Archive for the ‘ Motorcycle Accident ’ Category

25
Nov

Do I Need Special Insurance If I Drive Both a Car and a Motorcycle?

November 25, 2019

In short, the answer is that you need to meet state minimum insurance requirements for both your car and your motorcycle. Both vehicles must also be registered with the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before you are permitted to drive them.

Vehicle Insurance

Before you can register your car or motorcycle, you must have the proper insurance for each vehicle. Every driver will need to bring proof of insurance to their local DMV. Here is a quick rundown of minimum insurance requirements. A licensed insurance agent can help with making sure a vehicle will have appropriate insurance.

For a car, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $25,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage (in case the other driver is uninsured or underinsured): $50,000

For a motorcycle, the minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  •       Liability coverage for injuries to first person: $25,000
  •       Liability coverage for injuries to additional persons: $50,000
  •       Liability coverage for property damage: $10,000
  •       Uninsured or underinsured coverage: $50,000

Drivers can often save money each month by bundling insurance plans for multiple vehicles with the same company. It is important to keep in mind that the cost of many accidents can exceed the above coverage limits. Additionally, should a vehicle become harmed or destroyed in an incident other than a traffic accident, drivers won’t likely be covered unless they have proper comprehensive coverage.

For those reasons (and more), many choose to carry insurance coverage for both their car and motorcycle that exceeds state minimum requirements.

Vehicle Registration

In Indiana, drivers must register cars and/or motorcycles within two months of purchase or moving from out of state. If purchasing either vehicle from a dealership, sellers may be able to handle vehicle registration directly with the DMV on their customers’ behalf. Buyers should confirm this before assuming vehicle registration has been completed.

In order to obtain car registration, vehicle owners must complete a VIN inspection, present a valid driver’s license, and be prepared to complete an emissions inspection within two years of registering (an emissions inspection will need to be completed every other year to retain your vehicle’s registration). Be sure to bring the car title (or if held by the auto lender, proof of ownership such as the lien agreement), proof of residency and proof of insurance.

For motorcycle registration, drivers must complete a VIN inspection, as well as have a valid motorcycle driver’s license. Additionally, proof of home address (residency), proof of social security number and proof of the state’s motorcycle insurance minimum liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage is required. Currently, the cost for registering a motorcycle in Indiana is less than $30 before taxes.

For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

 

18
Nov

What to Do If You’re at Fault for a Motorcycle Crash

November 18, 2019

Because motorcyclists are far more likely to become fatally injured in a crash, getting into an accident with a motorcycle can be extremely frightening. Everyone’s first priority should be making sure that any injured drivers receive medical attention.

However, in the aftermath of the accident, you may be accused of being the one responsible for the accident, especially if the motorcyclist was badly injured. If you’ve been found at fault for a motorcycle crash, here are some things you need to know.

Speak as Little as Possible

In the moments during and after the accident, what you say can be used against you or even twisted by witnesses. Therefore, say as little as possible while you exchange insurance information with the other driver. Let the responding police officers do their job of taking statements.

Gather Your Own Evidence

While on the scene, you should take pictures of the scene of the crash, including the damage to all vehicles involved. Record information that could demonstrate that the motorcycle driver could have been negligent.

Inform Your Insurance Company

As soon as you are able, contact your insurance provider and give them the necessary details of the accident. If your insurance company unfairly finds you at fault, you should challenge their decision.

Talk to an Attorney

After seeking medical attention, nothing is more important in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash than talking to a personal injury attorney. They will be able to help you deal with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, and possible personal injury lawsuits that may be filed against you later.

Understanding Negligence

In a typical motorcycle accident case, the injured motorcyclist will claim that the vehicle driver was negligent. The reasoning is that because motorcyclists are less protected on the roads, vehicle operators must exercise greater care while sharing the road with motorcyclists. 

However, this isn’t always the case. Your motorcycle accident attorney will review the evidence to see what other factors contributed to the accident. Gathering your own evidence that demonstrates other drivers’ (including the motorcycle driver) negligence could be crucial in the event of a personal injury lawsuit.

Understanding the “Reasonable” Standard in Negligence

When discussing negligence in a personal injury case, the overarching concern is whether or not both parties exercised reasonable care and took sensible steps to avoid a crash. It is possible that neither party did the “reasonable” thing in an accident, particularly if someone intentionally caused the accident to seek damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

No-Contact Motorcycle Crash

If a motorcycle driver sees that a crash is about to take place, they may put the bike down in order to minimize damage and injuries. These crashes are known as no-contact crashes. In a no-contact crash, the vehicle driver may still be found at fault for injury and property damage sustained by the motorcyclist. Therefore, if you or someone you love was involved in a no-contact accident with a motorcycle driver, you should speak with a personal injury attorney with experience in motorcycle accidents.

For more information about how an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

10
Sep

Highway Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders

September 10, 2019

In a year, nearly 15% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents are motorcyclists. Notably, a motorcycle is not as protected as other vehicles on the road, leaving riders exposed in the event of a crash. Nearly all accidents that involve a motorcyclist result in major injuries to the motorcyclist.

If you or someone you love is injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation if the other driver was negligent in any way. Having said that, those who ride motorcycles should exercise the following safety tips to avoid accidents or serious injury.

Always Wear a Helmet

According to Indiana State law, all motorcycle riders age 18 and under must wear a helmet. However, smart motorcycle riders of all ages wear strong helmets. Even a “fender bender” at a traffic stop can send a rider flying through the air and result in a concussion or even death. 

When shopping for a helmet, never buy used. It is best to look for helmets displaying a DOT (Department of Transportation) sticker. This means that they are best suited to withstand strong impact and protect your head from injuries in an accident.

Motorcycle riders that wear helmets are 70% less likely to suffer head injuries and nearly 50% less likely to be killed in a motorcycle accident. In contrast, riders that neglect to wear helmets can suffer brain damage as a result of a minor accident.

Never Stop Improving Your Ability to Maneuver

While motorcyclists are not structurally protected in the same way as those who drive cars, they do have one major advantage over other vehicles: they can maneuver through tight spaces and take sharper turns.

This advantage, of course, should never be used to chase danger or drive aggressively. On the contrary, becoming acquainted with the maneuverability of a motor bike can help you avoid or dodge potentially dangerous traffic situations. Make sure to select a bike that is appropriate to your skill level, and then work to improve your skills with driving courses and time on smaller roads.

Understand that Many Drivers Don’t See You and Aren’t Vigilant

Even though most laws in Indiana are there to protect motorcyclists from car driver negligence, many vehicle operators simply do not pay attention because they drive distracted. Motorcycles can fit perfectly in other cars’ blind spots. A lot of motorcyclists get hurt when they attempt an illegal pass and a car abruptly changes lanes and runs them off the road.

Avoid dangerous moves like lane splitting. Numerous motorcycle injuries have been caused by car doors opening and colliding with motorcyclists trying to cut their way through traffic.

Smart motorcycle riders drive defensively, anticipating unexpected moves from other drivers. 

Never Drink and Drive

In spite of obvious dangers when drinking and driving, nearly 30% of motorcycle deaths occur because the rider consumed alcohol. Instead of taking your motorcycle to and from parties where you suspect there will be alcohol served, take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service like Uber instead. Even better, save some money by hitching a ride with a non-drinker.

Alcohol isn’t the only substance that impairs drivers. The same goes for other drugs and medications. As mentioned above, your advantage with a motorcycle is maneuverability and other drivers are often not paying attention. Any delay to your reactivity or motor skills can mean the difference between life and death.

Ride with Safety-Conscious Motorcyclists

Another common reason motorcyclists are injured or killed in an accident is they ride with other aggressive riders. If you choose to ride in a group, make sure the other members are responsible riders. Peer pressure has shown to have a major impact on one’s approach to driving on open roads, highways, and interstates.

Smart motorcyclists know that trying to keep up with reckless motorcyclists is a recipe for disaster.

For more information about how an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.

19
Jul

Top 4 Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

July 19, 2018

Motorcycles are a great way to get around, and for those that enjoy the thrill, it can make getting from point A to point B much more exciting. But with that excitement comes a much bigger risk for accidents. In fact, motorcycle accidents are extremely common and due to their lack of barriers, most accidents lead to extensive injuries and even death. To avoid getting into an accident while on a motorcycle, it’s important to understand what actually causes these accidents. From driver negligence to hazards on the road, here are the main causes of motorcycle accidents.

Speeding and Alcohol Use

Approximately half of all accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused due to speeding or alcohol use. While these factors play a substantial role in car accidents as well, they are much more severe for motorcyclists since they are afforded no protection by their vehicle.

Lane Splitting

Motorcyclists often take advantage of their small size by driving in between two lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic, which is known as lane splitting and is a practice that is illegal in most states. This poses a danger to motorcyclists due to their close proximity to other vehicles and the fact that most drivers would not expect someone to be passing them in slowed or stopped traffic.

Cars Making Left-Hand Turns

The most dangerous situation for a motorcyclist occurs when cars are making left hand turns. Cars often strike a motorcycle when the motorcyclist is going straight through the intersection and trying to pass or overtake the turning car. Motorcycles that pass within the same lane are even more likely to be struck since car drivers don’t suspect such a maneuver. These types of accidents are also common between two cars, but the smaller size of a motorcycle makes them difficult to notice, and the chance of injuries is much more likely for a motorcyclist.

Road Hazards

Motorcycles are also much more vulnerable to road hazards due to the smaller size and less stable nature of a two-wheeled vehicle. Potholes, slick pavement, uneven asphalt between lanes, unexpected objects like debris or litter, and even weather conditions can all pose a serious safety threat to motorcyclists.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

7
May

What Do I Do If I Get into a Motorcycle Accident in Indiana?

May 07, 2018

Motorcycle AccidentNo matter how safe we are on the roads, sometimes it’s impossible avoid an accident. This is especially true when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles lack the barriers that cars have, and with their small, sometimes hard to see, exterior, motorcycles quickly become targets for accidents that cause serious injuries.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in the state of Indiana, it’s imperative to follow these steps to ensure you are safe, cared for, and eventually, receive just compensation as a result of the accident.

Stay Safe

The most important thing motorcyclists must consider after an accident is their safety. Without the metal barriers you get in a car, a motorcyclist is open to a lot more harm from passing cars, especially on a busy street or highway. Make sure you get yourself off the road and to a safe area where you can then make your phone calls and assess the damage. If it is possible, try to move your bike to safety as well.

Call 9-1-1

Once you have reached a safe place, dial 9-1-1. It is imperative that you call the police before you call your insurance company or an attorney. With motorcycle accidents, injuries are common and it’s important to have an officer on the scene to determine what exactly happened and ensure that all those involved are okay. The police report will also help you down the line when you file a claim.

Get Medical Attention

When you get into an accident, your adrenaline goes into overdrive, causing certain injuries to go unnoticed. But just because you may feel okay, doesn’t mean you actually are. A motorcycle accident can lead to a concussion, broken bones, and other body injuries that may appear later on or may only be detected by a medical professional. Once the police have entered the scene, be sure you get immediate medical attention—the longer you wait, the worse your injuries can become.

Exchange Information

Always remember to exchange information with the other person involved in the accident. There is no need to call their insurance company—in fact, you shouldn’t call the at-fault drivers insurance at all. Be sure to write down things like their license plate number, their car make and model, and the full names of everyone involved. The information you receive from them will help with your claim.

Make the Right Calls

The final step after an accident is to make the right calls. Make a quick call to your insurance company to explain to them what happened, including the time and location of the accident. Once you speak with your insurance, call your attorney. If you don’t have one, consider calling a company with a good reputation for motorcycle accidents. An attorney like those at Stewart & Stewart will walk you through your next steps and help you get on the right track to just compensation and get you back on your motorcycle.

For a free consultation, contact Stewart & Stewart at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website.

16
Aug

Safety Gear Makes All the Difference in Motorcycle Accidents

August 16, 2017

Summer will begin winding down soon in Indiana, and that means cooler temperatures and perfect riding weather are on the way.

If you’re heading out to ride on the state’s highways and interstates, it’s important to drive defensively and outfit yourself in the right gear. As a motorcyclist, you lack the same protection that drivers and passengers in vehicles get, and unless you’re properly equipped, you’re especially vulnerable to suffering critical and life-threatening injuries.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, our Indiana motorcycle accident lawyers know that full riding gear helps protect motorcyclists from injuries in a variety of ways:

  • Full-face helmets protect the face, head, and brain. With full-face helmets, riders are much less likely to suffer potentially fatal head injuries that are commonly seen in motorcyclists who either don’t wear helmets or who wear half helmets.
  • Riding jackets and pants protect from road rash. Even the thickest “normal” clothing is no match for the surface of the road when you contact it at high speed. Riding jackets and pants are designed with durable material that will protect your skin during an accident.
  • Gloves and boots protect hands, feet, fingers, and toes. Injuries to the extremities are common during motorcycle accidents. In some cases, victims may even lose fingers or toes due to severe road rash or from impact with the ground. Heavy-duty gloves and riding boots that cover the ankles protect the extremities and can prevent amputation.

While riding gear can help reduce the severity of injuries, it can’t always prevent them. If you or someone you love was hurt in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your accident—we’re here to help.

6
Apr

Top 3 Motorcycle Safety Tips for Indiana

April 06, 2016

There’s nothing better on a beautiful Indiana day than getting out on your bike for a long ride. Soon it’ll be perfect riding weather for doing just that, but before you pull your motorcycle out this year, take a minute to read these top 3 motorcycle safety tips.

  1. Wear proper protective gear—The state of Indiana doesn’t require all riders wear a helmet, but it’s a good idea to wear one anyway. A helmet is the most critical piece of protective gear for motorcyclists, as it can be the difference between walking away from an accident and a debilitating injury.
  2. Be aware—The biggest threat facing motorcyclists on Indiana roads is other drivers. Be hyperaware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t assume other drivers will see you or understand your intentions. Drive defensively to arrive safe.
  3. Plan ahead—Inclement weather can turn a fun afternoon outing into a tough, dangerous ride. Check the weather before setting out. In addition, never ride without a cell phone or your license.

Even the safest motorcyclists can still be in a serious accident. If you’ve been injured, call our Indiana motorcycle attorneys today. We’ll investigate the cause of your accident and protect your rights to compensation. Call today.

13
May

Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Share Safety Tips

May 13, 2015

Motorcycle season is here in Indiana, and the Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to remind you to be extra vigilant on the road this time of year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 62 percent of motorcycle fatalities occur between the months of May and September.

There are numerous organizations that are working to raise awareness about motorcycle safety during the coming weeks. An article from WTHITV 10 News says that state officials have announced that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Several awareness rides and motorcycle events will coincide with the campaign, but if you’re looking to get involved with spreading the word about motorcycle safety, your actions behind the wheel may be your best bet.

Here are several ways drivers and bikers can help prevent accidents and injuries on the road:

  • Be Vigilant– Look twice in both directions and blind spots before maneuvering in traffic.
  • Use Safety Equipment– Helmets can reduce a motorcyclist’s chances of death by 37 percent, and vehicle seatbelts have been found to significantly reduce injuries and fatalities for drivers.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive– Alcohol is one of the leading contributing factors in crashes today. So please, arrange for a safe ride home if you’ve been drinking.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys hope these tips help to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road!

 

23
Apr

How to Help Prevent Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Potholes

April 23, 2014

Asphalt contraction and expansion during winter months often leads to potholes in the Indianapolis area. As the weather gets warmer, potholes and other road imperfections become serious hazards to riders.

Recently, an Indianapolis motorcycle accident that claimed a Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy’s life occurred on Acton Road, where two complaints about potholes had been made prior to the crash.

Incidents like this leave many riders wondering what they should do to help avoid accidents caused by potholes. In an article from WISHTV 8 News, several experts explain that motorcyclists should allow plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles on the road in order to allow more time to recognize problematic areas in the road and avoid them. Other ways to improve safety include never riding beside another motorcycle, using a headlight, and checking tires for wear before riding.

The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to add that wearing a helmet is also vital to staying safe when riding a motorcycle. Doing so can significantly reduce the chances of injury or death in the event of an accident.

4
Dec

Indiana Motorcycle Accident Claims the Life of 38-Year-Old Man

December 04, 2013

December 4, 2013

A study called The Hurt Report determined that one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents involving cars or trucks was vehicle drivers’ failure to recognize or yield  to oncoming motorcycles. The Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explained that such a collision was responsible for claiming the life of a 38-year-old motorcyclist earlier this week.

According to an article published by the Indy Star, the crash happened at approximately 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, at the intersection of 126th Street and Reynolds Drive in the town of Fishers, Indiana.

Reports indicate the victim was operating a 2003 Kawasaki motorcycle along the eastbound lanes of 126th Street. As he began to approach and pass through the crossing with Reynolds Drive though, a westbound 2001 Chrysler being driven by a 17-year-old driver attempted to turn left onto Reynolds in front of the motorcycle.

The motorcyclist did not have time to avoid the vehicle and crashed. The impact of the collision left the victim with serious injuries that later claimed his life. Police are still working to determine if the motorcyclist struck the vehicle or crashed in an attempt to avoid a collision.

Stewart & Stewart Attorneys and their Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers are aware of how difficult losing a loved one to an accident caused by another person’s negligence can be. That’s why the firm would like to send their sympathies to the family of the victim.