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Accidents are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. While cars and other motor vehicles have safety features like airbags, steel frames, and seatbelts, motorcycles leave their riders exposed and vulnerable. As a result, motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries or death.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, our compassionate Minnesota motorcycle accident attorneys handle motorcycle accident claims for clients across Minnesota. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our lawyers are prepared to pursue maximum compensation for our clients’ injuries.
We also understand that many of our clients are concerned they cannot afford legal representation. We are proud to offer free initial consultations to our personal injury clients so that they can explore their legal options without committing to a payment plan.
You should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon after the accident as possible. An attorney can greatly increase your chances of recovering full compensation in a claim. If you wait too long to contact an attorney, you can forget important facts that could mean a difference between winning and losing your claim.
Although Minnesota allows six years to file a civil lawsuit in court, insurance companies usually give you much less time—even as little as a couple of weeks—to file a claim. It is to your advantage to try to file a claim with insurance first, as it can often be a much faster process than bringing a lawsuit.
The value of your Minnesota motorcycle accident case depends on several factors, including the extent of your injuries, whether you can recover punitive damages, and whether you settle for what the insurance company offers or take your case to court.
You could recover compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages, including but not limited to:
Most motorcycle accidents result in some kind of injury, and those injuries tend to be severe. Although a minority of motorcycle accident injuries resolve quickly without medical treatment, other conditions have lifelong consequences.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, we strongly recommend that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Obtaining early medical care increases a victim’s chance at a swift, complete recovery.
At Nicolet Law, our primary goal is ensuring our clients have access to the resources they need to recover from their injuries. While some law firms are not prepared to bring cases to trial to pursue the best outcomes for their clients, we will go the extra mile. We are committed to taking on the insurance companies—even if it means taking the fight to court.
Minnesota has a number of laws governing motorcycle use across the state, which all drivers are required to know and obey.
For example, all motorcyclists are required to carry liability insurance, which covers bodily injury and property damage sustained by another person in an accident. Motorcyclists must carry proof of this insurance whenever they ride.
Minnesota law states that motorcyclists under the age of 18 and permit operators must wear a helmet that complies with the state’s safety standards. Additionally, all motorcyclists, regardless of age or licensure, are required to wear some form of eye protection. Examples of appropriate eye protection include a face shield, goggles, or glasses.
In Minnesota, if someone has been injured in an accident and wants to file a lawsuit, he or she must file that suit within six years of the accident date. If a victim fails to file before the deadline, he or she may lose their right to bring the case to court.
To help mitigate the risks of riding a motorcycle, riders are encouraged to keep these safety tips in mind:
Every motorcycle accident is unique and can involve numerous factors. Some of the most common contributing factors to motorcycle accidents include:
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 a free consultation with one of our skilled lawyers, and there is no replacement for quality legal representation.
Whether spring, summer, or early fall, motorcyclists can get out on the road in Minnesota to enjoy a ride in beautiful weather. Unfortunately, motorcyclists can end up in collisions with other vehicles, often because other drivers fail to pay attention and to notice a motorcyclist.
Motorcycle riders must be extra vigilant when traveling. But, when a motorcycle rider’s own vigilance is not enough to prevent an accident, they can hold those responsible for an accident accountable for their expenses and losses.
Read below for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents and how Minnesota victims can be compensated.
If you can move after a motorcycle accident, you should call first responders, check on others (if safe to do so), take photos of the accident scene, and collect contact information from other involved drivers and witnesses.
Always allow medical professionals to check you out. If you feel you might cause more damage by moving, or if you know or suspect you have broken bones or other serious injuries, do not move except if necessary to remove yourself from a hazardous area (such as the middle of the road). If you hit your head, even if you had a helmet on, avoid moving. Wait until the emergency medical technicians can check you over and can make sure you don’t cause any unnecessary harm.
Yes. You could have injuries that you do not realize you have. Adrenaline tends to mask pain, and some injuries do not manifest until hours or even days after the wreck. Additionally, what might seem like a minor injury could turn into something major. For example, a cut could become infected, or a bump on the head could actually signal a concussion.
Because a motorcycle does not have the safety of four wheels, sides, and a roof, accident injuries are more likely to be catastrophic, or even fatal. In addition to minor injuries any rider may incur in an accident, such as cuts, sprains, and strains, a motorcyclist could sustain traumatic brain injuries, head, neck, and shoulder injuries, back and spinal cord injuries, crushed bones, simple or compound fractures, road rash, and chemical or thermal burns.
If you contact our attorneys and let them know you can't visit us to discuss your case, we can come to you at the hospital, call you, or hold a virtual conference with you.
While you can attempt to settle a Minnesota motorcycle accident case yourself, it’s best to have the help of an attorney. Insurance companies are in business to make money. Paying out any claim hurts their bottom line, but especially if the claim involves long-term or permanent disabilities, which are more common in motorcycle accidents, as these increase the amount the insurance company is on the hook to pay.
Because of its profit incentive, an insurance company will try to deny your claim or cut down the amount they pay out as much as possible. Some insurance companies may try to twist what you tell them to place the blame for the accident on you instead of the at-fault driver.
You are better equipped to go up against insurance companies with a lawyer at your side. Those that retain a motorcycle accident lawyer usually get more out of a claim or lawsuit. Insurance companies know that attorneys are aware of their tactics and of what you need to establish to recover compensation. Insurance companies also realize that if they do not offer a fair and reasonable settlement, an attorney is more likely to advise you to take your motorcycle accident case to court, which can be much more expensive for them to deal with.
A Minnesota court only orders the defendant to pay punitive damages if a plaintiff can prove by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant deliberately disregarded the rights and safety of others. As the name suggests, punitive damages are a punishment for the defendant’s actions or inactions.
You generally can only recover punitive damages if a court first orders the defendant to pay compensatory damages. Thus, a second hearing is necessary, in the event you seek punitive damages. You must go through the first part to see if the court finds the defendant is liable for compensatory damages. In the second part of the trial, the court determines whether or not the defendant is liable for punitive damages.
Most Minnesota motorcycle accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means they do not charge you for their services unless they prevail—whether by obtaining a settlement or a court award of damages on your behalf—in your case.
If you decide to retain an attorney, they will present a contingency contract that explains their fees and any other costs that your case might have. You incur most costs if initial settlement negotiations do not work out and you must file a lawsuit.
Costs might include court filing fees, investigation costs, fees for expert witnesses, and deposition costs. These costs and legal fees may come out of any settlement or court award you obtain. That way, you don't have to pay for those costs upfront and can afford legal representation.
When you work with us, we will stop at nothing to secure just compensation for your injuries. At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are prepared to take on the insurance companies so that you can focus on what’s really important—your health and well-being. Furthermore, we represent personal injury clients on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay us unless we win your case.
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"Russell Nicolet represented me for a personal injury case. He was kind, compassionate, and professional. He made my concerns his concerns. He was quick to respond to my calls and emails. He kept me up to date on the progress of the case. Every interaction with Russel and his staff was a positive experience. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney, I highly recommend Russell, or his colleagues at Nicolet Law."
Review by: Deanna S.
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