Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Halifax

Injuries from motorcycle accidents are some of the most severe because motorcyclists lack the protective shell that other vehicles offer.  Motorcycle accidents are often caused by the negligence of other drivers, but animals on the road, road debris, slippery road conditions, or faulty design of the road or the vehicles on it can all cause or contribute to these often-deadly accidents. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another person or entity’s negligence, it’s time to consult with an experienced Halifax motorcycle accident lawyer.

Why Are Motorcycle Accident Claims More Complicated?

While all traffic collisions and motorcycle accidents are exceptionally dangerous and legally complex, motorcycles tend to be more so for a variety of important reasons, including:

  • Because nothing but the motorcyclist’s helmet and safety gear comes between them and the immense impact of a crash, they are far more vulnerable to serious – or catastrophic – injuries.
  • Because motorcyclists take up considerably less space on the road, they’re also more vulnerable to getting lost in the blind spots of other motorists or simply not being seen.
  • Too many car drivers and other motorists fail to pay adequate attention to motorcyclists in their midst, and in the process, they fail to take the precautions necessary to share the road with them safely.
  • Because of the size differential, it is more difficult for motorists to accurately gauge how far away motorcyclists are and their speed, which makes accidents in intersections more likely when drivers fail to consider this discrepancy.

There is also a common belief out there that motorcyclists are rebels on the road. In response, too many drivers fail to take their safety into adequate consideration or to afford them the courtesy they owe everyone with whom they share the road. This prompts some drivers to engage in risky practices in the presence of motorcyclists, which makes accidents more likely. Further, the prevailing attitude that the motorcyclist is always at fault is far from the truth, but battling this stereotype can make obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled that much more difficult.

It’s important to keep in mind that insurance adjusters are not above painting motorcyclists – who are most likely to be seriously injured in a traffic accident – as being at fault. Insurance companies are in the business of generating massive profits, and this is an advantageous stance to take from this perspective. In other words, bringing your strongest claim is paramount, and a dedicated motorcycle injury lawyer can help you with that.

When you’re on your bike, making your safety a top priority by driving defensively and assuming that you’re invisible to other drivers is always the best strategy.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Statistics Canada reports that, for a recent five-year stretch, all the following motorcycle accident statistics apply:

  • There were an average of 180 fatal motorcycle accidents per year.
  • Left-turn collisions and T-bone accidents accounted for a full quarter of these deadly accidents.
  • Head-on collisions accounted for another 10 percent.
  • Impairment played a role in nearly a third of all fatal motorcycle accidents.
  • Excess speed featured in a quarter of all fatal motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle accidents are not uncommon, and they often prove deadly.

Seeking the Compensation to Which You’re Entitled

Although there are challenges in pursuing a motorcycle accident injury claim, this shouldn’t stop you from seeking justice if you or a loved one has been harmed by another driver’s negligence. Whether your case goes to trial or to a negotiating table, a focused legal team can help you obtain the compensation to which you’re entitled and that you need to reach your most complete recovery. The legal damages – or losses – covered by the law break down into several basic categories.

Property Damage

To begin, you can seek compensation for damage to your property, which includes your bike, your gear, and anything you were carrying with you on your bike.

Medical Bills

The medical bills you face in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be immense and ongoing. Taking related medical needs that you are likely to encounter in the future into consideration is critical to obtaining fair compensation for medical expenses. Further, in motorcycle accident cases, secondary health concerns and complications can translate to even more severe injuries and extensive medical costs that should not be ignored.

Lost Income

While you are recovering from the injuries you’ve sustained, you’re very likely to be off the job, and experience lost income as a result. If your ability to do your job, to advance your career, or to continue growing your earning potential is affected, this category of loss can be that much more significant. Losses related to your career can also foster emotional responses that have to do with the emphasis we place on career growth to our sense of self.

Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering

In a motorcycle accident victim in addition to the losses you experience that you can readily attach a price to, there are noneconomic damages that represent your physical and emotional pain and suffering, which can be difficult to overcome. Many victims of violent motorcycle or car accidents caused by the negligence of others suffer symptoms that are not dissimilar from PTSD and can include all the following:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Depressive episodes
  • Fear of getting back on their motorcycles
  • Severe mood swings
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A heightened startle response
  • A tendency to self-isolate

A focused motorcycle accident lawyer will help build your strongest claim, fight any unfair misconceptions you’re facing, and fiercely advocate for the fair and full compensation you need to reach your fullest recovery and embrace your future.

What You Need to Know About Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Claim

The process of proving fault in a motorcycle accident or personal injury claim tends to be complicated. To begin, you’ll need the skilled legal counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer to file your claim and begin the negotiation process. Your lawyer will ably take on all the following primary tasks in pursuit of a favourable claim resolution that upholds your rights:

  • Gathering all the available evidence, which includes any accident reports, eyewitness testimony, photos and videos taken at the scene, footage captured by security cameras and dashcams in the vicinity, any physical evidence gathered at the scene, and beyond
  • Skillfully compiling the evidence into a claim that clearly outlines the physical, financial, and emotional losses you experienced as a result of another driver’s negligence and that is difficult to refute
  • Bolstering your claim with expert testimony and accident recreation models that vividly depict how the accident happened
  • Skillfully negotiating with the insurance company for a claim resolution that reflects your rightful compensation
  • Being well prepared to take your case to court if the insurance company is not interested in affording you just compensation

Additionally, your accomplished injury lawyer will help to ensure that you avoid the mistakes that claimants too often fall prey to under the stressful circumstances of being injured in a motorcycle accident. For example, you’re not required to provide the involved insurance company with a statement about the accident, and it’s in your best interest to leave this important step to your legal counsel. Further, it’s important to know that anything that you post on social media – regardless of how innocent you think it is – can lead to negative consequences concerning your claim and is best avoided.

Proving the Other Driver’s Negligence

Sometimes, the other driver’s negligence is only too clear, such as when a drunk driver runs a red light and T-bones a motorcyclist who is passing through the intersection on a green light. In other instances, the matter of fault is more nuanced. To obtain fair compensation from the other driver’s insurance provider, you’ll need to prove their negligence in the matter, which – even in fairly straightforward claims – can be challenging.

The stronger your claim, the better prepared you’ll be to clearly demonstrate the other driver’s negligence. Your skilled motorcycle accident lawyer will be well prepared to carefully analyze your case in relation to the evidence and to forward a solid claim in the process. In Nova Scotia – even if you share fault for the accident that leaves you injured – you can seek the percentage of compensation that the other driver is responsible for.

Proving negligence can become very complicated very quickly, and working closely with a formidable accident lawyer is always in your best interest.

Common Forms of Driver Negligence

While every motorcycle accident is utterly unique to the unique circumstances and negligent drivers involved, most car accidents are caused by driver negligence that falls into one of the following basic categories:

  • Failing to follow the rules of the road
  • Speeding excessively
  • Driving while distracted or driving inattentively, such as failing to look before making a left turn
  • Driving while drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs
  • Drowsy driving
  • Tailgating or following too closely
  • Driving too fast with the effects of bad weather
  • Failing to yield the right of way

The driver’s negligence doesn’t have to be malicious to cause harm, and your savvy lawyer will help definitively pinpoint the other driver’s negligence in your motorcycle accident case – in a focused pursuit of compensation that fairly covers your related losses.

Motorcycle Accident Compensation in Halifax

The damages you suffer in a serious motorcycle accident aren’t limited to physical harm. We recognize that your unique situation and the emotional harm you suffer will play a primary role in your recovery. Some of the wide range of factors that the courts consider when determining a victim’s compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident include:

  • The effect on their quality of life
  • The circumstances of the accident
  • Their age
  • Their future healthcare needs
  • The impact on their career moving forward

Insurance adjusters are firmly invested in minimizing settlements – in support of high profits. Having a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer in your corner can provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your claim represents the full range of losses you’ve experienced, which helps to support an optimal outcome.

This includes accurately and effectively outlining your losses in each of the following categories:

  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages, current and future
  • The lost ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Your full range of future losses
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost housekeeping abilities or your inability to continue providing homemaking services at home

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

If you or someone you care about is injured in a motorcycle accident in Halifax, the next steps you take will be critical to your ability to fully recover compensation for your losses through an accident claim.

Step 1: Seek the Medical Attention You Need

Even if you don’t believe you’ve suffered serious injuries, in motorcycle accident injury cases it’s in your own best interest – as well as the best interest of your motorcycle accident injury lawyers and claim to seek immediate medical attention. The truth about motorcycle accident injuries is that a serious injury can hide in plain sight, and the sooner you seek the help you need, the sooner it can be diagnosed, which supports an improved prognosis. By obtaining the required medical assessments, you also help to ensure that you’ll have the official medical records necessary to prove your injuries when pursuing a claim.

Step 2: File a Police Report

Calling the police at the scene of a motorcycle accident is always the best policy. Doing so ensures that there’s an official police report to not only verify that the accident happened but also to initiate a preliminary investigation and record the relevant details. Motorists are required by law to report any traffic accident in Nova Scotia that results in $2,000 or more in damages, which is generally met in even relatively minor motorcycle accidents.

Step 3: Collect Evidence and Information

If you haven’t been seriously hurt and you’re able to do so, it’s a good idea to collect any evidence or information at the scene that you can. It’s also important to note that you can generally count on others at the scene – or the police – to take care of this for you if you’re not able to take care of it on your own.

The information in question includes all the following:

  • The other driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance provider and number
  • The make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the other driver’s vehicle
  • Photos and videos that capture the accident scene and help flesh out how it happened, including your damaged bike, the other vehicle, and the surroundings
  • Photos of any visible injuries you’ve suffered
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Any relevant dashcam footage

Step 4: Hire an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

As soon as you’ve received the medical care you need and done what you can in terms of gathering evidence, the most important step you can take is to reach out to consult with a practiced motorcycle accident lawyer. In addition to carefully assessing your claim from every angle, your attorney will take steps to ensure that you know your rights and do everything you can to protect them, which includes leaving the insurance adjuster to your lawyer.

Your lawyer is well-positioned to guide your claim effectively and efficiently forward – in pursuit of a settlement that adequately addresses your complete losses.

Common Injuries in Nova Scotia Motorcycle Accidents

At Wagners, we’ve worked with many motorcycle accident victims, and we are well acquainted with exactly how devastating they can be. Our mission as a law firm is to help innocent victims who’ve been harmed by the negligence of other drivers secure just settlements that allow them to make the long journey toward recovery. In the process, we’ve worked with clients with every manner of serious personal injury cases, including all the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Limb loss and injuries that require amputation
  • Broken bones and facial fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Serious cuts and burns, including scarring and disfigurement
  • Neck injuries
  • Internal injuries

The injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are often debilitating and can be life-threatening. This is not to mention the serious financial and psychological damages victims tend to suffer, which makes full and fair compensation the surest path forward.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

As injury lawyers who represented an imposing array of motorcycle accident victims, we’ve seen firsthand how overwhelming they can be. When you ride motorcycles, you don’t have the protective barrier you do when you get behind the wheel of your car, which leaves you especially vulnerable to very serious injuries in the event of an accident. While motorcycles can be caused by every manner of driver negligence, some of the most common causes include all the following:

  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Lane splitting
  • Sudden stops, or when a driver fails to allow enough distance between them and a forward motorcyclist and, as a result,  hits them when an abrupt stop is required
  • Dangerous road conditions, such as debris, the effects of bad weather, or crumbling pavement cause the motorcyclist to lose control of their bike
  • Defective parts or design that translate to a faultily designed or crafted motorcycle
  • Faulty motorcycle maintenance
  • Dooring accidents that involve a parked motorist opening their car door and hitting an oncoming motorcyclist in the process
  • Unsafe lane changes, which often occur when motorists fail to check their blind spots or fail to signal before changing lanes, leave motorcyclists in their midst especially vulnerable

No-Fault Mandatory Benefits – or Section B of Insurance

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Nova Scotia, you are entitled to certain medical and wage benefits through your insurance provider. These benefits include payments for medical services such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, assistive devices, and medication – in addition to a wage loss component for time missed from employment as well as travel expenses.

You’re entitled to this coverage regardless of who is at fault for the collision, and your insurance premiums can’t increase in response to catastrophic injuries. As of 2018, the maximum amount of coverage everyone is entitled to under this portion of their insurance policies is $50,000 in the four years following the accident date. Although this seems like a significant amount of coverage, any serious accident involving orthopedic injuries or that leads to extensive dental damage – for example – can make quick work of these maximums.

Third-Party Action

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, you’re entitled to file a claim against them for the covered damages you’ve suffered, and having trusted legal representation on your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim – and in your ability to regain your health and well-being to the fullest extent possible.

You’ll seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s third-party liability coverage, which includes compensation for all the following medical treatments that are covered in your Section B coverage:

  • Medical treatments, procedures, and tests
  • General damages for the physical and emotional damage you endured
  • Loss of wages that aren’t covered by any other source, including short-term disability, long-term disability, unemployment insurance, sick benefits, or Section B weekly indemnity
  • Future losses you experience
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Loss of valuable services, which is also known as loss of housekeeping capacity that requires others to step in on your behalf

The amount of compensation you’re entitled to will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, your age, the amount of time you were off the job, the impact your injuries have on your personal life, and the amount of care you’ll require into the future.

If you’ve been offered a settlement and aren’t sure that the amount is fair, contacting a personal injury lawyer who is up to speed regarding your claim is always advised before acceptance. Once you accept an offer in writing, it’s very difficult – if not impossible – to make any changes.

Why Contact Wagners Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers?

Because memories tend to fade and evidence can be lost with time, documenting the facts of your case early on is key – especially when it comes to proving fault. The esteemed personal injury lawyers at our Wagners are standing by to walk you through the process – ensuring not only that your rights are well protected but also that you remain in compliance with the law, including regarding the applicable limitation period.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we encourage you to contact or call us at 902-425-7330 or 1-800-465-8794 to schedule your free consultation and learn more today.

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