Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
We help bikers injured by irresponsible motorists
Any motorcycle crash is an intensely traumatic experience, and we understand that you may not be sure what to do next. At Richard Lewis Law, P.S., we've been helping victims of motorcycle accidents for decades. We're here to help guide you through the legal steps you need to take to get compensation for your injuries.
- If I was in a motorcycle accident, do I need to call the police?
- I was lucky enough to walk away with only a few scratches. Do I really need to see a doctor?
- What types of financial compensation can I recover after my accident?
- I have paid sick time at work. Does that affect my ability to recover damages?
- What if I wasn't wearing a helmet?
- Do I need an attorney's help?
These questions and answers are provided as a starting point to help you understand your legal options after an accident. To discuss the specific circumstances of your case, contact us today. We'll be happy to meet with you for a free consultation. Call 866-465-9098.
In the state of Washington, you are required by law to notify law enforcement if you are involved in an accident causing injury, death or more than $700 in property damage. Regardless, it's in your interest to contact the police after any accident. The police officer who investigates the scene will fill out a collision report that will become a key piece of evidence to get you compensation.
Yes. Motorcycle accidents often cause internal injuries that may not be immediately obvious in the aftermath of the crash. If you wait to see a doctor, you may be putting your health at risk. Moreover, any delay in seeking treatment may be used against you by an insurance company - they may argue that you couldn't have been hurt if you waited to see a doctor, or that your injuries were suffered after the accident rather than during.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to recover damages (financial compensation) for any or all of the following:
- Medical bills for treatment of injuries suffered in the accident.
- Future medical expenses such as ongoing physical therapy.
- Lost wages and lost future earnings.
- Pain and suffering - this can be substantial if the accident leaves you with chronic pain.
- Modifications to your home or vehicle, if you are permanently disabled.
- Damage to your motorcycle or other personal property.
In some cases, other types of damages may be recovered as well. That's why you need attorney Richard E. Lewis on your side. He'll help to explore every possible avenue of compensation to make sure you can pay for the full cost of the accident.
No. Even if you're able to use sick time to get paid for missed work or pay for medical expenses through your health insurance, you can still sue for those costs as well. Note, however, that your health insurance company may ask to be reimbursed out of your award if they initially paid for your medical treatment.
Washington has a mandatory helmet law, so you may be ticketed for not wearing a helmet. However, failing to wear a helmet doesn't necessarily bar you from recovering damages. For instance, if you suffered a leg or arm injury, the fact that you weren't wearing a helmet isn't especially relevant. Helmets don't even prevent all head injuries, and if our investigation reveals that a helmet wouldn't have helped, we may be able to sue for full damages.
Even if it turns out that a helmet would have prevented or reduced your injury, that doesn't mean you can't sue for damages. The negligence of the motorist who caused your accident is as much to blame for your injury as your own failure to wear a helmet. Washington uses the legal principle of "comparative negligence," which means the damages you are awarded will be adjusted based on your own percentage of fault for the injury. For instance, if a court determines that you were 30 percent responsible for your injury because you didn't wear a helmet, you'll get 70 percent of the damages you would have otherwise been awarded.
Absolutely. Insurance companies tend to be particularly ornery when dealing with motorcyclists. They may argue that you assumed the risk of injury by getting on your bike or that you were responsible for the accident - and they'll use any information you give them to reduce or deny your claim. You need an experienced attorney on your side to stand up to the insurance, field their questions and get compensation for your injuries. That's why you should call Richard E. Lewis immediately.