When you drive a motorcycle, you take on a certain level of risk each time you venture out. This occurs by virtue of the nature of motorcycles and their lack of safety features. As a responsible driver, you likely take precautions to protect yourself in the event of an accident.
Unfortunately, not everyone on the road is as cautious or aware of others as you. Risky driving behaviors by others can often result in serious and even fatal accidents for motorcycle riders.
If you were involved in a St. Cloud motorcycle accident, our experienced attorneys at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, are here to help. We can investigate your claim, build your case, and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
To start the process, contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation.
Understanding Minnesota Motorcycle Laws
As experienced St. Cloud motorcycle accident attorneys, we are well-versed in Minnesota’s motorcycle laws, which are crucial in protecting your rights on the road. Some of the laws and requirements you must follow are explained here.
Helmets and Safety Gear
In Minnesota, motorcyclists are encouraged to prioritize safety using helmets and protective gear. State law mandates helmet use for riders under the age of 18 and for those with a learner’s permit, regardless of age.
Additionally, eye protection is required for all riders. At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we advocate for using helmets at all times as they significantly decrease the risk of serious head injuries in the event of an accident.
Licensing and Endorsements
Minnesota law requires all motorcycle operators to have a valid motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. Obtaining this endorsement involves passing a written test and a road skills test, which underscore the importance of understanding motorcycle handling and traffic laws. Licensed riders are more likely to have a comprehensive understanding of road safety, which can be pivotal in accident claims.
Insurance and No-Fault Coverage
Minnesota’s no-fault insurance law does not typically apply to motorcyclists, unless they have specifically elected to purchase such coverage for their motorcycle. If you did purchase no-fault coverage for your motorcycle and are in an accident, your own insurance policy will cover the first $20,000 in medical expenses and $20,000 in wage loss, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Most motorcyclists do not purchase no-fault coverage for their motorcycle due to the costs associated with such coverage.
Most people believe if they are in a motorcycle accident that is someone else’s fault, the other driver’s insurance company will pay for their medical expenses. This is technically correct, but they will not compensate you for your medical expenses until the time that you settle your claim in full. They do not pay as you go. A settlement can sometimes take many months or years to be reached. In addition, the other driver may carry insufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries. Thus, it is imperative that you have health insurance coverage available, which will help pay for your medical expenses in the event of an accident.
Lane Splitting Prohibitions
Lane splitting, or riding between lanes of traffic, is not permitted in Minnesota. Such maneuvers can increase the risk of accidents and complicate liability issues. We educate our clients on the importance of following traffic regulations to not only ensure their safety but also how such actions can affect your accident claim.
Common Causes of St. Cloud Motorcycle Accidents
While many factors can cause or contribute to motorcycle accidents, some of the most common include the following:
One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in St. Cloud is inattention from other motorists. Cars and trucks sharing the road often fail to notice motorcycles due to their smaller size. At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we frequently handle cases where a driver’s failure to check blind spots or distraction by mobile devices resulted in a collision with a motorcyclist.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to accidents caused by hazardous road conditions such as potholes, gravel, or slippery surfaces due to weather. These conditions can cause a rider to lose control of their motorcycle.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Excessive speed reduces a driver’s ability to react to motorcycles and increases the severity of injuries in an accident. Reckless behaviors, such as aggressive lane changes, following too closely, or racing, are common culprits behind serious motorcycle crashes. At our firm, we advocate for victims who have suffered due to such negligent actions.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a significant factor in motorcycle accidents, leading to impaired judgment and reduced motor skills. Nelson Personal Injury, LLC actively seeks to hold such irresponsible drivers accountable for the risks they pose to motorcyclists and the community.
Intersections are hotspots for motorcycle accidents, especially when vehicles make left-hand turns without noticing an oncoming motorcycle. Our legal team is experienced in handling cases where motorcyclists have been injured by vehicles making these turns, often resulting in serious injury or fatality.
Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders often sustain more serious and potentially deadly injuries during an accident than those in traditional cars because they do not have as much protection. Some of the most common injuries seen in motorcycle accidents include the following:
Head and Brain Injuries
Despite helmet use, head injuries are prevalent in motorcycle accidents. At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we have represented many clients who have suffered from concussions and more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries can range from mild concussions to severe cognitive impairments that may require long-term care and rehabilitation.
Road Rash and Burns
When motorcyclists are thrown from their bikes, the friction between their body and the road can cause severe abrasions known as road rash. In some cases, these injuries can lead to serious infections or even require skin grafting. Additionally, contact with hot motorcycle parts or leaking fluids can cause burns, which carry their own risks of complications and long-term scarring.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The impact of a motorcycle accident can cause damage to the spinal cord, potentially resulting in partial or complete paralysis. These injuries can be life-altering, often necessitating extensive medical treatment, adaptive technologies, and personal care assistance. Our firm is committed to securing compensation that covers the full scope of these consequences.
Fractures and Broken Bones
The force of a collision often results in broken bones and fractures for motorcyclists. The most common are fractures in the arms and legs as riders instinctively try to break their fall. However, we also see cases of rib and hip fractures, which can be particularly dangerous due to the risk of damaging internal organs.
Not all injuries are visible. Psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, are common after motorcycle accidents. At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we recognize the importance of addressing these invisible wounds and fight for compensation that acknowledges the full spectrum of our client’s injuries.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
The moments following a motorcycle accident are critical. We recommend taking the following steps if you are involved in a collision:
- Ensure Safety: Move to a safe area to prevent further harm.
- Call for Help: Dial 911 immediately to report the accident and request medical assistance.
- Gather Evidence: Take photos of the scene, the vehicles involved, and your injuries if you are able to do so without risking your health.
- Exchange Information: Obtain names, contact information, and insurance details from the other parties involved.
- Speak Carefully: Be mindful of your statements to others at the scene and avoid admitting fault or liability.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Contact Nelson Personal Injury, LLC: Contact us for legal advice before contacting insurance companies.
Motorcycle Accident Claims Process
We guide our clients through every step of the claims process:
- Initial Consultation: Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney offer a free, no-obligation consultation to understand your case’s specifics.
- Investigation: Our team will gather all necessary evidence, including accident reports, medical records, and witness statements.
- Claim Filing: We handle all paperwork to file claims with the appropriate insurance companies.
- Negotiation: Our experienced attorneys negotiate with insurers to reach a fair settlement.
- Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to court.
Maximizing Your Compensation
At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we employ a comprehensive approach to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible. This includes:
- Evaluating the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your life.
- Consult with medical professionals to ascertain the long-term implications of your injuries.
- Assessing lost wages and potential loss of future earnings.
- Negotiating with insurance companies with a deep understanding of Minnesota’s motorcycle laws.
Why Choose Nelson Personal Injury, LLC?
- Experienced Attorneys: Our lawyers specialize in motorcycle accident cases and understand the intricacies involved.
- Client-Centered Approach: We tailor our strategies to meet the individual needs of each client.
- Proven Track Record: We have a history of securing favorable settlements and verdicts for our clients.
- No Upfront Costs: We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we win your case.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in St. Cloud, Minnesota, contact our Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC today. We are dedicated to advocating for your rights and helping you navigate the complexities of the legal system with compassion and expertise.
Our goal is to ensure that you can focus on your recovery while we handle the legal aspects of your accident. Call us or visit our website to schedule your free Consultation.