain a safe distance or fails to react in time to a motorcycle slowing or stopping
- Left-turn collisions, which can happen if a driver turning left fails to yield or misjudges the motorcycle’s speed
- Head-on collisions, which may occur when a vehicle crosses over into an oncoming lane, veers into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, or fails to correctly navigate a curve
- Dooring accidents, when a driver or passenger of a parked vehicle opens their door without checking for oncoming traffic, causing a passing motorcycle to collide with the door
- Motorcycle defects (e.g., faulty brakes, defective tires, etc.), which may be associated with product liability claims against the manufacturer or other entities
- Poor road conditions, for which a local government or municipality may be responsible in the event of poor road design, inadequate warning signs, etc.
It’s important to note that motorcycle accidents’ specific circumstances and causes can vary widely. It’s not uncommon to discover these accidents can involve multiple factors, such as negligence, poor road conditions, or vehicle defects. Our Ellensburg motorcycle accident attorneys can help determine all potentially liable parties according to their role in the collision.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Collisions involving motorcycles are often among the most devastating, and there are many severe and life-threatening injuries that riders commonly sustain in these accidents, including the following:
- Head injuries: These can vary from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries. Even riders who wear helmets can still sustain head injuries in a collision. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are estimated to be only “37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle operators and 41% effective for motorcycle passengers.”
- Road rash: This condition can occur when a rider’s skin rubs against the pavement after they are thrown from a motorcycle. These abrasions can range from mild to severe and can require significant medical treatment, including skin grafts and ongoing wound care.
- Fractures and broken bones: These can include arms, legs, wrists, ribs, hips, or nearly any bone in the body. These injuries may be severe and, in some instances, require surgery, physical therapy, and long-term rehabilitation.
- Spinal cord injuries: These can be catastrophic and result in paralysis or loss of sensation in the affected areas, leading to a long-lasting partial or permanent disability.
- Internal injuries: These injuries occur inside the body, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. They can be caused by blunt force trauma or penetrating injuries to organs and often require immediate medical intervention, including surgery.
Call Us Today – Our Ellensburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
The Ellensburg motorcycle accident attorneys at Herschensohn Law help clients who suffer injuries in an accident secure the money they need to cover their medical care costs, lost income, and other accident-related expenses. We are also here to help you navigate the legal process if you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident and determine which damages you and your family could receive. Additionally, we will work to hold the responsible parties liable for their actions and prevent similar accidents.
Contact us today at (509) 955-2900 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can learn more about your legal rights and options and how our Ellensburg personal injury attorneys can help you pursue fair compensation for your losses.
Our results speak for themselves
After a worker was electrocuted on a construction site and suffered life-changing injuries, we fought and won on their behalf.
When a retired man was killed in a truck accident, we made sure his grieving family got fair compensation.
When a defective medical device harmed our client, we fought to ensure they had the financial compensation needed to recover.
Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details
When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.
When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.