Motorcycle Crashes And Accidents

I am an avid motorcyclist.  I ride to the office when the weather is good.  Motorcycling is my main outdoor activity during the warmer months.  So I know firsthand the chill of approaching an intersection and wondering if the minivan driver trying to control three kids while talking on a cell phone will see me on my bike before crossing in front of me as I’m going through the intersection.  I have had drivers cross in front of me, turn left in front of me, turn right in front of me, try to merge lanes when I’m right next to them, and even rear-end me at a stoplight (I was fine, other than getting knocked to the ground, but my exhaust pipe was cracked and had to be replaced).

I have represented motorcyclists to recover medical, hospital, and surgery costs or expenses and lost wages in past accident lawsuits after they were hurt or injured in a motorcycle crash, accident, wreck, or collision.  Sometimes the cases were minor and just involved broken or fractured bones and physical therapy.  Other involving disabled motorcyclists or riders were more serious and included permanent injuries and disability.

Being a motorcycle rider or motorcyclist helps me better understand what the rider was thinking, doing, and seeing before the crash, accident, wreck, or collision.  That is important because there is a significant bias against motorcycle riders in injury claims or lawsuits.  Regardless of what the other driver did wrong, juries assume that an injured motorcycle rider was speeding or doing something else dangerous (like riding a motorcycle in the first place) that helped cause the crash.  It is thus crucial to hire an attorney who can best evaluate and explain to the jury the motorcyclist’s actions before the crash.

The most common argument I hear in these case is “he probably wasn’t wearing a helmet.”  Iowa law does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, and helmets only protect a small part of the body anyways.  How would a helmet prevent broken or fractured bones from the shoulders down?  Luckily, in the 1991 case of Meyer v. City of Des Moines, the Iowa Supreme Court decided that a motorcycle rider’s failure to wear a helmet is not admissible on the issue of the other driver’s liability.  With appropriate medical evidence, however, lack of helmet use may be relevant on damages if the motorcycle rider is making a claim for head or skull injuries.

Please contact Erbe Law Firm to schedule a free in-person consultation if you believe that you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim because of a motorcycle crash or accident.


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