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Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

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Experienced Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Motorcycles lack many of the important safety protections cars and other larger motor vehicles have. Because of this, the injuries that result from motorcycle accidents are usually quite severe. If you have recently been injured in a motorcycle accident, working with a trusted attorney can help you obtain the compensation you need. 

At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we handle motorcycle accident claims for clients throughout western Wisconsin. With a wealth of experience handling motorcycle accident cases, our Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyers know how seek the compensation our clients deserve following a serious accident. Let us focus on your case so that you can focus on your physical recovery. 

Severe Injuries from Wisconsin Motorcycle Accidents 

Our local, compassionate lawyers handle cases involving some of the most catastrophic motorcycle accident injuries, including: 

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  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Motorcyclists are more exposed and vulnerable than most motor vehicle passengers, putting them at an increased risk of sustaining TBIs. All motorcyclists are strongly encouraged to wear a helmet on every ride. 
  • Back and neck injuries: Spinal cord injuries are particularly serious, as they often result in full or partial paralysis. Other common back and neck injuries include whiplash, crushed disks, and cervical fractures. 
  • Broken bones: Bone fractures can occur in any part of the body and can vary in terms of severity. Motorcycle accidents frequently lead to broken or fractured bones in a rider’s legs, arms, and wrists.
  • Lost limbs and amputations: When tissue has been severely damaged, a victim’s body may not be able to heal the injury. Sometimes, surgeons will remove the damaged area to help the victim’s overall recovery.  
  • Severe emotional trauma: Although being in an accident is bad enough, the resulting stress and emotional trauma often lasts long after the physical injuries have healed. 

At Nicolet Law, we care about your health and well-being. While some law firms will look for quick settlements that cover only a client’s immediate medical expenses, we will go the extra mile. We will do everything in our power to determine the lifelong extent of your injuries and fight to get you the compensation that you need to recover. 

Wisconsin Motorcycle Laws and Safety Tips

There are a number of laws concerning motorcycle use in the state of Wisconsin, and all motorcyclists should know and obey these laws to protect themselves and other motorists. 

In Wisconsin, motorcyclists and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The same is true for motorcyclists with a training permit. In order to meet these standards, the helmet’s chin strap has to be properly fastened. 

Wisconsin law also states that it is illegal to operate a motorcycle unless the vehicle’s owner or operator has liability insurance. Drivers should carry proof of this insurance on every ride. 

If someone is in a motorcycle accident, he or she has a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit to court. Wisconsin Statutes Section 893.54 states that the victim must file a lawsuit within three years of the accident date. Similarly, an individual seeking compensation for property damage has three years after the accident to file a lawsuit. 

However, these timelines can change and there are some exceptions, including an extended period of time for minor children. We recommend that motorcycle accident victims work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can ensure they do not miss their filing deadline.

Statistics suggest that, on average, a motorcycle accident occurs almost every four hours in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) offers the following recommendations for motorcyclists: 

  • Wear the right gear. Though helmets are not required for most motorcyclists, riders are more likely to avoid serious injuries and death if they wear a DOT-approved helmet or a shatter-resistant face shield. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the vehicle. Motorcycles are complex machines, and inexperienced riders are at an increased risk of being in an accident. According to Wisconsin’s DOT, the majority of motorcycle accidents occur on vehicles that have been driven by the operator for less than six months. 
  • Check the motorcycle equipment. Motorcycles tend to require more attention than cars, and riders are advised to inspect their vehicles’ tires, brakes, headlights, and fluid levels on a regular basis.   
  • Don’t drink and ride. Motorcyclists need to be able to react appropriately to their environment and make rapid decisions. Alcohol inhibits these abilities and should be avoided before every ride. 

Common Causes of Wisconsin Motorcycle Accidents 

Motorcycle accidents are as unique as the riders involved. However, there are some causes that are more common than others. These include: 

  • Poor road conditions: Road hazards pose a greater threat to motorcycles than to cars or other motor vehicles. Common dangers include potholes, wet pavement, snow, ice, and construction debris. 
  • Lane splitting: This is when a motorcyclist rides between lanes of slow or stopped traffic. While lane splitting allows a rider to bypass traffic, it may also increase a motorcyclist’s likelihood of being in an accident.  
  • Defective motorcycle: Design or manufacturing defects with a motorcycle can lead to serious accidents on the road. Defects often occur with brakes, steering systems, and tires. 
  • Failing to follow traffic laws: All drivers—regardless of their vehicle type—have a duty to obey traffic laws. Speeding, tailgating, and failing to stop at a stoplight or stop sign increase a driver’s risk of being in or causing an accident.
  • Distracted driving: Drivers who are distracted will have a harder time noticing motorcyclists, who are less conspicuous than larger vehicles. 
  • Drunk driving: Alcohol use is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents nationwide. Approximately 2,100 motorcyclists die as a result of accidents that involve substance abuse every year. 

If you or a loved one have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, we encourage you to contact a local attorney as soon as possible. There is no risk to scheduling a free consultation with a lawyer, and there is no replacement for quality legal representation. 

Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Most motorcycle enthusiasts would agree that Wisconsin has too short of a riding season. As soon as the snow melts, eager riders hit the roadways. Whether you’re a beginner or you have decades of riding experience under your belt, you may have questions about motorcycle accidents and what to do if you or a loved one sustains injuries in one.

How Commonly Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) maintains statistics for all motor vehicle crashes in the state. Each year, the state experiences about 2,090 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 80 fatalities and 1,813 injuries. Of those injuries, 521 qualify as serious.

What Roads in Wisconsin Pose the Most Danger for a Motorcycle Accident?

Roads that have a high rate of accidents pose a danger for all motor vehicles, including motorcycles.

Some of Wisconsin’s most dangerous roads include:

  • 27th Street is a major north-south corridor in Milwaukee and ranks as one of the city’s deadliest roadways.
  • Menominee County has the smallest population of all counties in the state but ranks as the most dangerous county for motorists.
  • Poorly maintained roads put motorcyclists at risk for accidents. In general, roads in the eastern part of the state fare better than those in the western half.

When Do Serious Motorcycle Accidents Most Frequently Occur?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) compile nationwide motorcycle accident statistics. Some commonalities for crashes that have at least one fatality include:

  • The most frequent times for fatal motorcycle accidents include:
  • Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
  • Weekdays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Nationwide, the number of serious motorcycle accidents peaks in August. January experiences the fewest fatal motorcycle accidents.
  • Just over half of all serious motorcycle accidents take place on non-interstate major roads.

What Injuries Most Commonly Result From Wisconsin Motorcycle Accidents?

It’s no surprise that motorcycle accident injuries often prove more severe than those sustained in a car or truck crash. Motorcycle riders don’t have the protection of a vehicle’s steel frame and thus face a greater risk of injury when out on the road.

Some common motorcycle crash injuries include:

  • Road rash involves a painful skin abrasion that occurs when a rider falls and slides on a paved or gravel roadway. Injured individuals can use over-the-counter ointments to treat minor road rash. In some cases of road rash, gravel and other debris become embedded in the skin. Medical attention can help prevent serious infections and further injury. In severe cases of road rash, several layers of skin will rip away. These patients may need skin grafting surgeries.
  • Broken bones, anywhere on the body. The upper and lower extremities prove especially vulnerable. A rider’s legs can become trapped and crushed under a fallen bike. Some riders will instinctively extend their arms to brace themselves in a fall. Broken bones can range from a hairline fracture to compound fractures that break through the skin and require surgery.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can result in lifelong complications. A victim may appear uninjured but have difficulty with concentration and memory, and may experience mood changes. Others may experience limb weakness or changes in hearing and vision. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of a head injury by 69 percent.
  • Burns from exposed skin making contact with the motorcycle’s hot exhaust pipes. Injured individuals may sustain first, second, or third-degree burns. While the legs most often sustain burn injuries, in a rollover accident, the hot pipe can make contact with any body part.

Motor vehicle accidents constitute the leading cause of spinal cord injuries and account for half of all new cases each year. Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, a loss of sensation, loss of bowel and bladder control, and respiratory complications.

You can’t see all motorcycle accident injuries, and some may take days or weeks to present. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts a person’s daily life and relationships with others. Some people will experience flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts. Others may experience emotional distress when they hear or see a motorcycle.

What Constitute the Leading Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents in Wisconsin include:

  • A motorcyclist swerves to avoid hitting an object in the roadway, such as debris, freshly cut grass or hay, a pothole, or a deer.
  • A car or truck switches lanes without first checking all blind spots and collides with a motorcycle.
  • A motorcyclist rear-ends a vehicle after the driver makes a sudden stop.
  • Left-turn lanes can create right-of-way confusions and result in a car sideswiping a motorcycle.
  • A car or truck driver may drive while impaired, either from drugs, alcohol, or exhaustion. Drivers may misjudge how far they have until they reach a motorcycle and make unsafe lane changes or not stop in time.

If Sustain Injuries in a WI Motorcycle Accident, How Long Will I Have to File a Lawsuit?

Every state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Under Wisconsin law, injured individuals have three years from the date of their accidents to take legal action.

This may seem like a long time, but it can pass quickly. After an accident, motorcyclists will benefit from speaking with an attorney as soon as possible. They can learn right away if they have a legal case and discuss their options with an experienced attorney who knows the law and what to expect.

I Sustained Injuries as a Passenger in a Motorcycle Accident. The Driver Filed a Lawsuit. Can I Sue, Too?

After a motorcycle accident in which multiple parties sustain injuries, nothing prohibits all of the injured parties from filing their own lawsuits. If you sustain injuries in such an accident, you may qualify to pursue compensation for your own medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

To find out for sure if you have a legal case, speak with our Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyers.

Do I Need a Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Russell Nicolet
Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Attorney, Russell Nicolet

Yes. Not all attorneys have experience with motorcycle accidents. These crashes can result in different and more serious injuries than a car accident. If you need legal advice or representation, you’ll want an attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers who knows the ins and outs of Wisconsin motorcycle accidents. Contact us to learn more.

Contact a Trusted Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Attorney 

When the approachable attorneys at Nicolet Law Office take your case, we will take care of dealing with the insurance companies so that you can focus on your health and well-being. We will stop at nothing to secure maximum compensation for your injuries.

Our firm is proud to represent our clients on a contingency basis. In other words, you don’t pay unless we win. Call us today at 1-855-NICOLET or contact us online to learn how we can help you with your case. 

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Wisconsin Locations:

EAU CLAIRE:

402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 835-5959
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HUDSON:

517 2nd Street
Unit #205
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-226-6158
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Phone: 715-226-6164
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Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: (715) 790-1114
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River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: (715) 716-5869
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Phone: (715) 718-2969
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Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: (715) 716-5092
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Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 729-0628
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