Motorcycles offer certain freedoms to riders that you can’t get with a traditional passenger vehicle. Unfortunately, there are additional risks as well. If you’ve been injured in a wreck, it’s important to understand what steps you can take to recover as quickly as possible.
At Thomas Law Offices, we believe crash victims deserve the best possible representation to get their lives back in order. If you need legal help, a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to represent you.
In order to build a strong case on your behalf, we’ll need to conduct a thorough investigation that proves the other party involved in the wreck was negligent. In addition to evidence from the scene and hospital, we’ll also look at the motorcycle laws in Missouri.
Motorcycle Laws in Missouri
While passenger vehicles and motorcycles have to follow the same general rules of the road when it comes to actually driving around others, there are laws unique specifically to motorcycles. This is because operating a motorcycle safely requires special skill and knowledge. According to the Department of Revenue, in Missouri there are laws regarding licensing, what to wear, who can ride on a motorcycle, and more:
- All motorcycle operators must have a class M license or a driver’s license with a class M endorsement.
- Residents of the state can apply for a temporary instruction permit as young as 15; however, they are not allowed to have passengers and they can only operate their bike during daylight hours.
- A protective helmet with shatterproof face protection is required by Missouri law unless a licensed driver who is 26 or older can provide proof of health insurance. Shatterproof face protection could be a face shield or strong protective goggles.
- To operate a motorcycle legally, the vehicle must be in good working order—which includes wheels, brakes, tires, and the exhaust system.
- Only one passenger per vehicle is permitted. Passengers must have their own seat as well as footrests.
- Missouri requires the following motorcycle insurance: $25,000 for the bodily injury of one person, $50,000 for the bodily injury of all persons, $10,000 for property damage, and uninsured motorist coverage.
It’s imperative all motorcyclists obey state laws when riding. This ensures that roadworthy vehicles are operated as safely as possible, which reduces the risk of an accident occurring.
Kansas City Motorcycle Accidents
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there are over 154,839 motorcycles registered and over 365,450 qualified motorcyclists licensed in Missouri. This popular mode of transportation is cost-effective in terms of the initial price and fuel requirements. Unfortunately, motorcycle fatalities account for approximately 10% of all Missouri highway deaths each year.
Two of the most dangerous roads in Missouri, I-29 and I-435 run through Kansas City. As a result, the area sees a significant number of traffic collisions—including ones involving motorcycles. For example, a motorcyclist was critically injured while traveling southbound on I-435. At the time of the accident, they were traveling toward I-70.
The crash above is only one of many that happen in Kansas City every year. In the event you’re involved in a crash, it’s important to understand what your next weeks or months could look like.
The Consequences of a Motorcycle Wreck
While all traffic collisions have the potential to result in a variety of consequences, those involving motorcycles are generally the most severe simply because of the nature of the accidents. Dealing with the consequences is likely to take months, which can make it challenging to attempt to pursue an injury claim. That’s why our attorneys are here to support you. While you’re dealing with challenges from the crash, we can work on your claim. While every accident is unique, all have the potential to result in physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial loss.
Motorcyclists aren’t protected by traditional safety technologies like airbags and seat belts. Because of that, there’s a higher chance that a victim’s injuries will be severe. In some cases, especially if the rider is wearing a helmet and additional gear like thick clothing, heavy boots, gloves, etc., they may only have to deal with mild to moderate injuries like sprains, tears, contusions, and fractures. In situations like that, recovery may only last weeks or months.
In the event serious injuries occur, the victim could be looking at months of recovery or even life-long effects. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, and severe road rash can result in extended hospitalization, multiple procedures or surgeries, and an inability to return to work.
No matter the severity of your injuries, it’s imperative to work with a medical professional as you recover. Not only will this ensure nothing jeopardizes your physical health, but you’ll also have an accurate record of your injuries.
After any wreck, physical injuries must be tended to first—as they often have the highest potential of being life-threatening. But what happens when a motorcycle accident victim returns home? Sometimes, they are tasked with dealing with issues like sleep disturbances, mood changes, depression, anxiety, fear, and more.
While it’s normal to experience emotional trauma after an accident of any kind, it’s important for victims to understand that those feelings should go away with time. In the event they do not, or they worsen, it’s important to seek help from a licensed medical professional.
Expenses relating to a motorcycle crash can add up quickly. From property damage to medical bills and lost wages, a single accident can result in thousands and thousands of dollars in bills and losses. A motorcycle accident claim can help you manage those expenses.
When you work with a Kansas City lawyer from Thomas Law Offices, they’ll take the time needed to calculate your economic and noneconomic damages. So not only will your literal financial losses be taken into consideration when seeking compensation, but they’ll also look at how you’ve suffered on a more subjective level.
No matter what you’re coping with after a collision, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options, so you know what steps you can take to secure your future and move forward.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
We understand that most motorcycle riders are responsible on the road. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always share those same feelings. In order to maximize your compensation after a crash and ensure the at-fault party is held accountable, you’ll want to have a Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyer by your side.
While there is a system in place for filing personal injury claims, every claim is different. This means that there may be unique challenges associated with your claim that you aren’t prepared for. The attorneys at Thomas Law Offices are well versed in motorcycle crash cases, so we’ll be ready no matter what happens during the course of your claim.
The sooner you get in touch with a lawyer after your wreck, the better your chances of recovering physically, emotionally, and financially. To get started on your claim or to learn more about your options, schedule a case evaluation with our firm today.