Motorcycle Accidents: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Motorcycle crashes often result in some of the most severe accidents seen on Missouri roads. Due to their smaller size and lack of protection, bikers face a greater risk from the negligence of other drivers.
Below, we answer some of our clients’ most frequently asked questions about Missouri law and their rights as motorcyclists. However, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions not answered below.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, call The Wilbers Law Firm LLC at 314-667-4586 to schedule a free case consultation. Our primary office is in St. Louis, and we have a second location in Jefferson City.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident in Missouri?
You typically have five years to file a personal injury claim from the date of the accident, and the time limitation applies to filing a lawsuit as well. In some circumstances, especially when you’ve made a claim through your own insurer, you may be required to notify your insurer and/or file a claim much sooner. Overall, however, we recommend filing your claim well before the deadline.
Do weather or road conditions at the time of my motorcycle crash impact liability?
Yes, drivers are expected to drive responsibly and take into account current conditions. Weather and road conditions are considered in determining negligence and liability after a crash. For example, drivers are expected to reduce their speed in heavy rain, snow, fog, or ice.
What kinds of benefits can I pursue after a motorcycle crash?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to secure compensation for:
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
In rare cases, you may also seek punitive damages. As applied to auto accidents, to recover punitive damages in Missouri, generally, the other driver must have demonstrated a deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others. Although the court will require you to provide more proof for punitive damages than in a typical damages claim, we will be happy to discuss with you whether or not it seems likely that punitive damages could apply to your case.
If I was in a motorcycle accident without a class M motorcycle license, can I still file a personal injury claim?
Yes, if you have no driver’s license, or an expired license, you can still file a personal injury claim for damages. However, you may also receive a citation and have to pay a fine for breaking the law.
Am I required to wear a motorcycle helmet under Missouri law?
Not all Missouri motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet. If you are over 26 and are not operating your motorcycle under an instruction permit, wearing a helmet is not mandatory, but it is recommended.
Should I accept the settlement offer from the insurer after a motorcycle crash?
An experienced personal injury attorney should evaluate all insurance settlement offers before they are accepted. Ideally, however, your attorney will be assisting you prior to receiving an offer so that you can present and negotiate your claim in the most effective way possible.
Many factors should be carefully evaluated before accepting or denying an offer, including: your degree of fault in the crash, the extent of your injuries, whether the sum will cover all accident-related expenses, and whether the offer properly accounts for your pain and suffering.