Elements of a DC Catastrophic Motorcycle Accident Claim

Catastrophic motorcycle accidents often cause severe injuries and can, therefore, pose a number of legal issues to all parties involved. For this reason, it is important that you contact a catastrophic injury attorney if you have found yourself in such a predicament. An experienced lawyer will be able to ensure you take the necessary steps to build a strong claim and are aware of the various pitfalls that often come into play. To learn more or discuss your claim, schedule a consultation today.

Types of Injuries

Catastrophic motorcycle accidents typically involve severe injuries to the spine, spinal cord or brain and may also include a skull or spinal fracture.

These accidents are categorized as such due to the nature and extent of the injuries sustained. There is no way to predict how one type of collision may result in catastrophic injuries versus another. A qualified and trained attorney, however, will be able to work with the injured person in order to evaluate the nature and extent of injuries sustained, the current diagnoses, treatment plan and prognoses going forward in order to obtain the best recovery.

Helmet Laws in DC

The District of Columbia requires operators of motorcycles to wear a helmet. If a person chooses not to wear a helmet in DC, then that person has violated the law and that information can be used against their claim. This is a crucial element of a catastrophic motorcycle accident case.

There are different laws that apply to different types of motor vehicles. Anyone who is operating a motor vehicle in the District of Columbia should familiarize themselves with the requirements to operate such a motor vehicle in the District of Columbia. Motorcyclists, like the operators of all motor vehicles are required to comply with the laws and regulations of the District of Columbia while operating a motor vehicle.

Role of Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence in the District of Columbia is an affirmative defense afforded to the at-fault party in the case. In that circumstance, the at-fault party will have the legal burden to prove to the jury that the injured person contributed to their own injuries.

Anyone who is found to be in violation of the law, be it an operator requirement of a motor vehicle or a traffic law, will likely be confronted with a defense of contributory negligence if that violation of law caused or contributed to the collision which resulted in the injuries. Contributory negligence is often a crucial element of a catastrophic motorcycle accident case.

If the jury determines that the injured person caused or contributed to their injuries, then the injured person cannot recover as a matter of law. A defense merely needs to establish only 1 percent of negligence by the injured person in order for the jury to find, as a matter of law, that the plaintiff is barred from recovery.

Importance of Insurance

It is always important to have insurance when operating a motorcycle not only because it is required by the law, but also because it will ensure the operator of a motorcycle from potential liability and also for certain benefits if the motorcyclist is struck by another vehicle.

If the operator of the motorcycle does not have insurance and is injured through the fault of another party, then that claim will be evaluated based upon the facts and circumstances of the available insurance, any issues of available insurance limits, and any other issues that may come up. When a person is uninsured, then that information should be relayed to the evaluating attorney in order to understand and appreciate that piece of information in evaluating the claim.

Effect of the Policy

How the operator of a motorcycle involved in a catastrophic motorcycle collision will be affected by their own insurance policy will be determined based upon the facts and circumstances of that collision and any other available insurance along with any other number of factors that go into evaluating a claim.

Impact on Insurance Rates

The manner in which insurance rates are calculated is based upon innumerable factors that are typically confidential and only known to the underwriters of insurance policies. How a motorcycle collision may affect the rates is wholly unknown.

Anyone involved in a catastrophic motorcycle accident should report the collision to their insurance company.

Role of an Attorney

An experienced injury attorney will evaluate all elements of a catastrophic motorcycle accident in its entirety, from the actions leading up to the collision by both the driver of a motorcycle and any other vehicle involved, the mechanics of the collision, the resulting injuries and current treatment plan, as well as future diagnoses and prognoses going forward.

A lawyer will be able to evaluate all these issues and culminate them in a litigation plan in order for the injured person to move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible. This is to ensure the best route of recovery is available.