MOTORCYCLE INJURY ACCIDENT LAWYER
When a motorcycle rider goes down there are two things that usually happen. First, he or she is badly hurt. Second, he or she discovers there is no PIP insurance. PIP insurance normally pays the reasonable and necessary accident related medical bills following a motor vehicle crash. If you are in your car, you are automatically covered by PIP. If you are on your motorcycle, you are not.
All motorcycles must carry liability insurance with the same minimum limits as a car, but with one important exception — personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is not required. If a motorcyclist goes down without having added PIP coverage to his policy, he’s not going to get any help from his insurance company getting back up. If there’s no PIP coverage on the motorcycle, health insurance steps in. If there is no health insurance and no PIP, there’s no help with medical bills as they accrue. Because accrued unpaid bills may threaten your credit score, you may want to consider getting a good plaintiff’s lawyer involved early in your case to enable him to work with your doctors to provide a lien protection letter, so unpaid bills are not forwarded to collection.
The case against the driver is almost always a case against the driver’s insurance company, but you wouldn’t know it if you watched a personal injury jury trial in action. The lawsuit has to be worded YOU versus HIM or HER, not you versus Farmers Insurance, or State Farm Insurance, or any other insurance company that operates in Oregon and insures the driver. By contract, the insurance company for the driver retains complete control over the defense of the case. Even if the defendant feels terrible about what happened and wants his insurance company to pay more money, the insurance company doesn’t have to listen. In a personal injury trial, if the plaintiff’s lawyer says the word “insurance” in front of a jury, even though insurance is involved in the case, the defense attorney can jump up and ask the judge for a mistrial.
Why can’t the plaintiff’s lawyer tell jurors it is the insurance company, not the person, we are after? It’s nearly impossible for jurors (and plaintiff’s lawyers) not to feel sympathetic toward the little 93 year old lady with sparkly eyes who sits at the defense table. She’s not the target. She’s the face insurance companies hide behind as they deny your claim, and impugn your character in court.
Motorcycle cases frequently involve broken bones, torn soft tissue and concussion. Injured cyclists frequently suffer wage loss and impaired earning capacity. The financial losses may be huge. The experienced plaintiff’s lawyer will know where to look to recover those losses and how to maximize your recovery.
What to do and not to do following a Motorcycle Accident
If you’re looking for an expert motorcycle accident lawyer, contact Steve Smucker for a free consultation.
Crash analyses show that head and neck injuries account for a majority of serious and fatal injuries to motorcyclists. Research also shows that, with few exceptions, head and neck injuries are reduced by properly wearing an approved helmet.
For the Oregon DMV motorcycle and moped manual, see: www.odot.state.or.us/forms/dmv/6367.pdf
Steve was diligent and left no stone unturned in preparing for trial . . .