ST. PAUL MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
As riders know, car and truck drivers often do not do a good job of paying attention for motorcycles on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated in 2016 that there were over 8,000,000 motorcycles on the road. That number has continued to climb. In 2016, there were 88,000 injuries and over 5,000 motorcyclist deaths. This page addresses common questions people have after Minnesota motorcycle crashes.
DO I HAVE A CLAIM FOR MY MINNESOTA MOTORCYCLE CRASH?
Whether you have a case depends on two things: fault and injuries. The first question is whether you are at fault for the crash. The law looks at whether each driver or rider is negligent, meaning they did not act as a reasonable person would have.
Minnesota is a comparative fault state, meaning that we compare the fault of one person to another to determine if you have a case. If you are 50% or less at fault for a motorcycle accident, you will have a claim against the other driver or their insurance. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage you are at fault. For example, if your case is worth $100,000 but you are 25% at fault for the motorcycle accident, you will recover $75,000. Someone who is more than 50% does have a claim against the other person involved in the motorcycle crash.
Analyzing fault can be complicated and stressful and is something an experienced St. Paul motorcycle attorney can help with.
The second issue is damages. Damages are something that a person lost as the result of their injuries. This can be:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future wage loss
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- And many other types of losses
Unlike with car crashes, there is no threshold (thresholds for St. Paul car accidents are described here) you must hit to have a claim for pain and suffering. You have a claim as soon as you are injured in a Minnesota motorcycle accident.
DO I HAVE NO-FAULT BENEFITS IF I AM IN A MINNESOTA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
Maybe. Minnesota does not require motorcycles to have no-fault insurance. It is an option that most insurers offer, but most agents do not tell motorcyclists about. Even if you do not have no-fault benefits, often motorcycle policies have medical payments, or med pay, coverage. This can range from $1,000-$10,000. If you have this coverage, you will be entitled to that amount to be used for your medical bills, regardless of any fault determination. Keep in mind that your insurer does have a right to get this money back if you recover money from the at-fault driver’s insurance. Consult with an experienced St. Paul motorcycle attorney to see if this amount can be minimized or eliminated.
WHAT IF THE PERSON WHO CAUSED MY MOTORCYCLE CRASH DID NOT HAVE INSURANCE?
You are able to pay for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage but you must elect it. Unfortunately, Minnesota does not require uninsured motorist coverage on motorcycles. This means that if an uninsured driver causes you injuries in a motorcycle crash, there may not be any coverage available for you.
If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, that would cover you for injuries in the same way the at-fault driver’s would have if they were insured. The mandatory minimum coverage for Minnesota uninsured motorist coverage is $25,000.
WHAT IF ANOTHER PERSON CAUSES ME TO CRASH BUT WE NEVER MAKE CONTACT?
This is a fairly common scenario for Minnesota motorcycle crashes. Many crashes involve the rider having to lay down a bike to avoid a crash or being run off the road. If another driver is negligent and that negligence causes you to crash your motorcycle, you have a claim against that person even if you did not make contact. The biggest concern is making sure that you are able to identify the vehicle, especially if they run you off the road and keep driving. If you are unable to identify the driver or vehicle that caused the crash, you will be left making an uninsured motorist claim, as discussed above.
DO I NEED A MINNESOTA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries and a lot of stress. You may be wondering whether you can work, how you will pay medical bills, and what you are supposed to do for medical treatment. Not to mention you will be flooded with calls from the insurance company and requests to fill out paperwork. At Tyroler Injury Law we handle all of your paperwork and take all of the insurance company phone calls so you can focus on getting better.
Even if you do not hire an attorney to handle the work at the beginning of the case, insurance companies do not offer settlements because they want to be fair. An insurance company who is not worried about you starting a lawsuit will never put their top dollar on the table for you. Having an experienced Minnesota motorcycle accident attorney will help appropriately value the case and maximize the settlement from the insurance company or take the case to trial, if necessary.
INJURED? CONTACT A ST. PAUL PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
If you have questions about a St. Paul car accident or St. Paul motorcycle accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 651-259-1113. You deserve to have compassionate, experienced representation. Please see here why we are the right choice for you.