Motorcycle enthusiasts in the beautiful city of New Port Richey enjoy the freedom of riding on the open road, exploring picturesque landscapes, and enjoying the thrill of the ride. However, even the most cautious riders can find themselves involved in accidents due to the negligence of others. The latest data shows that the city recorded 257 crashes. Of these, 235 caused injuries, while 21 caused fatalities. After such an outcome, it is essential to file for restitution because victims can use financial help, and more importantly, violators should be brought to justice.
When pursuing a motorcycle accident injury claim, it’s essential to understand that insurance companies and defendants may employ various defenses to minimize or deny liability. Motorcycle accidents can be just as serious as car accidents. They can leave you with mounting medical expenses, property repair/replacement costs, pain and suffering, and an inability to resume your daily hustle. Despite these conditions, the defense of the party at fault will still fight your claim.
In this blog post, we will explore some common defenses used by motorcycle crash lawyers, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate potential challenges and protect your rights effectively.
Statute of limitations argument
Personal injury cases are guided by statutes of limitations which require victims to file their claims within specific periods. For example, you should file your motorcycle accident claim within two years of the incident. The only exceptions to this act include cases involving minors, government entities, or wrongful death.
Failure to file your lawsuit in time may encourage the defense to argue that your right to the claim has expired after all. Always speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident so they can start working on your case early.
You must file your claim within six months when suing a government entity for your motorcycle accident. On the other hand, minors involved in motorcycle accidents have up to two years after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit for compensation for damages and injuries.
For cases involving wrongful death, the deceased’s family can file their lawsuit within two years of the demise.
Contributory negligence argument
As mentioned, the defense may try to pin part of the liability for the accident on you. That said, your share of compensation will reduce with the percentage of blame the jury allocates.
Therefore, don’t give the defense reason to blame you for your accident. It’s why you should never speak with insurance investigators on your own. Don’t even record any statements for them. Also, be careful of the content you post online after the accident, lest it be used against you.
Motorcycle helmet argument
The motorcycle helmet defense is another way the opposition may reduce your claim. The at-fault driver may argue that you were not wearing your helmet, as per your legal obligation, to mitigate injuries and are therefore not entitled to the amount you are asking.
California is among the many states limiting compensation for motorcyclists injured while not wearing helmets.
Pre-existing conditions defense
When you are involved in any traffic accident, including motorcycles, you should call emergency responders for medical help and go to a hospital even if you don’t feel badly hurt.
Delaying hospital check-ups until your condition worsens is a wrong move. The defense may see that as a reason to argue that your injuries weren’t severe or may have been pre-existing conditions.
They will put you at a disadvantage because you will have to produce substantial evidence to counter these claims and show that your injuries came from the accident. Usually, lawyers use expert witnesses to fight against claims of pre-existing conditions or trivial injuries.
Exaggerated injuries defense
Going for unnecessary check-ups after treatment is another thing to avoid. Of course, you may need therapies and treatments after your accident. But avoid making unnecessary appointments because when you try to claim the travel costs and therapy expenses, the opposition’s defense may say you were only trying to inflate your claim. Go for necessary checkups so you can make reasonable claims later.
Overall, motorcycle accident claims can be tough to argue if you don’t follow the proper steps after your accident and injuries. Speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible for guidance and help with legal options after an accident. They may even provide free consultations and contingency contracts.