Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer Serving Halifax, Nova Scotia
Injuries from motorcycle accidents can be some of the most severe due to the fact they riders do not have the level of protection that being inside of a vehicle provides. Accidents can happen while riding motorcycles with other motorized vehicles, animals, road debris, slippery road conditions, poor vehicle design or poor road design. Often riders on bikes are thrown from their motorcycle, causing significant injuries.
Why are Motorcycle Claims More Complicated?
Having handled motorcycle claims for many years, we can attest that there are several factors that make these types of cases a lot more complex compared to other standard claims involving cars. Any experienced rider will tell you that getting involved in a motorcycle accident comes with its fair share of challenges when it’s time to file an injury claim.
For starters, bikers often suffer more severe injuries compared to the occupants of a car or truck accident. Motorcycles are open which presents a greater level of risk to the rider when a collision occurs. With the thrill of being in an open vehicle, comes the risk of suffering serious injuries in the event of an accident. Motorcycle riders only rely on protective gear such as the helmet to shield them from harm. Many victims of motorcycle accidents sustain catastrophic and life-threatening injuries which make their claims a lot more complicated.
Motorcycle accidents happen less frequently compared to vehicle and truck accidents, but they tend to result in death and more catastrophic injuries. For instance, in a head-on collision where a car strikes a motorcyclist from the front, there’s a high chance that this kind of accident will result in death or serious brain injury which makes the claim more complex to resolve.
Secondly, motorcycle accident injury claims become more complicated because of the stereotypical belief that bikers are outlaws or rebels. This belief has certainly been made worse by how bikers have been portrayed in movies and on TV. With this myth comes the assumption that most bikers are in the wrong when an accident involving another automobile occurs. It is this belief that contributes to non-bikers such as drivers behaving more recklessly around them on the road. Unfortunately, the stereotypes make motorcycle injury claims a lot more difficult to prove because you’re fighting misconceptions at every level of the case.
It’s also common for insurance adjusters to try and paint riders as being reckless and shift blame even though the accident wasn’t their fault. Lawyers handling motorcycle injury claims must put up a strong case and prove that the rider wasn’t an irresponsible risk taker who contributed to the accident and therefore deserves compensation.
Although there are challenges in pursuing a motorcycle accident injury claim, this shouldn’t put you off from seeking justice if you or a loved one has been hurt. Whether your case goes to trial or to a negotiating table, a good legal team will help you get financial help to cater for medical bills, your damaged bike, lost wages, and more. With the help of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, you’ll be able to put up a strong case, fight these unfair misconceptions and recover the compensation you need and deserve to move ahead with your life.
What You Need to Know About Proving Fault for a Motorcycle Accident
The process of proving fault in a motorcycle accident injury claim can be complicated. To begin this process, you’ll need a motorcycle accident lawyer to help you file your claim and begin negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company or take the case to trial in order to recover fair compensation.
If you have substantial evidence that proves the at-fault driver was negligent and caused the accident, you may recover compensation from their insurer. Be aware that proving fault is never a ‘walk in the park’. There’s a high chance that the other driver’s insurance will not accept blame right away so you should be prepared to put forward a strong case.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will review several options to prove different forms of negligence.
Common examples of negligence on the road include actions like:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs
- Drowsy driving
- Tailgating/following too closely
- Driving too fast in inclement weather
- Inattentiveness – For instance failing to look before taking a left turn
- Failing to yield
Even if the driver’s actions were not malicious, they may still be considered negligent if they acted in a careless manner and caused harm. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can demonstrate negligence and receive compensation for all financial losses.
Motorcycle Accident Compensation in Halifax
Accident victims don’t just suffer physical harm. There’s a lot more that victims and their families must deal with after an accident. Our accident lawyers are aware of this and that’s why they come deeply committed to getting every client the most comprehensive compensation they need to recover every aspect of their lives.
No two accidents are the same and that’s why people are entitled to different amounts of compensation depending on the specifics of their case.
Some of the factors that the courts consider when determining the victim’s compensation in motorcycle accidents include:
- The effect the accident has had on the plaintiff’s quality of life
- The circumstances of the accident
- The victim’s age
- The future medical care needs
- The impact on the victim’s ability to perform work in future
Since insurance adjusters are constantly looking to keep the amount of settlement at a minimum, with the help of a lawyer, you can claim the highest possible damages to cover:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Future losses
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost housekeeping capacity (the victim’s inability to provide help at home etc.)
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If injured in a motorcycle accident in Halifax, the next steps you take can help increase the chances of your injury claim getting approved. We recommend taking the following steps after a motorcycle accident:
Step 1: Seek medical attention
Get medical attention even if you haven’t suffered severe injuries. Visit the hospital and have the doctor perform the necessary assessments if involved in a motorcycle accident. This ensures you not only get the treatment you need but also provides the official medical records necessary to prove your injuries when pursuing a claim.
Step 2: File a police report
It’s always important to have the police at the scene of the accident. This ensures that there’s an official police report to verify that the accident took place. It also helps to provide preliminary investigations and clearly articulate the circumstances of the accident. In fact, the law requires that all accidents in Nova Scotia that result in $2,000 or more in damages must be reported to the police.
Step 3: Collect information
If you haven’t been severely hurt, try and collect important information such as the driver’s name, contact information, license number, insurance details, car’s make and model as well as the vehicle identification number. Also take pictures of the accident scene capturing the damaged vehicle, surrounding scene, and any visible injuries you may have. If you sustained serious injuries, there’s a high chance that the police will collect all this information when they arrive at the scene of the accident.
Step 4: Hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer
To pursue a motorcycle accident injury claim, you’ll need an experienced lawyer to guide you and discuss the options available. Don’t have any discussions with any insurance adjusters before you’ve retained your lawyer. Your lawyer will educate you on your rights and negotiate on your behalf.
Common Injuries in Nova Scotia Motorcycle Accidents
At Wagners, we’ve worked with many victims of motorcycle accidents and their families so we understand how devastating such situations can be. We’ve seen innocent riders face severe injuries in accidents involving other motorists. Our mission is to help them secure justice and begin rebuilding their lives after the accident.
At Wagners, we’ve helped victims who’ve sustained all kinds of injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and facial fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Neck injuries
Motorcycle accident injuries can be life threatening and debilitating. Victims suffer serious financial and psychological consequences and only full and fair compensation can help them to move forward with their lives.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As lawyers, we’ve seen how devastating motorcycle accidents can be. With motorcycles, the rider doesn’t have any sort of protective structure like other automobiles and hence they are at risk of suffering fatal injuries when involved in a collision.
Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents we’ve come across:
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Lane splitting: Driving on two lanes of traffic
- Sudden stops: When a driver abruptly stops and hits a motorcyclist
- Dangerous road conditions: When a motorcyclist loses control because of poor road conditions like a crumbling pavement, potholes, or debris.
- Defective parts or design: When the motorcycle is poorly designed or manufactured resulting in accidents
- Faulty maintenance
- When a driver opens the car door and hits an oncoming motorcycle
- Unsafe lane changes: Often occurs when the driver fails to check a blind spot or signal when changing lanes and ends up hitting a motorcyclist
No Fault Mandatory Benefits/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 medical benefits for services such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, assistive devices and medication; a wage loss component for time missed from employment; and travel expenses. There is coverage for these benefits regardless of who is at fault for the collision and your insurance premiums will not increase if you access these benefits. As of 2018, the maximum amount of coverage everyone is entitled to under this portion of the insurance policy is $50,000.00 or four years of coverage from the date of the accident. Although this sounds like a significant sum of money, accidents involving orthopedic injuries, or extensive dental damage can use these maximums quite quickly.
Third Party Action
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, you are entitled to bring a claim for damages against the other driver and need the best representation possible to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
The claim against the third-party driver for damages will include compensation for the following losses: medical treatment the Section B of insurance does not cover, General Damages for the pain and suffering you endured, loss of wages not covered by any other source (Such as: Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, Unemployment Insurance, Section B Weekly Indemnity, or Sick Benefits), Future Losses you will suffer, Out of Pocket Expenses, and an award for Loss of Valuable Services. The Loss of Valuable Services Award, also known as Loss of Housekeeping Capacity, is an award recognizing that injuries often result in inability to perform housekeeping tasks and other family members, or friends, need to step in and help.
The amount of compensation you will be entitled to will depend on several factors including: the severity of injuries you suffered, your age, the time you missed from work, the impact your injuries have had on your personal life, and the care needs you will require into the future. If you are offered a settlement and not sure if the amount is fair, it is advisable to contact a personal injury lawyer before signing any paperwork accepting the settlement. Once you accept an offer in writing, it is very difficult to go back on accepting the settlement.
Why Contact Wagners
It is important to document the facts of the case early on, especially to ensure you can prove who is at fault for the accident, as memory fades with time. An experienced personal injury lawyer at our firm can walk you through what information you will require to recover your losses. It is also important to call a lawyer to ensure you comply with the appropriate limitation periods that apply to your case.
If you have been injured in motorcycle accident, one of our motor vehicle accident attorneys would be happy to speak with you. Our clients have been involved in accidents all over Nova Scotia. Contact us for your free consultation.