You hurt all over, your motorcycle is wrecked from an accident, and the insurance adjuster wants a statement. What do you do? The lawyers at Lawton Cates, S.C. have the motorcycle accident attorneys to guide you through this difficult time. We Can Help.
We can help with your property damage from a motorcycle accident to make sure you get fair value for your motorcycle, not what the insurance company wants to pay.
- We can help get your health insurance to pay your medical bills after the motorcycle accident
- We can help with creditors involved in the accident
- We can help with the adjuster from the insurance company
- We can help get you the settlement you deserve
What to Do If You Are in an Accident
- Do Not Leave the scene of the motorcycle accident: Wisconsin law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in personal injury, death, or property damage to stop his/her vehicle at the scene of the motorcycle accident.
- Assist the Injured: Check for injured persons. If some is seriously injured, call 911 and request emergency aid. Make the injured person comfortable, but do not move the person unless you are skilled in giving emergency motorcycle, or it is absolutely necessary to avoid further injury.
- Warn Other Drivers: Make every effort to warn other drivers of the accident to prevent additional motorcycle accidents. At night, use available flares, reflectors or flashlights.
- Call the Police: Wisconsin law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in personal injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more, $200 for government property, to immediately notify the local police department, sheriff, or highway patrol of the motorcycle accident. Failure to report an automobile accident may result in your driver's license being revoked.
Even if there are no apparent personal injuries, it is a good idea to call the police immediately. Injuries often show up later, and it is important that the police investigate the accident promptly. Report any injuries you have. If you do not request an investigation, you may seriously damage your chances of obtaining full compensation or may be blamed for an accident that was not your fault.
- Assist Law Enforcement Officers: Remain at the scene, unless injured, until the police arrive. Cooperate with the officer by relating the basic facts of the motorcycle accident. Explain what happened. Be complete and accurate.
- Identify the Other Drivers: Obtain the other driver's name, address, and license plate number. Ask to see the other driver's license. Wisconsin law requires the exchange of this information after a automobile accident. It is a good idea to get the other driver's insurance information.
- Obtain Names and Telephone Numbers of Witnesses: Often, by the time the police arrive at the accident scene, witnesses to the crash may be gone. You should try to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses to the accident may have valuable information in the event there is a dispute as to who is at fault.
- Go to the Doctor If You Are Hurt: If you believe that you were injured in the accident, go to the nearest emergency room or to your family doctor as soon as possible to have the injuries treated by a health care professional. In order to insure proper medical treatment, be sure to disclose all injuries to the doctor, no matter how minor. Be sure to follow the doctor's orders and get follow up treatment, as necessary.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
With the weather turning warmer, more motorcyclists are taking to the highways. Now is a great time to review motorcycle safety and what to do in the event you are injured in a motorcycle accident. Many Wisconsin motorcycle accidents are caused because car drivers are careless and don’t see the motorcycles. Drivers often:
- Change lanes unsafely
- Fail to signal
- Violate traffic lights
- Fail to yield the right-of-way
- Fail to follow other traffic laws
All too often, drivers are also distracted by electronic devices or are intoxicated and not fit to drive.
The consequences of carless car driving are often tragic for motorcyclists and their passengers. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to injury because they have little protection in the event of a crash. As many as 80% of motorcycle drivers are injured or killed when involved in a motorcycle accident, according to the federal National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If you are injured as a motorcyclist or passenger, you may have a claim for compensation. If you do, you will need the help of an experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorney. Finding the right lawyer can be daunting, but it is important that to hire an attorney you are comfortable with, and in whom you can place your trust.
Do You Have to Wear a Motorcycle Helmet in Wisconsin?
If you are over the age of 18, you are not legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet while riding. Anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet that passes the DOT regulations and have the corresponding DOT sticker on it if they are riding a motorcycle. If you are required to wear a helmet and choose to not wear one, you can be fined up to $175.
Regardless of age, you must wear some form of eye protection while riding a motorcycle. Acceptable eye protection includes: goggles, face shields, or glasses.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help After a Wisconsin Motorcycle Crash?
A competent motorcycle accident attorney will investigate the circumstances of your case; evaluate your injuries and determine your rights under Wisconsin law. He or she will advise you as to the amount of money you can expect to recover in your case.
What Will It Cost to Hire Lawton Cates?
We only charge a fee when we recover compensation for you. We are paid a percentage of the recovery at the end of the case. At Lawton Cates, we advance any out of pocket costs such as medical records, filing fees and expert witness fees. You will only pay for those costs and your attorney fees if we recover money on your behalf.
How Do I Find an Attorney to Help With My Motorcycle Accident Case?
A lot of law firms use heavy radio and television advertising to get you to hire them. Just because a firm has a lot of radio or television ads doesn’t mean they will give your case the personalized, high level attention it deserves. Don’t fall for the hype. When hiring a lawyer to work on your case, make sure you get enough information about them to ensure they will handle your case competently. Keep these things in mind when hiring a lawyer to handle your motorcycle or car accident case:
- Don’t Pay for an Initial Consultation. It is standard practice to have a free initial meeting with a personal injury lawyer. There is no obligation to hire an attorney just because you meet with them. Our ethics rules generally require written fee agreements in personal injury cases. If you speak with an attorney who wants to charge for your initial meeting, you should find someone else. If your first meeting is with a non-lawyer, like an investigator, paralegal or assistant, find someone else to handle your case.
- Ask Questions. What is the attorney’s experience with motorcycle accident cases and other personal injury cases? Is at least one member of the firm board-certified? Has the firm or have its attorneys been recognized by peers for excellence and leadership in the profession? Some firms advertise the past accomplishments of a senior attorney who is actually now on senior status and not really actively practicing law. If a firm is touting the accomplishments of one lawyer, make sure that attorney is actually going to be handling your case, rather than being on “senior status” or only in the office a few days a week.
- Don’t Let the Attorney Charge an Attorney Fee for Your Med-Pay Recovery. Med-Pay is a provision of your own motorcycle or auto insurance which pays medical charges not covered by health insurance related to any collision you are involved in. Payment under these policies can usually be obtained by just writing a letter and sending medical bills with a copy of the accident report to the Med-Pay carrier. Our firm does not charge an attorney fee or costs related to Med-Pay and no attorney should. Ask about it at the initial consultation. If the firm charges attorney fees on Med-Pay recoveries, move on.
- Make Sure an Attorney will Actually Handle Your Case. Far too often, firms assign cases internally not to lawyers but to paralegals, investigators or other non-lawyers. If you are hiring a lawyer, you should be represented by a lawyer. Ask about how many non-lawyers staff the firm – if there are many more non-lawyers than lawyers, it may tell you who will handle your case.
Find out who will be your primary contact within the firm, who will communicate with you, who will handle each phase of your claim. Your claim is extremely important. You deserve to have it handled by a real lawyer. If you can’t be assured a lawyer will be working on your case, you should find a different firm.
At Lawton Cates, an attorney will handle your case and work personally with you throughout the pursuit of your claim. You will not be abandoned to other, non-lawyer staff. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Lawton Cates to find the right lawyer.
Select a Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Who Knows the Law
If the other driver is at fault for the motorcycle accident, you have a right to receive compensation for your injuries and property damage. The insurance adjuster will want to settle the case as soon as possible, and before you get an attorney. Be cautious of settling your case in these circumstances. Once you sign the release, you cannot go back later if you are hurt worse than you originally thought.
No settlement should be made until you know the extent and nature of your injuries. The law in Wisconsin gives you three years from the date of the accident to resolve your claims resulting from an automobile accident, longer if you are a minor. You have plenty of time to get the treatment you need, and resolve your case.
You need a lawyer that is experienced in the area of motorcycle accident injuries. The issues can be complex and mistakes can cost you a lot of money. You need an attorney that understands the relationship between motorcycle accidents, health insurance, disability insurance, ERISA, liability insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, and you. The interplay of all of these factors can mean a huge difference in your settlement.
"Terry took the time to comfortably explain all and discuss options and decision-making that could be done along the way with clear pros and cons and asking me how I’d like to proceed."Jim R.
Compassionate, thorough, & made it easy to understand what’s going on.Riley G.
Lawton & Cates has been the most supportive and helpful!Rachel
"Everyone was so very kind to me... We were all made to feel welcome, made to feel supported, and made to feel like we belong there. That was very important to me since I was pretty stressed out a lot of the time."Susie