Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable in car accidents than motor vehicle drivers. Even with a helmet and the appropriate gear, motorcyclists can easily sustain catastrophic and life-threatening injuries in an accident, the most common of which include: concussions, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic tattooing.
In many of these cases, the drivers of the motor vehicles walk away from a motorcycle accident unscathed. When someone’s negligence causes a harmful motorcycle accident, the victim may be able to sue the responsible party for his or her medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. If you’re reading this because you’ve recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, call (406) 839-9091 today to speak with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Heenan & Cook, PLLC We will be able to help you identify damages and facilitate the process for you while you focus on your recovery.
Dangerous Combination: Motorcyclists and Negligent Drivers
The small size and shape of motorcycles make them much less visible than standard vehicles. If a driver fails to pay proper attention to the road while making turns, merging lanes, or pulling out onto the road, he or she can easily strike an unsuspecting motorcyclist. Drivers who are eating, drinking, smoking, texting, talking, or playing with the radio are much more likely not to see a motorcycle on the road. Distracted, careless, and negligent drivers cause thousands of bike crashes every year.
If a negligent driver causes a motorcycle crash, the victim may be able to prove his or her case with help from experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. The team at Heenan & Cook, PLLC, can investigate the causes of the crash, speak to witnesses, and hire experts to testify on the victim’s behalf. We can gain access to the driver’s phone records to help prove he or she was texting, talking, or using social media at the time of the crash. We can use highway video footage, police reports, photos of the scene, and other important pieces of evidence as applicable.
Motorcycles and Road Hazards in Billings, MT
Many motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle crashes in which the motorcyclist loses control of their bike. Despite there being no other driver involved, these types of crashes are not always the sole fault of the motorcyclist. Many road hazards can pose threats to motorcyclists, including loose gravel, potholes, malfunctioning stoplights, and stop signs hidden by overgrown shrubbery.
In some cases, a negligent municipality may be liable for these motorcycle accidents. The accident victim would need to prove the entity in charge of maintaining the roadway knew or reasonably should have known about the hazardous condition and did nothing to prevent injury.
In Montana, we follow modified comparative negligence laws when it comes to assigning fault for motor vehicle accidents. Modified comparative negligence means that as long as you are deemed less than 50 percent at fault, you can still be awarded for damages. So, motorcyclists in single-vehicle crashes can obtain compensation even if they were partially responsible. For example, if you were speeding but a patch of loose gravel left over from roadway construction made you lose traction and crash, the courts may still award you partial compensation.
Defective Motorcycle Parts Causing Accidents
Another potential cause of a motorcycle accident are defective parts. Vehicle manufacturers and distributors are often defendants in bike accident cases for producing defective or inherently dangerous motorcycle parts. During a product liability case, the plaintiff does not have to show proof of the manufacturer’s negligence. The plaintiff must only prove a part was defective, and this defect caused the accident.
Whether your motorcycle accident case takes the form of a product liability lawsuit or a suit against a negligent motor vehicle driver, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Heenan & Cook, PLLC, are here to offer professional legal counsel. We have helped residents of Billings, Montana protect their rights after harmful motor vehicle accidents for more than 40 years. To find out what we may be able to do for you, contact us online or call (406) 651-8888.