Tacoma Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys

Securing Justice for Motorcycle Accident Victims
According to the WSDOT Crash Data Portal, Washington state averages 5 motorcycle crashes per day and in a given week, roughly two of those crashes are fatal. In 2023, the city of Tacoma saw 85 motorcycle crashes with 9 fatalities. These statistics are not just numbers; they represent real lives and families affected by these tragic events.
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When a motorcycle accident devastates your life through injury or the loss of a loved one, pursuing fair compensation becomes a vital step towards justice. At Freeman Law Firm, Inc., we are deeply committed to advocating for victims and their families in motorcycle accident cases. Our experienced attorneys, who are well-versed in Washington's personal injury and wrongful death laws, are prepared to fight tirelessly on your behalf, with the aim of getting you the most possible compensation and justice. After understanding your situation, we’ll clarify your legal options and carefully guide you through the legal process. For a free consultation with one of our Tacoma motorcycle accident lawyers, call us at (253) 383-4500 or use our contact form.
Motorcycle accidents in Washington can be sudden and devastating. As a victim with severe injuries, or as the loved one of someone fatally injured, it's important to understand that not every crash stems from negligence. However, when negligence is a factor, you have rights, including the ability to bring a lawsuit or file an insurance claim for compensation. Each incident is unique, with its own set of circumstances. Some may involve clear-cut cases of negligence, while others might be the result of a complex combination of factors. This is why it is important to understand the specific nature and impact of different types of motorcycle accidents, as well as the legal pathways available in each scenario.

On This Page

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Liability in Tacoma Motorcycle Accident Cases

Bringing a Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claim or Lawsuit

Compensation in Motorcycle Accidents

Frequently Asked Questions

Tacoma Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

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Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Rear-End Collisions

A common type of motorcycle accident is the rear-end collision, where a vehicle crashes into the back of your motorcycle, often at stoplights or in congested traffic. These collisions can be extremely dangerous for motorcycle riders due to the lack of protection around them.

Left-Turn Accidents

Another frequent scenario involves left-turn accidents. These occur when a car turns left at an intersection, failing to notice your approaching motorcycle or misjudging its speed. Those accidents are particularly hazardous because they often happen at close range and can catch you off-guard.

Lane Splitting

Lane splitting accidents are also a concern. This practice, where you might navigate between rows of slow-moving or stationary traffic, poses risks as drivers may not anticipate a motorcycle in these spaces and could inadvertently veer into your path.

Intersections

Intersections, in general, are hotspots for motorcycle accidents. Whether it's due to drivers failing to yield the right-of-way, running red lights, or simply not noticing your presence, these areas require your heightened attention.

Single-Vehicle Accidents

These accidents, involving only your motorcycle, can occur too. These might be the result of road hazards like potholes, slick surfaces, or mechanical failures of your bike.
Lastly, high-speed collisions, which often occur on highways, pose significant dangers due to the intense impact force and the motorcycle's minimal protective barriers.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Driver Inattention or Distracted Driving

Motorcycles are less visible compared to cars and trucks, increasing the risk of being overlooked by other road users.

Speeding

High speeds reduce reaction time and increase the severity of accidents, whether it's the motorcyclist or another party speeding.

Impaired or Drunk Driving

Involving alcohol or drugs, impaired driving significantly affects judgment and reaction times, posing a high risk to motorcyclists.

Adverse Road Conditions

In Washington, potholes, wet or icy roads, and unexpected road debris are more hazardous for motorcycles due to their less stable nature and smaller size.

Mechanical Failures

Issues like brake problems or tire blowouts are especially dangerous for motorcycles.

Inexperience of Riders

The unique challenges of handling a motorcycle in diverse traffic conditions require skill and practice, which inexperienced riders may lack.

Unsafe Lane Changes

Accidents can occur when drivers change lanes without noticing a nearby motorcycle, often due to blind spots or failure to check mirrors and blind spots properly.

Car Doors

An often-overlooked cause is when a parked car's door opens in the path of an oncoming motorcycle, a situation known as "dooring."

Tailgating

Accidents can happen when a vehicle follows a motorcycle too closely, not allowing sufficient stopping distance.

Weather Conditions

Poor weather, such as rain, fog, or snow, can reduce visibility and road traction, increasing the risk of accidents for motorcycles.

Road Design and Maintenance Issues

Poorly designed or maintained roads, including issues like inadequate signage, lack of proper lighting, or poorly marked construction zones, can contribute to motorcycle accidents.

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Liability in Tacoma Motorcycle Accident Cases

Negligence of Other Drivers

Liability often hinges on determining negligence. Typically, the party whose negligence caused the accident is responsible. This is frequently another driver, such as in cases where car and truck drivers cause collisions due to reckless driving, inattention, or violating traffic laws.

Road Conditions and Government Entities

Beyond other drivers, road conditions can significantly contribute to motorcycle accidents. If a defect like a large pothole or a poorly designed intersection caused your accident, the entity responsible for road maintenance, such as a city or state government, might be liable.

Product Liability and Manufacturers

Motorcycle accidents can also result from manufacturing defects. If an issue like brake failure due to a manufacturing defect led to your accident, the motorcycle manufacturer could be held responsible.

The Role of Evidence

Determining liability involves a careful examination of evidence, including accident scene photos, witness statements, traffic surveillance footage, and vehicle maintenance records. This evidence is vital in establishing the full picture of liability.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Given the complexities of liability in motorcycle accidents, seeking legal assistance is often necessary. An experienced attorney can gather and analyze evidence, and advocate on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation.

Bringing a Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claim or Lawsuit

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If you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident, the emotional and financial toll can be devastating.Victims have a couple of legal paths following accidents. The most common approach is to file a claim with the insurance company of the party you believe to be at fault. This is usually the first step, as insurance is designed to cover those incidents. When you file a claim, you'll need to provide evidence of the other party's fault and the nature of the accident. The insurance company will investigate and, ideally, offer a settlement to cover your expenses related to the accident.

If the insurance company's settlement offer is insufficient, or if they deny your claim, you might consider filing a lawsuit. This is where you'd bring your case to court to seek compensation. In a lawsuit, you'll need to prove that the other party was negligent, and that this negligence caused your injuries. This process can be complex and time-consuming, so it's often seen as a last resort after attempting to resolve the issue through insurance. In either case, whether dealing with insurance claims or lawsuits, it's usually beneficial to have legal representation.

Medical Expenses

In a motorcycle accident case, the types of damages you can recover typically fall into several categories. The first and most direct are medical expenses. These cover everything from emergency room bills to ongoing medical treatments related to injuries you sustained in the accident. It's not just about the immediate costs; if you require long-term therapy or rehabilitation, those expenses are also included.

Punitive Damages

You might also be entitled to claim punitive damages if the defendant deliberately injured you or was extremely reckless.

Lost Wages

Lost wages are another major category. If the accident leaves you unable to work, either temporarily or permanently, you can claim compensation for the income you've lost and will lose in the future. This is important because it helps mitigate the financial impact of not being able to perform your job.

Pain And Suffering

This is a less tangible but equally important type of damage. This refers to the physical and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries. While it's harder to quantify than medical bills or lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering acknowledges that the impact of an accident goes beyond just financial losses.

Compensation in Motorcycle Accidents

In Washington State, under RCW 4.22.005, if you share some fault for your injury, you can still receive compensation. However, the amount you receive may be lessened in proportion to your fault. For example, if you are deemed 33% at fault for the incident, your awarded compensation could be reduced by 33%.

Time Limits for Bringing Motorcycle Accident Claims

In Washington, for personal injury lawsuits including motorcycle accidents, RCW 4.16.080 establishes a three-year deadline from either the date of injury or when the injury was discovered. This means that you have to bring the lawsuit within three years of the date of your injury.

For wrongful death claims in Tacoma and throughout Washington, under RCW 4.20.010, if your loved one's death is due to someone's negligence or wrongful actions, you have three years from the date of death to file a claim. This claim can seek compensation for losses such as the deceased's potential earnings, medical expenses related to the death, and family's emotional pain.

How A Lawyer Can Help Motorcycle Accident Victims

As a victim of a motorcycle crash, working with a lawyer can be incredibly beneficial. Firstly, a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and the legal options available to you. They can guide you through the legal processes, whether you're filing an insurance claim or considering a lawsuit.

Your lawyer will also play an important role in gathering and presenting evidence to support your case. This includes obtaining police reports, medical records, and witness statements, as well as possibly working with accident reconstruction experts. They'll use this evidence to build a strong argument on your behalf, aiming to prove the extent of your losses and the other party's liability.

Negotiating a motorcycle accident claim with insurance companies is another area where your lawyer will be invaluable. Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts, but a skilled lawyer will advocate for your best interests, striving to secure a fair settlement that covers all your damages. If negotiations don't lead to a satisfactory outcome, your lawyer can take your case to court, representing you throughout the legal proceedings. They work to ensure that you're not taken advantage of and that you receive the full compensation you're entitled to for the losses and suffering you've endured as a result of the accident.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident?

Yes, if another's negligence caused your accident, you can file a lawsuit.

How long do I have to file a claim?

In Washington, you generally have three years from the accident date to file.

Will my case go to trial?

Most cases are settled out of court, but some may go to trial if necessary.

What if the accident was partly my fault?

You could still bring a claim for motorcycle accident injuries, but your compensation could be reduced.

How much compensation can I expect?

Compensation varies based on your injuries, losses, and other specific case factors.

What should I do immediately after a motorcycle accident?

Ensure safety, call 911, gather evidence, seek medical attention, and contact a lawyer.

How do insurance companies calculate compensation in cases involving motorcycle crashes?

They consider factors like medical costs, lost wages, and severity of injuries.

Can a passenger in a motorcycle accident file a claim?

Yes, passengers injured in motorcycle accidents can file claims for their injuries.

What if the other driver doesn't have insurance?

You can claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage or pursue legal action.

Tacoma Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Motorcycle accidents are devastating for victims and their families. At Freeman Law Firm, Inc., we focus on protecting the rights of victims and families affected by them. We’ll take the time to clarify your legal options and the next steps. Our skilled lawyers are experienced in Washington's motorcycle accident laws, and we are dedicated to fighting relentlessly for the compensation you are owed. Contact us at (253) 383-4500 or using our contact form for a free consultation with a Tacoma motorcycle accident lawyer.

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Giving back and supporting our community is important to us. Upon the completion of your case, you will choose a charity to receive a 1% donation made exclusively from Freeman Law Firm, Inc. fees.
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