Motorcycles can be a great way to travel and see the country. Whether it’s a ride around town, a weekend away, or a longer vacation, spending time on a bike gives you a sense of freedom like nothing else. But motorcycles also offer minimal protection, and a collision can happen in a split second. When it does, your next phone call should be to a St. Paul motorcycle accident lawyer.
The average motorcycle weighs 700 pounds. Compare this to a big rig weighing as much as 80,000 pounds fully loaded and a typical car weighing about 4,000 pounds. It’s not hard to see why motorcyclists are often severely injured or killed in these collisions, because bikes are so much smaller, and motorcyclists have little protection beyond a helmet, jeans, and boots. Also, because of their smaller size, drivers of other vehicles often do not see a motorcyclist until it’s too late. More than 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in the United States each year.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if the accident was caused by someone else’s carelessness and negligence. To find out more about what your case might be worth, contact a skilled St. Paul motorcycle accident lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law. The initial consultation is free, so call us at 651-259-1113.
Why Choose Us
Our lead attorneys Isaac Tyroler and Rachel Sperling Leonard are passionate lawyers who have represented countless clients in their career. They care deeply about each individual’s needs and will do everything they can for them, whether standing up against an insurance company or putting themselves on the line as part of your defense team.
With this ethos at the forefront of Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, every member of our team shares our dedication and determination to provide the wrongful death representation that every client deserves in such a difficult time. We care about supporting you every step of the way to provide the justice you should have.
To learn more about what our satisfied clients have to say, you can read our client testimonials.
How We Can Help
A skilled and experienced St. Paul motorcycle accident lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law can build a strong legal case on your behalf to achieve the highest payout possible. Our efforts include:
- Gathering evidence
- Interviewing eyewitnesses
- Collecting medical records and tests
- Reviewing police reports
- Examining the crash scene
- Securing surveillance video, if available
- Researching applicable statutes and case law
- Preparing you for deposition
- Hiring expert witnesses, if needed
- Negotiating aggressively with insurance companies
- Litigating your case in court, if necessary.
We will leave no stone unturned when seeking facts and evidence so that you have the strongest case possible. We’ll walk beside you every step of the way throughout the legal process, from start to finish, so you’ll never be alone.
Some examples of our recent motorcycle accident cases include:
- $500,000 Policy Limits Settlement For A Man Injured In A Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident.
- $412,500 Settlement For A Motorcycle Accident.
- $300,300 Settlement For A Child Who Suffered Scarring After Being Thrown From His Uncle’s Motorcycle.
- $250,000 Settlement For A Woman Who Was Injured In An Minnesota Motorcycle Accident.
- $250,000 Settlement For A Man In A Minnesota Motorcycle Accident Who Was Sideswiped By A Car And Suffered A Lacerated Spleen.
Damages a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Might Get for You
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. These can include:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Future medical care and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress and anxiety
- Loss of consortium
In some cases, but not all, a judge can also award punitive damages. These are designed to punish particularly egregious offenders who show complete disregard for the safety of others and to send a warning to others who might be tempted to do the same.
”I highly recommend Tyroler Leonard Injury & Accident Lawyer. I went to them after a hit and run accident. I had no idea what to, but Isaac and his team were effecient and effective. They provided the support I needed so I could focus on healing and provided updates along the way. Isaac and team are professional and responsive. I could always find someone to talk to if I had questions. I also appreciate that Isaac is honest and cuts through the nonsense to get you the information you need. Overall, good experience.” – Sky Georges (Google Review)
A St. Paul motorcycle accident attorney answers your questions.
We have been representing injured clients for many years, and we hear some of the same questions over and over. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. We hope this is helpful.
How many motorcycles are registered in Minnesota?
There are 243,972 motorcycles registered in the state of Minnesota. The number of publicly owned, private, and commercial motorcycles registered in the U.S. and District of Columbia reached a total of 8.32 million units in 2020.
What if the person who caused my motorcycle crash did not have insurance?
You can 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 insurance would have if they were insured. The mandatory minimum coverage for Minnesota uninsured motorist coverage is $25,000.
What if another driver causes me to crash, but our vehicles didn’t actually collide?
This is a fairly common scenario for Minnesota motorcycle crashes. Many crashes involve the rider laying down a bike to avoid a collision with another car or truck or to avoid 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 can identify the other 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.
How many motorcyclists are killed each year in crashes?
More than 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in the U.S. each year in motorcycle accidents, and an additional 84,000 are injured. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DOP) and KAALTV (the local ABC affiliate), motorcycle deaths in the state are up 43% since 2019. In 65% of 2020’s motorcycle fatalities, the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet.
When and where do motorcycle accidents happen most often?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the peak time for fatal motorcycle crashes on weekdays (25%) is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. On weekends, the peak time for fatal motorcycle accidents (24%) is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Roughly 32% of motorcyclists are killed in alcohol-impaired crashes in which the motorcyclist or other driver has been drinking.
How many defendants can I sue in a motorcycle accident?
There can be one or several defendants in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. For example, if you’re hit by a delivery truck or big rig, potential defendants could include the other driver, his insurance provider, the trucking company, and even the truck manufacturer if there’s evidence of a manufacturing defect. Also, if the crash was caused by a defect in your own motorcycle, it’s possible the motorcycle manufacturer could be sued. In addition, a government agency can be a defendant if the agency was negligent in filling potholes, keeping the road free of debris, or fixing broken guardrails.
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 it. Even if you do not have no-fault benefits, motorcycle policies often have medical payments, or med pay, coverage. This can range from $1,000 to $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.
A motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Paul can guide you through all the intricacies in the law and prepare a strong lawsuit on your behalf. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to call our law firm at 651-259-1113.
Special Rules for Motorcyclists on the Road in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) publishes its Motorcycle Laws and Regulations each year. These include:
- Motorcyclists are entitled to the full use of their lanes and have all the rights and duties of other drivers. 169.974 subd. 5 (f) (g)
- Motorcyclists are permitted to travel in high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lanes. Title 23, U.S. Code, Section 166
- All laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs apply to motorcyclists as well. 169A
- Careless and reckless driving 169.13 applies to motorcyclists as well, and includes “wheelies,” “stoppies,” standing on the seat, etc. 169.13
- A motorcyclist may only ride on a permanent seat. Passengers may ride on a passenger seat or in a sidecar. 169.974 subd. 5 (a)
- Passengers under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet. 169.974 subd. 4 (a)
- Passengers must be able to reach both footrests while seated on the passenger seat. 169.974 subd. 5 (b)
- Operators and passengers must face forward with one leg on each side of the motorcycle. 169.974 subd. 5 (c)
- Motorcyclists must not carry anything that interferes with holding onto the handlebars. 169.974 subd. 5 (d)
- Splitting traffic is illegal. No one except on-duty police officers may ride between lanes of traffic or in the same lane with another vehicle. It is legal for two motorcyclists to ride side-by-side if both riders agree to it. 169.974 subd. 5 (e)
- Motorcyclists are provided with an affirmative defense when proceeding through an unchanging red light that has shown red for an unreasonable time if no vehicle or pedestrian is approaching the street. 169.06 subd. 9
- Headphones/earphones: one ear only. 169.471 subd. 2 (a)
It’s always a good idea to review the rules of the road before taking your motorcycle out for a long ride. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many things that can contribute to a motorcycle accident – bad weather, unfamiliar surroundings, driver error. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 80% of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death compared to just 20% in passenger vehicles (trucks, cars, SUVs, etc.). Similarly, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to suffer a fatality during a collision. Following are some of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes:
1. Alcohol and Drug Use
Drinking alcohol (either by the motorcyclist or driver of the other vehicle) significantly increases the likelihood of accidents.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, approximately 31% of all U.S. motorcycle riders who were involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
3. Inexperience and Inattention
Of the motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes in 2020, 36% were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
4. Physical and Emotional Impairment
Riding while sleep-deprived, ill, or without the height or strength to handle a large motorcycle can lead to crashes.
5. Mechanical Problems
Failing brakes, poor tire tread, and other mechanical and electrical defects can lead to accidents.
Inclement weather – whether rain, sleet, snow, wind or fog – can reduce visibility and make roads slick and hazardous.
7. Roadway Conditions
Construction zones and poorly maintained roads with potholes, gravel shoulders, and other problems can spell danger for motorcyclists.
8. Left Turns
Drivers of other vehicles have been known to turn left into oncoming motorcyclists simply because they didn’t see them in mirrors or when looking at the road.
9. Distracted Drivers
All too often, drivers of other vehicles are texting, eating, talking on the phone, listening to podcasts, or otherwise not paying attention to their surroundings.
10. Roadway Users and Traffic Threats
Sudden stops, lane changes, and car doors opening unexpectedly can have tragic consequences for motorcyclists.
Because motorcyclists are so vulnerable and sometimes hard to see, they should use extra caution when getting out on the road. Always use defensive driving skills.
Potential Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident injuries can be moderate or severe, depending on the circumstances. These crashes can also be deadly. Following are potential injuries you can sustain in a motorcycle crash:
- Head trauma & brain injuries
- Neck and spine injuries
- Lower back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds
In an instant, your life can be changed forever due to a motorcycle crash. You can face hundreds of thousands of dollars In medical bills and permanent disability.
What Happens If My Loved One Died in a Motorcycle Accident?
In the horrific event that your loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident, you could file a wrongful death claim. While it won’t bring your loved one back, it can help provide financial resources for surviving family members to live on going forward. In a wrongful death case, you can claim all the economic and non-economic damages listed above in addition to the cost of funeral and burial services.
In one of our cases, we recovered a $325,000 settlement for the family of a man who was killed on a motorcycle when a semi-truck made an illegal U-turn. The insurer for the truck denied the claim for two years until after numerous depositions, only settling well into litigation.
What You Should Do Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash, there are important steps you should take to avoid further injury and protect your legal rights:
- Call 911 and ask police to respond to the scene.
- Seek medical attention right away, even if this means riding in an ambulance to the hospital emergency room.
- Get the other driver’s name and license information.
- Get the name and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
- If you are able, use your cell phone to take pictures of your injuries, the damage to both vehicles, and the crash scene.
- Answer police officer’s questions succinctly, but do not over-explain. Above all, do not say you were at fault for the accident.
- Be polite, but say as little as possible to the other driver.
- Hire a St. Paul motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you.
By taking these steps, you can ensure your safety, preserve evidence, and position yourself well should you later decide to file a personal injury claim.
Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Claims in Minnesota
In most cases, the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident injury claim is six years in Minnesota. The 6-year statute of limitations for Minnesota personal injury lawsuits can be found at Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. There are a few scenarios in which the “clock” on the statute of limitations may be delayed. These include:
- If the injured person is younger than 18, then the statute does not run until the later of 6 years or the person turns 19 years old.
- If the injured person is legally insane, the clock won’t start until the period of legal disability is over (mental competence is restored). However, this filing deadline will not be extended beyond five (5) years, and once sanity is restored, the lawsuit must be filed within one (1) year. (Minnesota Statutes section 541.15.)
Minnesota Shared-Fault Rules
Some states, including Minnesota, follow a rule known as “modified comparative negligence.” This means the law understands that, in many situations, more than one person could be at fault for an accidental injury. The court will determine the amount of fault that belongs to each party based on the facts in the case. As long as your share of fault is 50% or less, you will be entitled to collect a certain amount of damages for your injury.
For example, suppose you’re riding your motorcycle down a busy street, and a car runs a stop sign and pulls out in front of you, causing your bike to crash. You were speeding 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, and the other driver was texting on his phone. Eventually, it’s determined that you are 25% at fault for the accident, and the other driver is 75% at fault. Let’s say the total damages for the accident are calculated to be $400,000. Under Minnesota’s comparative fault rule, 25% (the percentage of fault assigned to you) will be subtracted from that $400,000. This means you may collect 75% of the total, or $300,000.
If you have additional questions about the unique facts in your case and want to learn more about how fault might be determined, we invite you to talk to an experienced St. Paul motorcycle accident lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law. Call us for a free consultation at 651-259-1113.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in St Paul Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, your entire world has been turned upside down. At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we understand the stress you are under. While you focus on recovering, let us handle the legal side of things. Our motorcycle accident attorney in St. Paul can build a strong case on your behalf seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. You don’t have to face this horrible experience alone. Our professional and compassionate legal team will walk beside you every step of the way. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free consultation at 651-259-1113.