Experienced Billings Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help in Montana or Wyoming
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, hiring an experienced Billings motorcycle accident lawyer is the best way to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injury-related losses. From proving the extent of your losses to overcoming the bias against motorcycle riders, an impassioned advocate that will fight for your rights every step of the way is crucial to success.
At Ragain & Clark, PC, our Montana and Wyoming lawyers bring more than four decades of experience to helping injured motorcyclists secure just compensation. We know what it means to lose your ability to ride, and we know how critically important it is to take an aggressive approach to motorcycle accident claims. Without experienced legal representation, the insurance companies are not going to treat you fairly. Our motorcycle accident attorneys use our experience to negotiate for a fair settlement and, if a fair settlement is not on the table, we will take your case to trial to help you win the compensation you deserve.
- “Ragain and Clark found insurance coverage that applied to my case that I did not even know existed.”
- “Thank you for all of the legal help you have given me over the years. You are so generous and kind.”
- “The brief you filed was readable and easily understood. Polite, yet demanding. I have a new appreciation for the great job you and your team did with our response. Nice work! Please share my appreciation with all who helped.”
Common Factors in Motorcycle Accidents
Sudden and unexpected hazards on the road can post far more danger to a motorcycle rider than for other motor vehicle drivers. However, the law is clear in Montana and Wyoming that riders are entitled to the same rights and privileges as all other motorists, and the fact that you choose to ride a motorcycle is not an excuse for the insurance companies to deny compensation after an accident. When you engage our firm to represent you, one of our first steps will be to conduct a thorough investigation to determine how the accident occurred and who is at fault. We then use this information to pursue a full financial recovery on your behalf.
Similar to other types of motor vehicle accidents, the most common factors involved in motorcycle accidents include:
- Aggressive driving (such as tailgating or weaving through traffic)
- Distracted driving (such as talking on the phone or texting behind the wheel)
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Reckless driving
In addition to driver-related factors, other issues can cause or contribute to motorcycle accidents as well. For example, brake failure or poor road conditions such as a pothole, loose gravel or other issue with the road could cause you to lose control. No matter what caused the accident, your Billings motorcycle accident lawyer will work diligently and promptly to gather the evidence needed to build your case and pursue compensation.
Breaking Down the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The causes of a motorcycle crash can vary. The following are some of the more common causes:
- Head-on Collisions with Cars: In the vast majority of collisions between automobiles and motorcycles, the car strikes the motorcycle head-on. These collisions often throw the motorcyclist off their motorcycle, resulting in high rates of fatalities and serious injuries.
- Cars Making Left Turns: A left-turning car can strike a motorcycle when it is coming through an intersection in the opposite direction. The car could also turn left while the motorcycle is passing the car from behind.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: The car driver could fail to check their blind spot or suddenly change lanes without signaling. Car drivers often fail to observe or watch out for motorcycles.
- Parked Car Doors: A driver or passenger in a parked car could open their car door as a motorcycle is passing.
- Distracted or Intoxicated Drivers: Distracted or intoxicated drivers are even more prone to hitting motorcycles than cars or trucks, due to the small size of motorcycles.
- Lane Splitting: This refers to the practice of motorcycles driving between lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. Lane splitting is often used as a defense by car drivers in car-motorcycle collisions, since the motorcyclist will often be considered at fault. The legal status of lane splitting in that state will also be a consideration. California is the only state where lane splitting is specifically authorized by law. Montana law, as in the majority of states, does not authorize or prohibit lane splitting. Lane splitting is illegal in Wyoming.
Damages Your Billings Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Pursue
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may have already been offered a settlement by the insurance company. Most non-lawyers settle their claims for far less than they are worth and then discover that the amount they settled for won’t cover all of their losses. If the other driver was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- All of your medical expenses
- Damage to your motorcycle or other property
- Any lost income caused by your accident
- Your pain and suffering
If you’ve been offered a settlement, we strongly recommend that you speak with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney before deciding to accept. They can help you determine the value of your claim and explain your options.
Challenges Motorcyclists Face in Accident Claims
Because motorcyclists are often severely injured in the accident, they are typically unable to gather important evidence from the scene of the accident when it occurred. As a result, gathering evidence after the fact becomes critical to your case. A Billings motorcycle accident lawyer can gather the evidence you need while you focus on your recovery.
One of the most common challenges we deal with is a bias against motorcyclists. Insurance companies, juries, and the general public perceive motorcyclists to be risk-taking daredevils. This negative perception can make it easy for the other driver to blame you for the accident, and the insurance companies and juries find it easy to believe. The end result is a low-ball settlement offer or an outright denial of your claim.
An experienced Billings motorcycle accident attorney can help you build a strong case to support your claim. The first step is to recreate exactly what happened in the accident. This may entail hiring a traffic accident expert, but your attorney may have sufficient experience to be able to recreate the accident based on the facts. The key is to know how to gather the relevant facts and know which ones will be relevant to your claim.
Another option is to gather information that counteracts this anti-motorcycle bias. This can include your driving record and proof that you have completed any motorcycle safety courses. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will also be able to highlight key facts that you were driving safely at the time the accident occurred. The bottom line is that you have to actively overcome this bias - don’t assume that the insurance company or other parties will simply accept your version of the accident.
Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Crashes in Billings
Many motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclist being forced off the road and the other driver leaves the scene. These cases can be quite difficult because there is no other driver, and often no other witnesses. You may have access to a traffic camera feed that captured what happened. Thankfully, more and more motorcyclists are using helmet cameras, which can be invaluable in proving what happened.
These are complicated cases. If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you should speak with a Billings motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. They can help you attempt to locate the driver and navigate the insurance claim process so that you can recover as much compensation as possible.
Billings Motorcycle Accident Lawyer with Decades of Experience in Montana and Wyoming
Regardless of the circumstances, you need experienced legal representation to protect your legal rights as a motorcycle rider. Our lawyers are up to the task, and we have a long track record of success to prove it. If you are serious about recovering maximum compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries, call a Billings motorcycle accident lawyer at 406-651-8888 or contact us online now for a free initial consultation. With offices in Montana and Wyoming, we help clients in Billings, Worland, Cody, Powell, Thermopolis and more.