While riding on a motorcycle as a passenger can be a thrilling and fun experience, it can also lead to serious injuries if you are in an accident. You most likely did not see any warning signs or think that the accident was about to happen; as you had no control of the motorcycle, there is likely nothing you could have done to avoid or even prevent the wreck. However, there is something you can do about your injuries and other losses, and that may be to file a claim for damages against the motorcycle operator.
If you were a passenger on a motorcycle and the motorcycle operator was driving recklessly or carelessly, you may file a motorcycle accident claim against them. Motorcycle riders have certain responsibilities when riding with a passenger. Therefore, they should know and be aware of what is allowed and what is not. Some of these negligent behaviors include speeding, driving while distracted, lane splitting, driving while tired, passing on the right shoulder, tailgating, running red lights or stop signs, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If any of these behaviors were a factor in your accident, you may have a viable claim against the operator.
A Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can assist you with the legal process by going over the facts of your claim, investigating the accident, determining who is liable, calculating how much your damages are worth, gathering evidence to support your claim, and more. Our attorneys have the knowledge, skills, and experience to provide you with the legal advice you need to pursue a claim as well as hold the correct individuals accountable for the accident.
Can I file a claim against anyone other than the motorcycle operator?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, there may be other negligent parties that you may be able to file a claim against. In fact, it is common for more than one individual to share liability for motorcycle accidents. Here are a few of the parties that you may be able to file a motorcycle accident claim against:
- The driver of a car that was involved in the accident: If the motorcycle was involved in an accident with another vehicle, the other driver may have caused the accident. As a result, you may be able to file a motorcycle accident claim against them. Some of the ways that they may have caused the accident are speeding, changing lanes improperly, making improper turns, running stop lights or signs, and more.
- The manufacturer of the motorcycle or a part: If the manufacturer of the motorcycle or part made a mistake and there was a defect or flaw that led to the motorcycle accident, there is a high likelihood that they are liable for the accident. Manufacturers cannot sell products that will put their customers in harm’s way, which they are aware of.
- A motorcycle repair shop or mechanic: Motorcycle repair shops and mechanics may also be responsible for the accident if they were required to fix or replace something on the bike and failed to do so. In addition, they may be liable if they inspected certain parts of the motorcycle, and those parts led to an accident. For example, if a motorcycle had a tire blowout even though the motorcyclist was told by a mechanic that their tires were completely fine, this is considered the mechanic’s negligence.
- Road owner/ government agency: Sometimes, road owners or government agencies can be to blame for an accident. For example, if the road has potholes, debris, hidden signs, or anything else that could make it dangerous for motorcyclists, the owner of the road or government agency may be held responsible. Note that these are complex claims and the statute of limitations (AKA, the time limits) are often significantly shorter. So you will want to contact Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys as soon as you can.
The types of injuries that motorcycle passengers may suffer in a crash
While a motorcycle accident is similar to a car accident, motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers typically suffer much more serious injuries. This is likely due to the fact that they have less protection. For example, a motorcyclist and passenger do not have a shield around them, airbags, or seat belts. Therefore, the only way that they can protect themselves is by wearing helmets, eye protection, and padded clothing. However, motorcycle riders and passengers are at risk of experiencing severe and traumatic injuries regardless of the protective equipment they wear. Some of the most common types of injuries that motorcycle passengers may suffer in a crash include:
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Neck fractures
- Road rash
- Broken and fractured bones
- Crush injuries
- Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Amputations or loss of limbs
- Mental and emotional trauma (anxiety, PTSD, depression, etc.)
- Permanent disability
- Eyes, facial, and dental injuries
- Permanent nerve damage
As you can see, motorcycle passengers are at risk of a variety of severe injuries from a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies will try to imply that your injuries are not as severe as you think and will do everything they can to deny your claim or lower the amount of compensation you receive. If this is the case for you, get in touch with a Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney from our firm as quickly as possible as we will help you stand up against insurance companies and avoid their tricks and tactics.
What types of damages can I claim as a motorcycle passenger involved in an accident?
There are several different damages that you may be able to recover as a motorcycle passenger involved in an accident. These are the most common damages our clients frequently claim:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Loss of companionship
- Physical and occupational therapy fees
- Counseling expenses
- Home modifications
- Caregiving services
If you suffer injuries as a passenger in a motorcycle accident, please do not hesitate to contact the Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys right away. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will help you hold the negligent operator accountable for their actions as well as secure the maximum compensation possible for you to get your life back on track. We have convenient office locations, which are located in Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Parkville and St. Joseph (MO); Olathe, Kansas City, and Overland Park (KS). Our Kansas City, MO office takes walk-in clients throughout the day, but you must have an appointment to visit our other locations. Call our office or submit our contact form today for your free case evaluation.
Kansas City personal injury attorney James Roswold of Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys handles cases dealing with victims of personal injury, medical negligence, wrongful death, workers compensation, nursing home negligence, premises liability, product liability, car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases.