Kansas Motorcycle Accident LawyersIt takes only a moment.
Whether it’s a text message that should have been left unread or an unruly passenger, a driver may quickly become distracted on the road. When distractions pop up, accidents can happen, and when these accidents involve motorcycles, the consequences can be devastating.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident with a distracted driver, you need to understand your legal rights and options for obtaining compensation for your injuries.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” It is important to understand that each state sets its own definition of distracted driving and that state driving laws may include specific activities, as well as provide for specific penalties and fees for driving distracted.
Some examples of distracted driving include the following:
- Talking or texting on a phone
- Using electronic devices, such as a tablet or laptop
- Eating or drinking
- Interacting with the stereo, navigation, entertainment, or other system in the car
- Talking with or being distracted by passengers
- Engaging in personal grooming or hygiene tasks, such as brushing your hair or putting on makeup
- Assisting a passenger or a pet, such as leaning to buckle a seat belt or handing a toy to a child
- Visual distractions, such as looking at a billboard
- Searching for something in the car or in a bag
- Driving while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
How Does Distracted Driving Cause Motorcycle Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41% of motorcycle accidents happen because drivers are not aware of the motorcycle. Driving distracted makes it more probable that the driver will be unable to stop or slow down in time, and it can also make it less probable for a driver to anticipate dangers or road hazards, as well as to see smaller vehicles such as motorcycles.
There are various ways that the dangers of distracted driving may be decreased. First and foremost, it is important for drivers to understand the potential consequences of distracted driving, including the possibility of causing serious — maybe even catastrophic — injuries to motorcycle riders. Most states also have laws in place to curb distracted driving, including hefty fines and other punishments for drivers who fail to keep their attention on the road.
Additionally, a distracted driver who causes an accident may be liable for the financial consequences that result. In a motorcycle accident, for example, the rider who a distracted driver hits may incur significant financial damages, including medical bills, the costs of repairing or replacing their motorcycle, and lost wages if they are unable to work.
In addition, the rider may experience pain and suffering, mental anguish, and a general decline in their quality of life, all of which may be recovered as compensation for their damages. A party who drives distracted and causes an accident may be liable for significant monetary damages.
Types of Distracted Driving on Motorcycles
There are many different factors that can cause a motorcycle rider to become distracted. For example:
- Using a cell phone or other electronics while riding
- Getting distracted by the scenery or by an event, such as a roadside accident
- Challenging road conditions or weather
- Other riders or people on the road
- Visual, manual, and cognitive distractions
How Dangerous Is Distracted Driving for Motorcyclists?
There is no question that distracted driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents, as well as traffic accidents overall. In fact, in 2019, over 3,100 people were killed, and about 424,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.
For motorcycles, the potential effects of distracted driving can be even more pronounced than for other vehicles: motorcycles are smaller, more difficult to see even without distractions playing a part, and more likely to be missed by distracted drivers.
Being involved in a motorcycle crash that is the fault of a distracted driver can have serious, sometimes even catastrophic consequences. Upon collision or impact, the driver may suffer significant personal injuries, including head injuries or traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, broken or fractured bones, road rash and burns, back or spinal injuries, and soft tissue injuries, just to name a few. In the most serious motorcycle accidents that result from distracted driving, a wrongful death to the rider can result.
How Can Bretz Injury Law Help?
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of someone else’s distracted driving, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the aftermath on your own. When you trust your case to Bretz Injury Law, you get more than a single lawyer on your side; you get an entire team of seasoned legal professionals all working together to secure the best possible outcome on your behalf.
An experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can be invaluable in helping you obtain compensation for your injuries. They will negotiate with the other party and their insurance company towards a fair and reasonable settlement, and if one is not possible, they will build a strong case on your behalf in court. An attorney will help investigate the facts of your claim, preserve important evidence, and research the laws that apply to your case — they will focus on your claim so that you can focus on recovering after your accident.
Since 1991, we have devoted our practice to helping injured victims and their families. We have never represented insurance companies or other parties who are only interested in protecting their bottom lines. Rather, we fight for the rights of ordinary individuals and seek the justice they rightfully deserve. If you or someone you love was injured by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another, reach out to Bretz Injury Law today.
Our Kansas personal injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and fight for the fair compensation you are owed. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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.