Have You Been Seriously Injured Because a Driver Failed to Share the Road, or the Roadway Was Poorly Maintained?
Motorcycle accidents involve some of the worst injuries suffered on the road – and despite an overall decline in motorcycle fatalities since reaching a record high of 82 in 2006, there were 70 fatal motorcycle accidents in Washington State in 2011. Most fatal accidents occur during the day, in dry weather and in the prime riding months of April through September.
National statistics show that in half of all fatal motorcycle cases the motorcyclist collided with a car or truck. In 40 percent of these crashes, the other vehicles turned left in front of the cyclist as the motorcycle was going straight or passing. These crashes illustrate the very real – and deadly – dangers that motorcyclists face when negligent motorists fail to heed motorcyclists.
Careless and negligent drivers are not the only risk for motorcyclists. Negligently designed or maintained roads are also hazardous. Unrepaired potholes, broken pavement or standing water on highway surfaces may be little more than a nuisance for cars and trucks. But those same conditions can cause motorcyclists to lose control of their bikes – often with tragic results.
What You Need to Know
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, be sure that you protect your legal rights immediately. Follow these guidelines and avoid crucial mistakes:
- DO seek medical treatment for your injuries;
- DO take photographs of any bruises, cuts, scars or any other visible injuries you received;
- DO take photographs, if possible, of the vehicles, intersection, roadway or road conditions that caused your bike accident;
- DO contact our offices for further instruction on the handling of your claim;
- DON’T agree to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company;
- DON’T sign paperwork allowing the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get your medical or employment records without first consulting with us;
- DON’T post photos or information about your accident or injuries on social media;
- DON’T allow the at-fault driver’s insurance company to visit your home or to meet with you.
How We Can Help You
Given the serious extent of many motorcycle accident injuries, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for your legal representation. Selander O’Brien can:
- Provide immediate assistance in determining which insurance company should be paying your medical bills, and help you get those bills processed and paid;
- Help get you paid for your damaged motorcycle, and advise you of all of the damages you can recover;
- Investigate all persons and governmental entities (poor roadways, bridges, riding surfaces) who may be responsible for your injuries;
- Determine the value of your claim and assess the fairness of any settlement offers by the insurance company;
- Advise you of the risks and expenses associated with filing a lawsuit, or whether to file a lawsuit;
- Answer any questions or concerns you may have – please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Free Review of Your Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Too often good people who are injured by a careless driver end up shouldering the bills and financial burden of someone else’s mistake. We don’t sell insurance and we won’t be referring you to someone if you need to buy more coverage. But hopefully a quick review of your coverage can alert you to any obvious gaps in your auto coverage and prevent a bad situation from becoming a financial crisis.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
- Public Health – Seattle & King County – Motorcycle Safety Information
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation – An excellent resource for safe riding tips and other information.
Our Experience and Commitment
Kenneth Selander, Jr. has successfully represented numerous motorcycle accident victims over the past two decades. Our law firm believes that when you’re struggling to recover from catastrophic injuries – or dealing with the loss of a loved one – you shouldn’t have to fight the insurance companies and a complex legal system alone. We offer skilled representation, handle each case on an individual basis, and respond to your questions and concerns promptly. Please contact us for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
What Clients Say
Before deciding on an attorney to settle my personal injury lawsuit, I interviewed with several. Ken was one of the few attorneys I spoke with that wasn’t willing to assume my case was open and shut. Even though it appeared to others to be a “slam dunk”, Ken assumed nothing and prepared my case leaving nothing to chance. The case did turn out to be more difficult than originally thought, but Ken’s experience, preparation and knowledgeable insight earned for me all the compensation I had coming. Easy to work with and a great, easy-going sense of humor too. He has my highest recommendation.
How do I pay for your services?
Our firm handles motorcycle accident cases on what is called a contingency fee basis: earning our attorney’s fee is contingent upon obtaining a favorable settlement or verdict. The fees charged are a percentage of the settlement or verdict that is obtained. In most motorcycle accident cases our fee is 33% of the recovery, but in complex cases (roadway design, products liability) our fee is usually 40%. This fee agreement is different from a traditional hourly fee charged by attorneys who keep track of their time and charge you at their hourly rate. With an hourly fee attorney you must also pay for the attorney’s time as the case proceeds. We are paid at the conclusion of the case and do not charge you along the way. We also advance the costs of pursuing the case (paying for experts, depositions or other case related expenses for which you are responsible) and are repaid when we collect from the negligent party. The costs we advance are separate from the attorney’s fees we charge. To see a copy of our fee agreement or to have any of your questions answered, please contact us.
How are my medical bills paid?
If you possess Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or medical pay insurance coverage, that coverage will generally pay your bills. If you don’t have PIP insurance coverage but do have health insurance, your health insurance will cover your bills. If you have neither PIP nor health insurance coverage and another party is responsible for the accident and your injuries, then the responsible party is on the hook for your bills. In that case, however, your bills are usually not paid while they are incurred, but are paid when the case is settled or resolved.
How do I know if I need an attorney?
Most personal injury cases are better resolved with the help of an attorney. If you are involved in a case where a small amount of money is being pursued, you may be better off representing yourself in settlement negotiations or in small claims court. With serious and catastrophic injuries, an attorney is recommended to capture all of your losses and to create greater value for your claim. At the very least, you should have an attorney consultation to assess your claim, to understand your options, and to explain the claims process. We offer free consultations, so please don't hesitate to contact us.
How much money will I recover?
Every case is unique, and we will give you an honest evaluation of your claim once we have reviewed all the necessary information to fully assess your case. The assessment process requires collecting all of your medical records and other pertinent information, as well as meeting with you personally to understand your pain and suffering or “general damages”. Personal injury claims entitle you to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost income earning potential, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, as well other potential compensations.
How long will the claim process take?
We will move as quickly as possible to resolve your claim and bring an end to this process. The time periods to settle claims do vary and there is no set answer as to how long your claim process will take since your settlement may depend upon your injuries and recovery, or the court in which we have filed a lawsuit. In King County, for example, cases are set for trial roughly 18 months after a lawsuit is filed with the court. Most cases settle without a trial or hearing, bringing closure sooner than the trial date.