Motorcycle Lane Change Accidents
Most motorcyclists have had at least one close call or two while riding their bike in Seattle, Kirkland, Olympia, Bellingham, or while riding through Washington State where they were almost hit by a car. Many times these accidents are the cause of sudden lane changes by drivers who are in large cars, trucks, SUVs, station wagons, and vans. Below are some common reasons for these accidents.Motorcycle Lane Change Accident Causes
When you are driving a motorcycle, you are not nearly as visible as you are if you are in a car, SUV, truck, or van. These accidents occur in large part because of these lack of visibility on the motorcyclist part. Below are some of the common reasons these accidents with motorcycles happen:
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Driving while on a cellphone, including texting
- Not paying attention to the road
- Bad weather conditions
- Poor lighting
If you are struck while in a motorcycle by a driver in a larger vehicle while changing
lanes, be aware that this was not your fault. If the accident happened during the day, as long as you were safely in your lane, this accident is not your fault. If the accident happened at night, so long as your headlamp was working, then it is the other driver’s fault if they merged into your lane.Motorcycle Defensive Driving
When it comes to sudden lane changes from another car into your lane, sometimes there
is nothing that you can do to stop the accident from happening. However, some common rules of thumb to minimize the chances of an accident are wearing bright clothing that reflects well at night, keeping a safe distance between you and other cars, and if you see a car is signaling to come into your lane, either slow or accelerate and flick your headlight, even if it is during the day, in the attempt to make yourself visible to the driver in the other lane, before they merge and hit you.Common Motorcycle Lane Change Injuries
The most common injuries that come about because of a motorcycle lane change are the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries, including MCL and ACL tears
These injuries are often very serious and will not just heal magically on their own.
Rather, they take time and often require serious medical attention in the form of a medical specialist to heal. These specialists are providers like medical doctors, osteopaths, physiatrists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. These professions have the know-how and experience to successfully treat your injuries, which may require surgery to treat.Insurance Considerations
It is important to understand after being in a motorcycle lane change accident that you are
going to be dealing with an insurance company in all likelihood. While about 25% of the drivers on the road have no car insurance, the rest do, which means you will dealing with an insurance adjuster for an insurance company. If you are unable to reach a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you will have to bring a lawsuit against him or her. However, behind the scenes, the insurance company will be calling the shots in the form of hiring the law firm to defend them and your settlement will come from the insurance settlement proceeds of that particular driver.
Another consideration to keep in mind is if your car insurance, through PIP, paid for your
medical bills, or if your health insurance paid your bills, either or both insurance companies are allowed to receive a portion of their bills paid back to you through a process called subrogation. This is because a portion of your settlement, paid by the at-fault insurance company, will be specifically earmarked for your medical bills. This may not seem fair, but the insurance company’s perspective is that you are in a sense “double dipping” if they are not allowed to recover a portion of their medical bills. Feel free to call us if you have question about how subrogation laws work in Washington State.How You Can Help Your Motorcycle Lane Change Accident
After you have been in a motorcycle accident because of a driver changing lanes too quickly, there are some things you can do to help your case. You must, first and foremost, make sure you get the at fault driver’s insurance information, including the name of the insurance company, the policy number, and when it went into effect and when it expires. You also need to get the driver’s name, address, phone number, and the make and model of their car.
It is also helpful to take pictures of the damage to your motorcycle, your injuries, and the surroundings where the accident occurred. This can be important because sometimes you may have a claim against the city or state for the condition of the road or the way the road was designed. These kinds of cases are called “highway or roadway design defect cases.” These are very difficult and challenging cases, but they can be won if they are successfully investigated and presented. Obviously, in some situations you will be too injured to do this on your own, but feel free to have a friend or family member do this if necessary.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
A motorcycle accident can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. In the aftermath of the motorcycle accident, which is often because someone has changed lanes suddenly without checking their rearview mirror, you are likely dealing with insurance companies calling and sending letters, asking for recorded statements, trying to get you to settle your case while you were still treating for your injuries. Do not go through this process alone. Let The Jackman Law Firm step in and help you.
We can help you recover the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses
If you questions about any of these categories of damages, feel free to call us so we can explain how we can help you recover all of those damages for your case. In addition, we can help prove your case in the first place.
While it may seem hard to believe, when the accident occurred because a driver swerved suddenly into your lane, there may be cases where the at-fault driver’s insurance company will allege that you were either partly or entirely responsible for the accident. If this is the case, then you need an attorney who can fight to prove that you did nothing wrong. We can make sure to interview key witnesses, including the police, obtain key documents, and send subpoenas to obtain surveillance footage that might have captured the accident. Do not try to fight the insurance company on your own.
We have successfully negotiated with car insurance companies for years and successfully obtained large settlements. If negotiations fail, then we can file your case in court and aggressively pursue a verdict to make you whole for your injuries.
In either case, feel free to call The Jackman Law for a free consultation.