Can Injured Motorcycle Passengers File Compensation Claims?
The allure of motorcycles is undeniable — they promise freedom, adrenaline, and the thrill of the open road. However, this excitement carries inherent risks, not only for those driving the motorcycle but also for passengers.
In 2021, out of 5,932 motorcycle-related fatalities in the U.S., 5% were passengers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 92% of passenger fatalities that year were females.
If you suffered injuries as a motorcycle passenger, you can file a compensation claim for your medical bills and other losses. Work with a skilled Fox Cities motorcycle accident attorney to understand your legal options after a crash so you can get the funds you need for your recovery.
When motorcycle accidents occur, they can leave a trail of devastation, especially for passengers. As a passenger, you have no control over the actions of the motorcycle driver or other motorists on the road — but when a crash happens, you may be left with substantial medical bills, lost wages, and a long road to recovery.
The law recognizes the rights of motorcycle passengers to seek compensation for injuries and losses. If you are involved in a crash, you may be able to file a claim against the following parties:
- Other vehicle operators. If another vehicle is responsible for the accident, you can hold the drivers of those vehicles accountable. This includes instances where the other driver acted negligently, such as distracted driving, driving under the influence, or failing to adhere to traffic rules, leading to the collision.
- Motorcycle drivers. You can also seek compensation from the driver of the motorcycle you were riding on at the time of the crash. For example, if the motorcyclist crashed because they were driving recklessly, speeding, intoxicated, or displaying any form of negligence, they can be held liable for your injuries.
- Other parties. You may be able to hold other entities accountable for your injuries, depending on what caused the accident. For instance, you could file against a government entity if poor road maintenance or lack of signage contributed to the accident. You could also file against a parts manufacturer if a defect in the motorcycle components played a part in the crash.
Being involved in a motorcycle accident is already an overwhelming ordeal. When the driver responsible for the crash happens to be someone you deeply care about, the situation can become emotionally charged. It’s understandable to feel confusion, guilt, and concern about your relationship with them if you plan to file for compensation.
However, injuries can cause victims significant physical, financial, and emotional challenges. There’s the potential for mounting medical bills, the pain and trauma of the injury itself, and the potential lost wages if your recovery period keeps you out of work.
Compensation claims are usually settled through insurance providers, not directly out of the at-fault drivers’ pockets. By filing a claim, you seek support from an insurance policy. That means you aren’t placing personal financial burden on your loved one.
Filing an insurance claim ensures you are adequately covered for unforeseen expenses arising from the accident. If you don’t file, you may have to pay medical bills, treatment costs, or other expenses out of pocket.
Working with an experienced attorney can help minimize any impact on your relationship with the motorcycle driver. Your attorney can guide you and help you seek fair compensation from the insurer without jeopardizing your relationship with the motorcycle driver.
Motorcycle accidents can be disorienting, especially for a passenger caught in the chaos. Take the following steps after the accident to protect your well-being and right to compensation:
- Prioritize medical attention. Even if you feel okay, seek professional medical care immediately, as hidden injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, might surface later. While at the hospital or clinic, ensure every examination and treatment is documented. These records can be vital when demonstrating the extent of injuries in a compensation claim.
- File a detailed accident report. If you’re in a crash, contact the police right away. Reporting any motor vehicle crash that causes injury or more than $1,000 in property damage is required in Wisconsin. A comprehensive accident report documents the accident and provides crucial details that might benefit a claim, such as the time, date, weather conditions, and skid marks.
- Gather evidence. Take photos of the scene if possible. Capture multiple angles of the accident scene, any road conditions or signs, your injuries, and damage to the motorcycle. If there are any eyewitnesses, ask for their contact details and statements. This could provide a clearer picture of what transpired.
- Contact an experienced attorney. After the motorcycle accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Talk to them about your rights as a passenger, and provide them with details of the accident. Your attorney can help you determine who is at fault so you can seek compensation from the appropriate insurance company to pay for your damages.
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident poses unique challenges, especially when you’re a passenger. Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers have years of experience handling motorcycle collision claims.
We can meet with you for a free case review to help you understand how to seek compensation, especially if your crash was caused by your loved one driving the motorcycle. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation and get started on your claim.