To understand what it means to ride motorcycles, to control your bike through the twisties, to spin nobbies over dirt and rock - you have to do it yourself: you have to ride motorcycles - there is no substitute. That is why if you’ve gone down hard and are injured because of another driver’s actions, you need to hire an experienced Nebraska motorcycle accident lawyer who knows the risks your passion for two wheels comes with, you need an attorney who rides like you do.
The Steffens Law offices employs a lawyer who doesn’t just talk, he rides. Personal injury attorney Jay Schrecengost rides Harley Davidsons, Hondas, Triumphs and Suzukis. Big highway bikes and little forest dual sports, he knows what it means to ride fast, and also what it’s like to fall hard.
Jay understands the unique injuries that motorcycle riders can suffer, from traumatic brain injury to compound fracture. And while we hope you never have the bad luck to go down hard and get hurt, if you do, our firm stands ready to fight for your right to full compensation. This page is dedicated to helping riders understand their rights after a motorcycle accident in Nebraska, and to know that our injury team is ready and waiting to help you.
5 Reasons Why Motorcycle Crashes Are Different than Car Crashes
People Don’t See Us
The truth is, motorcycles maneuver faster and are much skinnier than a normal vehicle, which makes them hard to see. It’s a blessing and a curse: one minute we’re there, the next we’re in the next lane blasting down the highway. The problem is that these days, with all the distractions of phones and traffic to everyday life, vehicle drivers often cause motorcycle accidents and injures because they just weren’t paying attention. Turning left in front of a motorcycle, sideswiping a rider, or simply changing lanes without looking over their shoulder are all common causes of motorcycle accidents.
For Motorcycle Accidents There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Fender Bender’
Modern vehicles have many safety systems built in to protect the occupants. Crumple zones, airbags, shock absorbing bumpers - all exist to keep a driver safe inside their car. But motorcycles have no such safety systems. That’s why motorcycle accidents typically result in a totaled bike. Once a car hits a bike off its trajectory, the bike goes down and often doesn’t get back up. And this means that the riders injuries can be very severe.
Motorcycle Accident Injures Are Ususally Severe
It’s no secret that when you ride on the metal instead of in it, accidents tend to cause greater injuries. Common injuries riders suffer are:
- head / traumatic brain injury,
- internal organ damage,
- compound fractures, and
- spinal fractures and cord injury.
These injuries more frequently require surgery and prolonged hospital stays than do simple broken bones or bruises.
Motorcycle Accident Recovery Usually Means More Expensive Treatment
Because of the more complex and severe nature of typical motorcycle injuries, victims usually have more lasting impairments, and the cost of therapy and treatment is exponentially greater than the typical whiplash suffered by a car accident victim. A compound fracture can take months to heal correctly, which means more physical therapy, and often greater lost wages as a result.
Insurance Companies Tend to Blame Riders For Other People’s Actions
This may not come as a surprise, but motorcycle riders often have a bad reputation for being outlaws, dangerous, or having disregard for the rules of the road. This myth gives fertile ground to insurance adjusters who often attempt to avoid paying motorcycle victims fair compensation for their injuries by asserting that the rider was partially or totally at fault. These tricks make it even more important to hire an attorney that understands motorcycles and can separate fact from reality.
3 Ways an Experienced Nebraska Motorcycle Accident Attorney can Help You
A Better Case From The Beginning
When you hire an experienced Nebraska motorcycle attorney for your case early on, you’ll find that the lawyer knows things that other general attorneys just don’t. For example, evidence collection in a motorcycle accident is much different than a normal car wreck.
Where motorcycle accidents are concerned, it is very important to inspect the rider’s helmet and gear to understand the point of impacts and how the rider became injured because of the other driver’s actions. Rubber tire marks are also vitally important. Are there any? If not, it may indicate that the driver was distracted by his morning coffee or social media on his phone and didn’t even brake before striking you. These pieces of information come from years of helping motorcycle accident victims obtain full compensation for their clients.
Obtaining The Right Medical Care
Experienced Nebraska Motorcycle accident lawyers know that medical care is paramount to their client’s well being and recovery. As mentioned above, one common injury suffered by motorcycle riders involved in accidents with vehicles are traumatic brain injuries. Believe it or not, many doctors do not have training or focused experience in looking for the signs of such injuries. In fact, many times it is the attorney that notices the common signs of traumatic brain injury or clues the rider’s spouse or family on what to watch for. Dropping keys frequently, forgetting names, blurry vision, and other symptoms are key indicators that that bump on the head may be more serious than it appears.
Faster Settlement For More Compensation
Experienced motorcycle crash lawyers can gather evidence quickly, build a strong case, follow your medical treatment and recovery path, and make a strong argument to the responsible driver’s insurance company for full compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and replacement cost for your motorcycle much faster than an ordinary lawyer. They do this by relying on years of experience and learning over time. Ask yourself: do you really want your attorney to “learn” how to build and settle a case with your situation? We didn’t think so.
I Was Just in an Accident. Do I Have a Good Case?
You’ve just had a car accident. Your car is damaged and you have medical bills. So, do you have a “good case,” really? A case that will allow you to pay all of your bills, replace your car and have some money left over for your future? Watch the video below to find out.
What Should You Look for in a Motorcycle Attorney in Nebraska?
- Experience. By now it should be clear that experience matters when it comes to choosing the right lawyer to fight for your motorcycle accident case. An experienced Nebraska motorcycle accident lawyer will know which evidence to collect, understand your injuries better, be better equipped to help you obtain the medical treatment and recovery therapy you need, and finally, advocate for the best possible settlement and outcome for you and your family.
- Results. Any Nebraska motorcycle accident lawyer with sufficient experience should be able to discuss expected results with you. While it would be unethical to make guarantees, a truly experienced lawyer should be able to quickly understand the nature of your accident and facts, pick out the key details which make liability clear (or unclear), the extent of your injuries and a path toward settlement. If they can’t do this during your initial consultation, you are likely speaking to the wrong lawyer.
- Reputation. What do former and current clients say about the lawyer and law firm you’re considering? What are their online ratings? Are their Google reviews positive? If the lawyer has a good reputation in the community and throughout Nebraska, you can bet they’ll be proud of it, and it will be easy to confirm. If it’s not, you may want to keep looking.
- Accessibility. Even the best motorcycle accident lawyers in Nebraska should be accessible to their clients. At Steffens Law Office, our policy is availability 7 days a week. If you need us, we’re here. It’s that simple. The best law firms have an entire team dedicated to helping you obtain full compensation for your case. Different members are responsible for client communication, medical records, billing, and documents. Ideally, they function as one unit and complement one another well and work together with the sole focus of maximizing your recovery and getting you back on the road.
How Much Does an Experienced Nebraska Motorcycle Crash Lawyer Cost?
Usually, just as much as an inexperienced one – which is why choosing the right lawyer is critical. Most Nebraska motorcycle accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay them out of your pocket, and if you don’t settle, you don’t pay them anything. Really!
After your case settles, the best motorcycle accident lawyers will accept a pre-negotiated percentage of your settlement as their fee. This percentage should be made known to you up front, and be in the lawyer’s client agreement in clear, easy to understand language.
An experienced lawyer will assist you with all aspects of your injury case, from evidence, to treatment, to building your case against the responsible party’s insurance company and finally, negotiation and settlement of your case. They should also help negotiate down your medical care received, so you pay less than you would without your lawyer. Finally, after reaching settlement, your lawyer should distribute all funds appropriately, paying any final medical expenses, other costs, the attorney’s fee and thus ensure that you have nothing else to do but recover and get well.
When Should You Call a Nebraska Bike Accident Attorney?
As early as possible after your accident. Remember, evidence doesn’t last forever. Witness memories fade, accident reports get lost or erased, and digital video footage can be overwritten. Involving your lawyer early on ensures that they can make smart decisions about your specific situation, visit the accident scene while it’s still fresh, preserve evidence, and influence every aspect of your case.
Another, less understood reason to hire the right Nebraska motorcycle accident lawyer early on is to protect you from the tactics of the other guy’s insurance company. You can bet that the insurance company’s investigators, adjusters, and attorneys will be hard at work to reduce or if possible, deny liability completely.
One way they accomplish this is by taking your “recorded statement.” This may seem harmless, but the insurance company has absolute experts in their field trained to elicit information from you that can be harmful to your argument and case.
Were you tired that night? Maybe you’re too smart to answer this question wrongly, but how far you had ridden, the last time you stopped, the time of day, the amount of traffic, and the condition of your motorcycle, are all questions from which the answers can lead a person to believe that you were fatigued and perhaps not paying reasonable attention to the road, and therefore at least partially to blame for the accident. The easiest way to protect yourself is when the insurance company calls, just give them your lawyer’s contact information.
Did you know that Nebraska is a comparative liability state? This means that your settlement and recovery is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to your actions. For example if you’re hit by a car on the highway and suffer injury and the insurance company establishes that you were 20% at fault for the accident (by speeding, improper lane change, etc.), this means if the insurance company later agrees to settle your case for $30,000, your recovery is reduced to $24,000 because of your comparative fault. This is just one more reason to hire your lawyer early on, to protect you.
Contact Our Experienced Nebraska Motorcycle Accident Lawyer ASAP
With more than 25 years of experience handling every sort of accident imaginable, Steffens Law Office is equipped and ready to help you. We have attorneys on staff who ride motorcycles and have the experience to bring your case to settlement early and for full compensation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers are surrounded by an injury team that works tirelessly to help you with every aspect of your case. Our reputation is pristine, but don’t take our word for it – check Google, Yelp, or any of the other online ratings, they all say the same thing: that Steffens Law Office in Nebraska is a law firm you can trust with experienced, accessible attorneys ready to help you with your case 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At Steffens Law Offices, we’ll never let you ride alone. We treat you like family! Call our 24/7 injury hotline now at (308) 872-8327 for a free consultation!