Motorcycle Accidents

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Kansas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Kansas Motorcycle Accident Claims

Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities. When these accidents happen, injured victims and their families need to do everything they can to ensure they receive the compensation they rightfully deserve for their related losses, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. You and your family’s future depend on it.

Your recovery can be a long and difficult process, but getting justice shouldn’t be. The problem is that many insurance companies blame motorcyclists for causing accidents involving other vehicles, even when the evidence shows this isn’t true. These companies cling to an outdated and false perception of motorcyclists as reckless drivers who put themselves and others at risk. What’s frustrating is that many people in Kansas who do not ride motorcycles share this stereotypical and incorrect belief that all or most motorcyclists are daredevils. Insurance companies will try to use that to their advantage when dealing with accident claims.

At Bretz Injury Law, our motorcycle accident lawyers know the truth. We know that most motorcyclists are safe, law-abiding citizens who obey the rules of the road. That is why our Kansas motorcycle accident attorneys vigorously fight for the rights of injured motorcyclists throughout the state. With offices in Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, Topeka, Olathe, Kansas City, Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal, and Hays, we are ready to meet with you and discuss your rights and legal options.

Bretz Injury Law has successfully handled many notable cases, including a $50 million wrongful death settlement and a $23 million settlement in an injury case involving a motorcycle accident. In total, our firm has recovered more than $300 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Despite the best efforts of motorcyclists to ride safely and protect themselves, far too many crashes happen on Kansas roads due to the negligence of other motorists. Due to being more vulnerable than their car-driving counterparts, most bikers involved in crashes often suffer severe or even fatal injuries.

Below are some numbers that show the frequency and severity of motorcycle accidents in Kansas in 2021.

  • 869 crashes involving motorcycles
  • One motorcycle crash occurred every 9.28 hours
  • 46 people passed away due to motorcycle accidents
  • One motorcycle crash-related death occurred every 186.38 hours
  • 766 people were injured in motorcycle crashes
  • Of all motorcyclist fatalities, 18 were helmeted, while 26 were unhelmeted

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcyclists are involved in more accidents per vehicle mile traveled in Kansas than passenger vehicles. Understanding what to do after a motorcycle crash is essential to ensuring the safety of you and others, and to ensuring you don’t jeopardize your injury claim.

Here are the most important steps to take after a motorcycle accident:

  • Get yourself to safety. Check yourself and other motorists for injuries. If you’re okay, get off the roadway to remain safe from hazards such as moving vehicles or burning wrecks.
  • Call 911 immediately. Regardless of how minor the accident seems, call the police and first responders. Local law enforcement officers will record the details of the incident, which are critical when preparing a police report.
  • Seek medical attention. Speak to emergency medical responders about how you are feeling. Depending on the extent of your injury, they may recommend that you ride to a hospital in an ambulance for further examination by a doctor or advise that you visit your doctor later.
  • Take photos of the scene. If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damage. Such photos provide contextual evidence of the accident details.
  • Obtain information from eyewitnesses. If witnesses are willing to provide information about the accident, be sure to record it. It could be names, contact information, or a written account of the incident. A witness’s account may be useful in your case, especially if a legal dispute arises.
  • Exchange relevant information with the other motorists. Exchange important information with the parties involved in the accident while at the scene. Ensure that you obtain their contact and insurance information and the distinctive information of the vehicles involved, including their make, model, and color.
  • Notify your insurance company. Inform your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible. If you have an agent, provide them with the information collected at the scene so that they can report the incident to the insurance company.
  • Contact our motorcycle accident lawyers. It is in your best interest to seek legal counsel if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident. A lawyer with experience in personal injury cases, such as motorcycle accidents, can help with fault determination, evaluation of damages, and filing your claim.

Taking the right steps after a motorcycle accident ensures your safety and that of the parties involved. More crucially, it increases your probability of coming away from the claim process with a favorable result.

Learn how our team can help you get back on your feet after a serious motorcycle accident; call or contact us online to request a free consultation.

Motorcycle Laws and Regulations

In addition to standard traffic laws, Kansas has additional rules that apply to motorcycle riders whenever they are on the road. These regulations address helmet use, motorcycle licensing, insurance requirements, passenger provisions, motorcycle safety equipment, and lane-splitting requirements. Here’s what each of these involves:

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Kansas law provides that all motorcycle riders under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle. State motorcycle laws also require all motorcycle riders to wear eye-protective devices, including goggles, transparent face shields, or protective glasses that are impact-resistant and shatterproof. Helmets are not mandatory for riders over 18, but wearing one before hitting the road is advisable.

Motorcycle Licensing

Motorcycle riders in Kansas must possess a class M driver’s license, which they can obtain by passing a vision screening, a knowledge test, and an on-cycle skill test. A class M license can also be obtained by taking a certified course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

In Kansas, motorcyclists must hold minimum liability insurance coverage to cover the costs of property damages and bodily injury in a crash for which they are found at fault. The minimum requirements for a motorcycle insurance policy are:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage
  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

Motorcycle Passenger Rules

There are no age restrictions for motorcycle passengers in Kansas. However, passengers under the age of 18 must wear helmets before riding with a motorcyclist. Before carrying passengers, Kansas motorcyclists must ensure that their motorcycle has a proper seat large enough to hold the rider and passenger without crowding.

Motorcycles should also have footrests for passengers and protective equipment, the same as those recommended for riders. Motorcyclists should also instruct their passengers on how to sit before riding.

Motorcycle Safety Equipment Requirements

Motorcycles in Kansas should have the proper safety equipment to be allowed on the road. At a minimum, a street-legal motorcycle should have the following:

  • Headlights, taillights, and brake lights
  • Turn signals
  • Front and rear brakes
  • Two mirrors
  • Horn

Lane Splitting Requirements

In Kansas, motorcyclists are entitled to an entire lane of traffic. As such, they are not allowed to ride between traffic lanes. Motorcyclists can share one lane when group riding, but they should assume a staggered formation and avoid pairing up.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are often unfairly blamed when they are involved in collisions with other vehicles. At Bretz Injury Law, we know that this isn’t accurate. In fact, most motorcycle accidents happen because another driver didn’t see the motorcyclist or simply wasn’t paying attention. That’s no excuse — just because a driver doesn’t see someone on a motorcycle, this does not excuse their reckless driving. Motorists need to be held responsible for their actions.

Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving/inattention
  • Dangerous turns
  • Unlawful passing
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Drunk driving
  • Following too closely/tailgating
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Merging in front of a motorcyclist
  • Opening a car door into a motorcyclist’s path
  • Reckless driving
  • Road rage
  • Disobeying stop signs, signals, and other traffic control devices

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and believe someone else was to blame, contact Bretz Injury Law immediately. It is important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side who can protect your rights and best interests.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Because motorcyclists are relatively unprotected, even when they wear safety gear like helmets and heavy clothing, motorcycle accident-related injuries are often extremely severe and sometimes fatal. Statistically, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in an accident than someone in a passenger vehicle.

Some of the most common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents include:

The cost of treating these injuries can easily exceed hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. On top of this, catastrophically injured victims will likely be unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even the rest of their lives.

At Bretz Injury Law, we fight to help motorcycle accident victims recover fair compensation for all of their physical, emotional, and financial losses. Our Kansas motorcycle accident lawyers know how to build powerful claims and aggressively negotiate with insurance companies for fair settlements. Still, when this is not possible, we are fully prepared to represent our clients at trial.

Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Even if the other driver clearly caused your accident, there is no guarantee that you will receive the compensation you rightfully deserve for your motorcycle accident. The other driver might try to blame you for causing the accident, or the insurance company may offer a lowball settlement that fails to consider your ongoing and future losses. Additionally, if you cannot prove that your injuries meet the state’s “serious injury threshold,” you will not be able to recover for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and diminished quality of life.

When you have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side, you can take an aggressive approach right from the start. Your attorney will begin gathering evidence and challenging accusations against you or a loved one who has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident. Throughout the process, your motorcycle accident attorney will be there to answer your questions and advise regarding your next steps.

At Bretz Injury Law, we take a personalized approach to every case, offering attentive legal services and innovative strategies aimed at securing the best possible outcome in your unique case.

What Kind of Compensation Can Be Received?

In addition to proving that another party was negligent and at fault for the accident, you must also prove that you have been harmed or suffered financial loss due to the accident. You can do this by showing the medical treatment costs accrued, missed work days, and injuries sustained due to the accident. Below are the common recoverable damages for motorcycle accident victims.

Economic Damages

These damages are awarded to compensate accident victims for quantifiable losses — those that bills, receipts, and similar records can prove. They include:

  • Medical bills, including medications, hospital stays, and rehabilitation
  • Lost income
  • Home modifications

Victims can also claim future lost earnings if they are incapacitated and unable to resume work. While these are not easy to quantify, an economic expert can apply the present value concept to determine the lost future earning capacity.

Non-Economic Damages

These damages may be difficult to quantify, but they are intended to compensate victims for the reduced quality of life due to the accident. They consist of components such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of consortium

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may receive any of these damages to help you get back on your feet. A Kansas lawyer can help you determine the recoverable damages in your case and their value.

Call (620) 234-8880 or contact us online to request a free consultation

Ways To Prevent a Motorcycle Accident

While motorcycle rides are undeniably exhilarating experiences, riders and passengers constantly face unique hazards on the road. Even the most careful motorcyclists are at risk of severe or fatal injuries due to another driver’s negligence. Motorcycle accidents can have devastating results, so here is how you can help prevent them:

  • Wear visible gear. The small size of motorcycles puts riders at risk of collisions with other vehicles, even when they are in the best lane position and using headlights. Motorcyclists can make themselves more visible by wearing bright-colored or reflective clothing and helmets to ensure drivers spot them on the road.
  • Avoid intoxicated riding. Alcohol and drugs impair judgment, affect balance, and reduce reaction speed. Riding a motorcycle while intoxicated increases the probability of a crash, putting you and other drivers at risk of serious injuries or death.
  • Avoid speeding. Excessive speed on the part of motorcyclists contributes to a significant portion of motorcycle accidents. Riding at posted speeds ensures you’re in control of your bike and can stop or react to a situation in time.
  • Adjust to the weather and road conditions. Rain, oil spills, or uneven surfaces make riding riskier. It is advisable to reduce speed, avoid sudden moves, and maintain a safe distance when following or passing other vehicles to reduce the chance of an accident in such conditions.
  • Don’t split lanes. Lane splitting can result in an accident when drivers from either lane unknowingly merge into you or open a door in traffic. Sticking to your designated lane protects you from the risks of lane splitting.

Observing these practices, staying vigilant, and riding defensively can significantly reduce motorcycle accidents. Most importantly, motorcyclists and other drivers should always look out for each other to ensure safety while on the road.

Download Your Free Legal Guide to Motorcycle Injury Compensation

At Bretz Injury Law, we are proud of our reputation as leaders in personal injury law. We literally wrote the book on motorcycle injury law! Learn everything you need to know about the insurance claims process and discover how you can get maximum compensation.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Bretz Injury Law for a Free Consultation

We understand the challenges you are up against, as well as the many that still lay ahead. With our team by your side, you can focus on what matters most—healing and moving forward with your life. Our attorneys will work with the insurance company on your behalf, negotiating for a fair settlement under your PIP coverage. If necessary, we are prepared to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and seek full and fair recovery for your damages at trial.

Throughout the process, we will be there for you every step of the way. We strive to remain accessible to our clients and attentive to their unique needs. Our compassionate motorcycle accident lawyers can answer your questions and address your concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We provide free initial consultations and work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not owe any out-of-pocket expenses when you work with our firm. Our attorneys are only paid if you are.

Get in touch today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation; call or contact us online to get started.

Motorcycle FAQs

  • Do motorcyclists in Kansas have to wear helmets?

    Motorcyclists under 18 years old in Kansas must wear a helmet. Motorcyclists over 18 years old are not required to wear a helmet in Kansas.

  • Should I contact my insurance company after my motorcycle accident?

    Yes, but stick to the basic facts when talking to your insurance company. Tell them things like who was involved and when/where the crash happened. Do not get into issues of fault. If you say the wrong thing—even to your own insurance company—you may harm your chances of getting a fair settlement.

  • What should I do if an insurance company offers me money for my accident?

    Do not accept an offer without first discussing the details of the proposed agreement with our law firm. We can examine the proposal and help you decide if a financial offer for your motorcycle accident makes the most sense in your specific case.

  • Should I file a lawsuit if I’m injured in a motorcycle accident?

    That depends. Filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit might be the best way to recover compensation for your accident. Most cases, however, can be settled. Many victims prefer a fair settlement over going to court. To learn more about all the legal options available to you, contact Bretz Injury Law to arrange a free consultation. We are available to discuss the details of your situation over the phone, meet at our office, or set up a time to meet at your home, in the hospital, or another location that is convenient for you.

  • How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Kansas?

    You have a limited amount of time to take legal action after your motorcycle accident. In most situations, the statute of limitations for taking legal action in Kansas after a motorcycle accident is two years. There are some exceptions that allow you even less time to act. It is important that you act quickly so that you do not lose your right to seek compensation for your damages. Contact Bretz Injury Law in Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal, or Hays right away to learn how our lawyers can help you protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation you are owed.

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