The thrill of enjoying the open road can come to a screeching halt if you are hurt in a motorcycle accident. In addition to the agonizing pain from your injuries, you may also incur extreme medical bills and lose income due to being unable to work. Fortunately, Washington State law does allow you to recover for your losses, but these cases are highly complex. Our attorneys at Kapuza Lighty, PLLC have the knowledge and experience to pursue your right to compensation from the responsible driver, so you can focus on getting back to health.
Yakima, WA Lawyers Tackle Tough Motorcycle Accident Cases
Motorcycle crashes can lead to catastrophic injuries, primarily because of the size and weight differences between a cycle and other vehicles. The more common types of motorcycle injuries include:
- Head Trauma: Traumatic brain injury (TBI), concussion, skull fractures, and penetrating head injuries can be life-threatening. Even when you were wearing a helmet as required by Washington State law, protective gear may not be enough to withstand the impact.
- Neck and Spine Injuries: Damage to the neck, back and spine can lead to paralysis, quadriplegia, or paraplegia. In the most serious motorcycle crashes, a victim may never walk again.
- Road Rash: This type of injury occurs when exposed skin slides across rough pavement, causing a rash-like wound. Road rash is very painful, but there can be other health implications such as nerve damage and infection.
- Lower Extremities Injuries: Injuries to feet, legs, ankles, and knees are typical in motorcycle collisions because there is no metal barrier to protect you from harm. Bone fractures, amputations, severe bruising, cuts, lacerations, and other trauma often require surgery.
No matter what the exact nature of your motorcycle injuries may be, these accidents are usually the result of negligence. Therefore, you must prove that the responsible driver failed to exercise reasonable care in operating his or her vehicle, leading to the crash where you were hurt. You must also show that you suffered damages as a result of your injuries, which fall into two categories under state law:
- Economic damages, which are the direct losses from a motorcycle accident. Examples are:
- Medical expenses for emergency care, ongoing treatment, surgery, physical therapy, prescriptions, and similar costs;
- Lost wages if you were unable to work as a result of your injuries; and,
- Similar losses.
- Noneconomic damages, a legal concept that refers to such subjective losses as:
- Pain and suffering;
- Damages due to how your injuries impact upon your relationships with family, friends, and other loved ones;
- Emotional distress; and,
- Other types of losses depending on your situation.
Legal Implications Regarding Your Claim
Note that Washington State has enacted laws that may reduce or prohibit your claim after a motorcycle accident, including:
The statute of limitations, which requires you to file a lawsuit within three years from the date of the incident; and
The contributory fault law that reduces your compensation if your own conduct contributed to the motorcycle crash.
Trust a Knowledgeable Yakima, WA Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a motorcycle collision, please contact Kapuza Lighty, PLLC today. We can schedule a consultation to review your case and discuss your legal options.