Idaho Motorcycle Accident Guide

The Idaho Motorcycle Accident Guide was created by Hepworth Holzer to help individuals obtain maximum compensation for their claim.

Idaho Motorcycle Accident GuideTips for a Successful Motorcycle Accident Claim

When you were involved in a motorcycle accident there’s a lot of things that you probably don’t know you need to do. You can feel pretty helpless after an accident, but please understand that there are things that you can do to strengthen your case.

First, we want you to understand the importance of getting immediate medical care. Whether that happens at an emergency room or an urgent care center, we want you to seek treatment as soon as possible. Delaying seeking medical care will harm you. You will likely not fix the pain that you’re in. You can also cause permanent damage if you don’t get certain injuries looked at right away and, overall, your well-being is going to suffer from delaying medical care. Also, from the legal perspective, your case will suffer if you don’t seek immediate medical care. The insurance company is going to look for any reasons to save themselves money; if they see that you did not get immediate medical care, they might claim that you lied about getting your injuries in the motorcycle accident or you lied about the severity of your injuries.

Next, you need to understand the importance of collecting evidence. If you are at all able to stay on the scene after your motorcycle accident, you want to collect photos and videos, as well as contact information from witnesses. If you can’t do this yourself, you can call on a friend or family member to do this for you. You might even be able to call one of our Boise motorcycle accident lawyers to start collecting evidence for you right away. If you do not have evidence you cannot build a strong case. Evidence disappears very quickly, as an accident site gets cleaned up shortly after a collision happens.

Lastly, we want to emphasize the importance of hiring the right Boise motorcycle accident lawyers to represent your case. You want someone who knows how to handle these specific cases.

Justice for Your Motorcycle Accident Damages

The bias motorcyclists face can make securing damages from a negligent motorist more difficult than in car versus car crash cases. At Hepworth Holzer, our motorcycle accident attorneys are riders themselves and will fight this bias. The goal is to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. With their help, you may be able to secure compensation for:

  • Ongoing medical treatment
  • Lost income and loss of future earnings
  • Damage to your motorcycle
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma

Insurance adjusters will do everything they can to minimize your claim. They may try to blame you for the accident, and they will certainly take advantage of victims who have not obtained legal representation. Following an accident, it is critical that you contact an attorney and do not make any statements to the insurance company—written or otherwise—without speaking with your attorney first.

Our firm understands how to succeed on your behalf when it comes to insurance negotiations. Our Boise motorcycle accident lawyers serve as your strongest advocate. If we are unable to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, we have no qualms about going to trial to get the compensation you deserve.

Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are often viewed as careless or reckless by uninformed members of society.  Riders are often wrongly blamed for their own injuries. The simple fact is that other drivers on the road often pose a much greater threat to motorcyclists and are most often to blame for these motorcycle injury accidents. Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Distracted or drunk driving
  • Failing to carefully check blind spots before turning or changing lanes
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Speeding
  • Debris on the roadway

Being Driven Off The Road as a Motorcycle Rider

If you’re forced off the road in Idaho, do you have a claim? The question boils down to a couple of additional questions to ask. If you’re forced off the road by another driver and that driver flees the scene so you never know who that was, then the question will be whether or not there was actual physical contact made between your motorcycle or you and the person who forced you off the road. Probably sounds pretty odd but most of the motor vehicle insurance policies out there that extend coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage benefits require that there be physical contact for the uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits are triggered. That question will be presented directly.

This, of course, is on the assumption that you don’t know who it is that forced you off the road. If you were forced off the road and you know who it is, you have the perfect right to make claim against them for their negligence and forcing you off the road. Yes, you would have a claim against them if you know who they are. The insurance policies that address motor vehicles have this quirk of often requiring physical contact before they would trigger your own policy for uninsured motorist benefits or underinsured motorist benefits. There has to be physical contact. Bear in mind, if you don’t know who the other driver is, then you effectively have an uninsured motorist situation. Your insurance policy is probably going to say that there’s a requirement of physical contact.

Now, that question could be dealt with but it’s a delicate matter. It requires somebody with significant legal experience in order to pursue it against an insurance company. If you have such a claim, our firm has been doing this type of personal injury work for more than 50 years. If you have such a claim, please feel free to call us any time at all. Call any of the lawyers in my firm because we all are effectively pursuing the same common goal and do the same type of work.

Being Injured as a Motorcycle PassengerBeing Injured as a Motorcycle Passenger

If you’re a passenger on a motorcycle that’s involved in an accident, under Idaho law, do you have a claim? The answer is, yes, you do. You have several. You have the right to sue whoever it is at fault, make a claim against whoever it is at fault. If at fault driver was not the person who was driving your motorcycle, you have the absolute right to pursue a claim against that individual, particularly if they have their insurance available. You have a perfect right to make a claim against them. You also have the right to make a claim against the person who is driving the motorcycle. Usually people riding motorcycles together are very close. If you’re reading this, you might have been seriously injured because that often happens in motorcycle accidents.It probably sounds a little awkward to be in a position where you’re making claim against the driver of your motorcycle if they’re friends or family of yours but you have a perfect legal right to do it. It’s the reason that insurance exists. If that driver also has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you have a right to make claim under those benefits as well because their insurance of your driver applies to you as a passenger as well.

There are multiple avenues of claims that you can pursue if you’re a passenger on a motorcycle under Idaho law, all of which are perfectly valid. If you have such a claim, then you would want to get attorneys involved who have the experience on your side because the other side is for sure going to have defense lawyers who have the experience of dealing with such claims. Our law firm has a lot of legal horsepower. We have had a lot of experience dealing with actual pursuing of claims, jury trials, in Idaho. There are lawyers out there that will say they can handle your claim but they really don’t have the actual experience of being in front of juries and successfully prevailing such claim. We do. Our firm has been around for more than 50 years and doing this exact type of work. Bring experience to your side because the other side has it for sure. If you do have such a claim, please feel free to call me personally any time or anybody else in my law firm because we all work very closely together all pursuing the same type of justice for you.

How Motorcycle Accidents Differ from Car Accidents

In Idaho, motorcycle accident claims are different than two other types of vehicles. The number one thing you would say is the motorcycle driver, of course, is much more exposed to serious injuries if involved in a crash. They may have a helmet on but they don’t have the protection of the vehicle around them to protect them from serious injury. The first thing you would say that would distinguish motorcycle accident claims is you’re likely looking at very serious injuries. If you’re watching this video, that might mean that you have been in an accident and you have had serious injuries, and for that, I’m sorry you’ve had that experience and continuing to have that experience. Another thing that separates motorcycle accidents from other car wreck or truck car wrecks or bicycle stuff is that insurance companies who represent the people who are at fault, they always, it seems, look to place blame on the motorcyclist. It’s very common for insurance companies to hear the claim rising out of a motorcycle accident to automatically assume it’s the motorcycle driver’s fault.

If you have such a claim, you need to have serious legal experience on your side. They’re going to have serious legal experience on their side and you want the benefit of having someone in your camp who has the experience of actually going and pursuing such claims in front of juries under Idaho law. It’s a claim that takes a lot of legal horsepower to pursue and overcome the insurance companies’ bias against motorcyclist. If you have such a claim, our firm has been doing this for over 50 years. My personal self has had many motorcycle claims that I’ve pursued successfully and done jury trial successfully. We have a lot of legal horsepower at this firm that can all be brought to bear to present your claim in the most effective manner possible. If you have such a claim, please feel free to call me personally any time or any of the other lawyers in our firm. We all are working together pursuing the same common goal for your benefit.

Choosing a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

How do you select the best attorney for your case if you are involved in a motorcycle accident? The answer to that question is you would want to find the lawyer who has the experience of actually pursuing such claims and has the track record of pursuing such claims successfully. There are lots of lawyers out there that will tell you, “Oh, I could handle this,” when they have hardly ever even been in trial. If you were involved in a motorcycle wreck, there’s a very significant chance your injuries are severe, and if you’re reading this, it means you probably have been severely injured. You need to have the best most sophisticated and most experienced lawyer on your side because the other side is certainly going to have experienced counsel. You need somebody who is going to vigorously fight for you to get a just result. Our law firm has been doing that for over half a century. We have the lawyers here who have the actual experience of taking such cases to trial when it’s needed. If you do have such a claim, please feel free to call me personally or to call any of the other lawyers in my law firm because we have a lot of legal horsepower here and we’re all doing the same work and we’re all doing it very closely together.

Motorcycle Accident Case ValueMotorcycle Accident Case Value

How does one determine the value of a motorcycle claim in Idaho is a question that has convoluted answers and involves a number of factors. The bottom line of it is the value of a personal injury claim involving a motorcycle accident under Idaho law really boils down to predicting what a jury will do with it if the case went to trial. You are entitled to recover we know both economic and noneconomic damages. The type of economic damages you’re able to pursue include your medical expenses. That’s, of course, all damages are for past and future so all medical expenses you have incurred or all those that you will incur to a reasonable degree of probability in the future. You’re also entitled to recover as a form of economic damage if you have sustained a loss of wages or employment benefit or what’s sometimes referred to as wager incapacity, your ability to make a wage. Those fall under the category of economics, and again, those, too, are past and future, and any other special expenses that are directly related to the motorcycle crash. If you have to go travel pretty far to get some kind of treatment, then the cost associated with having to travel, those, too, would fall under the economic damages category. It takes an experienced lawyer to try to put all that together and to hire the right people and talk to the right people about maximizing whatever those economic damages are, in order to be realistic as to what they will be.

The other type of damage you’re entitled to pursue is the more unpredictable type. That is the noneconomic damages. That is things you’ve probably heard referenced as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life. Basically, it’s the type of damages for which you cannot put a specific dollar value on, but of course, represents probably the biggest part of your claim because serious injury has a serious impact on people’s quality of lives, and sometimes permanently so. In order to pursue such a claim and try to get what is a real reasonable value that equates with the gravity of the harm done, you need to have a lawyer on your side who has the experience of actually having pursued such claims successfully to the very end, like in a jury trial. There are people out there, lawyers, that will tell you they have the experience of handling such claims when they haven’t actually been in trial much or at all. It’s really a requirement to have somebody who has that experience in your camp because the other side certainly has experienced counsel in their camp.

If you have such a claim, you can sit down with the lawyers and talk more about the subject of what is the value of the claim. The noneconomic damages component is very unpredictable. It’s just a matter of what a particular jury is going to award you in the way of damages. It takes experienced counsel to present that in the most effective manner that ultimately comes down to your benefit and maximizes the value of your claim. If you have such a claim, you want experienced trial lawyers on your behalf. Our firm is one of if not the most experienced firms with actual trial lawyer experience. If you have such a claim, please feel free to call our firm because we have a lot of legal horsepower here and we’re all pursuing the same type of cases and same type of work. If you have such a claim, please call us any time.

Motorcycle Accident Claim Timeline

How long it will take to resolve a motorcycle accident claim under Idaho law varies dramatically. The one thing you can say at least is if you’re in a motorcycle accident, you probably have serious injuries because you don’t have much protection of the car. At the outset of that, you need to at least allow yourself to get to the point of reaching a point of medical stability, which doesn’t mean that you’re cured. It only means that you’ve reached a point that you have a reasonable handle on how the injuries you have had are going to be dealt with in the future. As an example, we represented a guy who had a motorcycle accident and lost his leg above the knee— obviously, a terrible injury. It took a while for him to even get to the point of being able to reasonably evaluate what his future looked like because there’s a lot of stuff that he had to go through and there’s still a lot of stuff that he was going to need to go through for the rest of his life. That’s a case that was litigated extensively for a long period of time.

If, on the other hand, you happen to be in a motorcycle accident where, thank goodness, you weren’t all that badly injured, there’s a reasonable chance that you could settle the case relatively early on, say within a couple of months of the accident. If you have to go through trial, whether it’s a small injury or a large injury, you’re probably looking at something in the neighborhood of 18 months to 2 years from the date the lawsuit filed. Here in Boise would be about 18 months to 2 years, in the surrounding counties, all the counties in Idaho would be at or about the same. If you have such a claim, of course, you need someone who has actually had the experience of pursuing such claims in court. There are lawyers out there that will take on your claim if you let them but really don’t have the experience of having been arguing in front of juries on your behalf or the client’s behalf and that’s what you need on your side in pursuing such a claim. Our firm has been doing this for many years. We have legal horsepower and experience here to bring to the table. If you have such a claim, please feel free to call anytime. All our attorneys work very closely together handling cases like these.

Common Mistakes in a Motorcycle Accident CaseCommon Mistakes in a Motorcycle Accident Case

What are the common mistakes you see people make if they’re involved in motorcycle accidents? There’s a few. The first that people do is understand that the person who is at fault, if they have insurance coverage, they are notified fairly quickly of the fact that their insured has been in an accident and is going to be potentially pursued in a way of a personal injury claim. The insurance company then starts the process of gearing up for the claim. One of the things they will do, it’s right out of the claims, adjustor or examiner’s handbook, is to seek to obtain a recorded statement from you. You have no reason to do this. It’s a mistake we see happen a lot. They sound very nice when they’re calling. “I just want to have this in my file. Just need to know what happened from your perspective.” It all sounds very reasonable. The reality is they’re doing that for a reason that doesn’t benefit you at all. It’s only to allow them to gear up for the subsequent claim to be. Here’s an example you see a lot. Somebody says something during that recorded statement. It gets transcribed. Later on down the road, they say something that sounds a little different. The insurance company then tries to use that statement, your own statement, against you. They never use it when the answers are the same. It really provides you with no benefit at all.

Another mistake you see often is that people that have been injured in motorcycle accidents, if the other side is at fault, they automatically think, well, they have to pay my medical expenses. Sure, that sounds right, but in Idaho, under Idaho law, they don’t have the obligation to do that until there’s a settlement or there’s been a judgment entered against them. If you have your own health coverage, do not just rely on the defense to pay for your medical expenses because it’s rare that they will do that. Your own insurance company, however, is obligated to pay those. Don’t get your credit in trouble by just waiting around for the defendant’s insurance company to get around to paying your medical expenses. They don’t have that obligation. That’s a very big mistake.

Another mistake is not getting a lawyer soon enough. Most lawyers would tell you is that you should get legal counsel on board as soon as possible because the trail of evidence grows cold with each passing day. The physical evidence that’s at the accident scene or whatever else there is needs to be preserved. Having a good attorney on board right from the beginning is helpful to assure that there will not be any evidence lost and that you won’t be taken advantage of by the insurance company. Because the moment you hire me, for example, or our law firm, the other side doesn’t have the right to talk to you anymore. They have to talk to me. There’s lots of benefits to retaining counsel very early on. When you’re talking about retaining counsel in such a case, you, of course, are looking for a type of lawyer that has actually had the track record of success in pursuing such claims, has actually been in front of Idaho juries making such claims for damages in motorcycle accidents.

Our firm has been pursuing such claims over 50 years at this point. It takes the type of lawyer that can deal with the insurance companies of the world who also, of course, have very experienced counsel. In motorcycle wrecks, the insurance company are oftentimes very hardnosed about blaming the motorcyclist for the accident, oftentimes under circumstances which don’t justify it at all. If you have such a claim, please feel free to call any of the other lawyers at our firm. We all work together here. We have a lot of legal horsepower. We all have a lot of legal experience in front of juries actually with getting successful results.

Motorcycle Accidents From a Poorly Maintained Road

If you’re in a wreck on a motorcycle, and the wreck is caused by a poorly maintained road, the question there is, what kind of claims would you have? That’s a complicated answer that requires serious legal sophistication to deal with. You have the right potentially to make a claim against the local highway district for poor maintenance of a roadway, particularly if it’s a dangerous condition for which they have been given prior notice. If you have such a claim, there are some complications to it. Number one is you have to react quickly because Idaho has a requirement that county highway district is a state governmental entity or a county governmental entity or a city entity, usually a county. All governmental entities, if you have claims against them, have a requirement that they be provided with written notice of such claim within six months of the incident. You have two years in order to file a lawsuit under the Idaho statute of limitations. A claim against a governmental entity has the additional timing requirement that providing them with notice of that claim, and we call it filing a tort notice, within 180 days of the accident.

Yes, there is a potential claim. It has to be evaluated as to whether or not the condition of the roads were that caused your wreck was such a manifestly dangerous condition that the highway district either knew or should’ve known was presenting any unreasonable danger to the motoring public and you’d have a perfect right to pursue that claim. As I’ve said, that’s a complicated claim that requires some legal sophistication. Our law firm has more of these types of claims probably than any other in Idaho. We have a lot of legal horsepower here. We’ve been pursuing such claims for over 50 years. If you have such a claim, bring experience on your side because you’re going to need it and the other side is going to have it for sure. Feel free to call any time and speak with any of our lawyers because we all work together. We’ve all been pursuing the same type of work together including such claims.

After a Motorcycle AccidentAfter a Motorcycle Accident

What steps should you take immediately after being involved in an accident? The first, of course, would be to take care of yourself medically. If you’re reading this, you were probably hurt and we are sorry for that. The first thing naturally is to take care of your own injuries and get the best medical treatment that you can get. As far as making the claim, what’s the first thing to do as far as making the claim? First off, do not talk to the at fault driver’s insurance company. They’re not in it for your benefit. They’re in it for their benefit. They are looking to reduce the amount of exposure they have financially to your claims. If you have such a claim, they want to pay you the least amount they can and get away with it. That’s not for your benefit. That’s not fair. Don’t talk to the insurance company. There’s no value in doing that.

You should hire legal counsel as soon as reasonably possible. Although, I would also say that you need to make sure that you have reached a point of medical treatment that is reached the point of medical stability, not necessarily meaning that you’re cured. You have to have a pretty good handle on what are the type of injures that you have, how long lasting are they going to be, and have some reasonable expectation of how my future is going to look like for such injuries before you could get to a point of reasonably evaluating the value of your claim. It’s only with tried and true trial lawyers with actual experience that you can do the most you can to assure yourself of getting the just resolution that you deserve.

Our firm has been pursuing such claims for well over half a century at this point. Our law firm has a lot of legal horsepower to bring because this is what we do. It’s our primary thing that we do, all of us here. If you have such a claim, please call us as soon as you possibly can after the motorcycle wreck or any of the other lawyers in our firm. We have a lot of legal horsepower here to bring to bear to represent you and your interests. If you have such a claim, please call any of the other lawyers in our law firm, because we all work together for the same common goal.

Call Our Idaho Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

Contact our experienced Boise Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Hepworth Holzer today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

We are committed to helping individuals and families throughout Idaho navigate the world of personal injury litigation as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let us get results for you and your family.

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