Motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles. Because of the size, as a motorcyclist you know riding your bike on the road can be dangerous because you are not as easily seen as other vehicles.
If a driver falls asleep at the wheel and crashes into you on your bike, you could suffer a variety of damages. You might have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who fell asleep and caused the crash.
Some common damages that you might ask to be compensated for include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damages.
If you were in a motorcycle crash because the driver of the vehicle fell asleep at the wheel, you have suffered a variety of damages. You can pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for the damages you suffered.
To have a successful personal injury claim, you will need to prove all four elements of negligence apply to the accident and show that if the driver hadn’t been negligent, the accident wouldn’t have happened and you wouldn’t have suffered damages and injuries.
Possible Injuries In a Crash
When a driver falls asleep at the wheel, a variety of injuries can result from the crash. The injuries and damages can vary greatly. The results are dependent on the speed the vehicle is traveling when it hits your bike, the speed of your bike, the kind of impact, and the severity of the crash.
Various damages and injuries could result from the crash caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel. Here are a few of the different injuries that could result:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) - Unfortunately, motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer TBIs because of the nature of their transportation and how open it is. Even with a helmet on, a TBI is a real possibility. This is a serious injury that can impact the rest of your life.
Spinal injuries- Being thrown from a bike can cause serious spinal injuries. Some of these injuries might lead to paralysis or the need for long-term physical rehabilitation services.
Broken femur - A bike crash can lead to broken bones. A broken femur is a serious break to the bone of the leg, which can involve extensive medical care for a full recovery.
You can include any medical expenses for your injuries in your personal injury claim. Physical therapy, medical devices, surgeries, and medical devices are included as medical expenses.
How To Prove The Driver Was Negligent
To have a successful claim, you will need to prove that the driver was negligent. To do this, you will need to gather supporting documentation and evidence. Always stay on the scene of an accident and call the police.
The accident report will serve as the foundation of your claim. The responding officer will review the details surrounding the accident, look at the point of impact, and the damages to determine what happened.
Usually, the accident report will indicate preliminary fault. Regardless of whether the driver admits to the officer that he or she fell asleep at the wheel, if you have been told that was the case or if you have reason to believe that happened, be sure to mention it to the police officer for inclusion in the accident report.
If you are physically able to do so, get photos of the accident scene. Get the vehicles from all angles and be sure to show the damages that your vehicle suffered. Check to see if there are any witnesses. You will need to get any witnesses to document what they saw by providing written statements. Be sure to get the names of any witnesses and their contact details.
Here is a rundown of how negligence would apply to this specific kind of motorcycle – car crash:
- The first element – You must show that the other driver had a duty or a responsibility. All drivers have a duty to other drivers to protect them from harm and obey traffic laws.
- The second element – You must show that duty was breached. In this case, they fell asleep at the wheel. If you cannot prove they fell asleep at the wheel, you can show that he or she struck you by crossing the centerline, rear-ending you, sideswiping you, or so forth.
- The third element – You must show that the breach of duty caused the accident. As an example, if the driver hadn’t fallen asleep then he wouldn’t have hit your bike and caused the crash.
- The fourth element – You must show your injuries and damages are the result of the crash caused by the breach of duty. You will then need to provide documentation and evidence to show your losses, such as medical bills, proof of missed work and lost wages, and repair estimates for fixing the damage your bike suffered.
Damages to Your Motorcycle
If a driver has fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed into you, your bike will most likely suffer serious damages. Like many other types of motorcycle crashes, you may be able to claim for damage to your motorcycle, for example:
Damaged wheels and tires. - When a bike crashes into something, it can damage the wheels and tires. These can be expensive to replace.
A new paint job. - When your bike hits objects or skids on pavement, it will ruin its paint job. Your bike will probably need a new paint job after the crash.
A new bike. - Your bike might not be repairable. When a bike cannot be salvaged, it is deemed a total loss and you will purchase a replacement bike.
You can include the costs of repairing or replacing your bike in the property damages portion of your personal injury claim.
How Will Evidence and Documentation Affect My Insurance Claim
If you have been in a motorcycle crash with a driver asleep at the wheel, you will need to maintain evidence to support your personal injury claim. You will want to hold the at-fault driver liable for the damages that you suffered.
If you have enough supporting evidence and documentation, you will be able to negotiate a settlement with the other insurance company. Often, these settlements are reached without you having to go to court.
If your evidence shows liability and damages, the insurance company will see that the driver they insure was at fault and they are responsible for paying for your damages. The evidence that you will need includes the accident report, witness statements, photos of the accident scene and of the damages, medical bills, medical records, proof of missed work and lost wages, and damage repair estimates.
If there is video footage of the accident, that is very beneficial. This video could be from a dash camera, surveillance camera, or traffic camera in the vicinity of the crash.
There are many things that can affect your insurance claim. First, you need to consider the state in which you live and the laws there. You need to also consider if your state is a fault or a no-fault state.
In most states, the driver who is at-fault is liable for all the damages. In that case, the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage will pay for medical expenses and pain and suffering while the property damage liability covers for repairing your bike.
If it is a no-fault state, all drivers are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. In most situations, regardless of who was at fault, each driver files a claim with his or her own PIP coverage and it takes care of their damages. Only if your damages exceed a specific amount can you pursue a claim against the other driver in a no-fault state.
What Type Of Compensation Can You Receive?
If you were hit by a driver asleep at the wheel, you will want to claim all your damages. Those damages commonly include medical expenses, which may include hospital care, doctor visits, surgery, x-rays, physical therapy, medical devices, prescriptions, and so forth.
You will want to claim lost wages for any missed work, and, also consider any future loss of income if you have serious injuries that require ongoing care or that may cause long-term disabilities.
You will also want to claim property damages. This includes the cost of repairing your motorcycle and any tow bills and rental vehicle expenses associated with the time that your bike is inoperable and being repaired.
You will have receipts and bills to support these losses. You will also claim non-tangible losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and mental anguish. Your personal injury attorney will help calculate a fair value for those losses.
If you were in a motorcycle crash with a driver asleep at the wheel, talk with a personal injury attorney who handles auto accident injury cases.
Getting Help Today
If you have been involved in an accident with a driver who fell asleep at the wheel, whether your accident took place during the day or your motorcycle crash took place at night, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling motorcycle accidents.
Because of the complexity of a personal injury claim, you need to consult with a lawyer who will ensure your rights are protected and make sure you get a fair settlement. Your personal injury lawyer will not be paid until you win your claim, so there is nothing to lose. Schedule your free case evaluation today.