Motorcycle Accident Lawyer


If you’re looking for a lawyer to help you navigate a motorcycle accident case, Tom Wilmowski should be first on your list. Our law firm has over 15 years of experience helping Missouri and Illinois injury victims secure the compensation they deserve. Call 314-860-1644 to get started.

Motorcycle accidents are among the most deadly types of accidents found on highways, and for obvious reasons: Motorcycles simply don’t have the visibility or protection that cars offer. Whereas an incident of aggressive or negligent driving between two cars might result in a minor car accident or fender bender, a similar incident between a car and a motorcycle can easily turn deadly.

Just because car drivers may have a more difficult time seeing motorcycles on the road or navigating around them doesn’t mean they can’t be held responsible for causing an injury to a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists deserve to feel safe on highways and to be effectively represented by an experienced personal injury attorney when accidents occur.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you don’t have to suffer through it alone. Our qualified motorcycle accident attorneys can provide the critical legal support you need and deserve. This article will explore the nature of motorcycle accidents in Missouri, including what causes them, common injuries, and the role of a motorcycle accident attorney in pursuing justice.

Ready to secure compensation for your injuries? Call or text Tom Wilmowski at 314-860-1644 or reach out through our online contact form to secure top-notch legal representation.

Common Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents

Although weather conditions, lack of safety equipment, and insufficient experience can make motorcycle injuries worse, most motorcycle accident cases involve an element of motorist negligence. Below we will discuss some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Missouri.

Vehicle Interactions

Even when motorcyclists take precautions, such as wearing bright clothing and using headlights, drivers of conventional motor vehicles may fail to notice them due to their smaller size and less conspicuous presence. Common scenarios include cars making left-hand turns in front of oncoming motorcycles or changing lanes without properly checking blind spots. This lack of awareness and failure to accurately judge the speed and distance of motorcycles can result in serious injuries and life-altering consequences.

Unsafe Lane Changes

Unsafe lane changes are a significant and, unfortunately, very common cause of motorcycle accidents. Unsafe lane changes frequently result from drivers failing to signal properly or check blind spots before changing lanes. Motorcycles, due to their smaller size, can easily be overlooked by drivers who are not attentive or who underestimate their speed. Consequently, when drivers abruptly change lanes without proper awareness of their surroundings, they pose a serious risk to motorcyclists who may be in their path.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a prevalent cause of motorcycle accidents as well as other traffic incidents. Whether it’s texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or even eating while driving, distractions can divert a driver’s attention away from the road and reduce their ability to react to potential hazards. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to distracted drivers due to their smaller size and the potential for drivers to overlook them amidst other traffic.

Driving Under the Influence

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is a common contributing factor in motorcycle accidents. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, leading to an increased risk of accidents involving motorcycles. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times, compromised judgment, and impaired coordination, making it difficult for them to anticipate and respond to the presence of motorcycles on the road. For motorcyclists, encountering a driver under the influence poses an even greater threat due to the lack of protective barriers that are typically afforded by larger vehicles.

Mechanical Failures

In some cases, a motorcycle accident may not be the fault of another motorist at all. Motorcycle accidents can also occur due to mechanical failures, such as brake malfunctions, tire blowouts, or engine problems. Insufficient maintenance, worn-out components, or defective parts. If a motorcycle manufacturer is negligent in their production and safety protocols, it can lead to sudden breakdowns or loss of control, putting riders at risk of accidents and injuries. Similarly, if a motorcycle dealership is dishonest about the potential defects of a motorcycle, and a customer is later harmed in a motorcycle accident, the dealership or manufacturer can often be held liable.

Roadway Conditions

Though less common than a collision, poor roadway conditions can also contribute to motorcycle accidents. When they do happen, potholes, uneven surfaces, gravel, and oil spills can pose serious hazards to motorcyclists, causing loss of control and serious injuries. Inadequate signage or poorly marked construction zones can also lead to confusion and increase the risk of collisions. These dangers may be further magnified by adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, or fog that reduce visibility and traction, making it challenging for motorcyclists to maneuver safely. Wet or icy roads amplify the risk of skidding and loss of control, while strong winds can destabilize motorcycles, particularly at higher speeds.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 80% of reported motorcycle accidents result in the injuries or death of the motorcycle rider. For those that do survive the accident, comas and life-changing injuries are not uncommon. Below are a few ways that motorcyclists may become injured in an accident:

  • Road rash. Road rash occurs when a motorcyclist‘s skin scrapes against the pavement during a crash, resulting in abrasions, lacerations, and sometimes deeper wounds. Road rash can vary in severity, depending on the speed of the motorcycle and whether protective clothing was worn.
  • Fractures and broken bones. The impact of a motorcycle accident can cause fractures and broken bones in various parts of the body, including the arms, legs, hands, feet, ribs, and pelvis. These injuries can range from minor fractures to more severe breaks requiring surgical intervention.
  • Head injuries. Head injuries are a significant concern in motorcycle accidents, especially if the rider is not wearing a helmet. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, skull fractures, and other head trauma can occur, leading to long-term complications or even fatalities.
  • Internal injuries. The force of impact in a motorcycle accident can cause internal injuries, including organ damage, internal bleeding, and damage to the chest or abdominal cavity. Internal injuries may not always be immediately apparent and can be life-threatening if left untreated.
  • Burns: Motorcycle accidents involving fires or contact with hot surfaces can result in burns of varying degrees. Thermal burns from fires, friction burns from contact with the road, or chemical burns from exposure to hazardous substances can cause extensive injuries and require specialized medical care.

In addition to physical injuries, motorcycle accident cases can also cause emotional trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders. In addition to medical treatment for physical injuries, recovering from the emotional impact of a motorcycle accident may require counseling or therapy — all of which can add to the financial stress of being in an accident.

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As former insurance defense lawyers, personal injury attorneys Deme Sotiriou and Tom Wilmowski of Sotiriou Wilmowski pride themselves on using their inside knowledge of the insurance industry to obtain maximum value — and often more — for their clients.

How to Prevent a Motorcycle Accident

While most people will agree that riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous than driving a car, there are plenty of ways that bikers can mitigate these risks. Below are a few of the most effective actions you can take to protect yourself from hazards on the road.

Receive Adequate Training

One of the most common factors in motorcycle accidents (especially in accidents where the motorcyclist is at fault) is unlicensed motorcyclists. In fact, approximately 36% of motorcyclists who were in an accident in 2021 were unlicensed. While getting a motorcycle license is slightly more complicated than getting a driver’s license, training for your motorcycle exam will allow you to become more familiar with the operating procedures involved with riding a motorcycle, as well as the motorcycle-specific laws you’ll need to be familiar with to be road-ready.

Driving without a motorcycle license is also against the law, so not only will driving without a license increase your risk of being in an accident but if you survive the accident, you will likely be held liable.

Drive Sober

Riding a motorcycle requires a level of focus and keen attention. If you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your body isn’t able to make snap judgments as effectively as when you’re sober. Abstaining from substance use while riding a motorcycle can not only save your life — it can save you from paying steep fines, serving a prison sentence, and losing your motorcycle license.

Make Yourself as Visible as Possible

In cases of motorcycle-automobile collisions, visibility is almost always an issue. While Missouri bikers don’t necessarily have a legal obligation to make themselves visible, doing so significantly decreases your risk of being hit by a car. Wear brightly colored clothing if possible, and always avoid a car’s blind spot.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

The most important thing to do in the event of a motorcycle accident is to seek immediate medical attention, regardless of the seriousness of your injuries. Not only will timely treatment likely save your life, but a medical professional will also document the circumstances of your accident and assess the seriousness of your injuries. This will become crucial when it comes time to file an injury lawsuit.

Once you’ve been seen by a medical professional, the next most important thing you can do is document the accident to the best of your ability. Take pictures of your injuries and the damage done to your bike, and lastly, file a police report. In almost all cases, you’ll want to hire a lawyer to do this on your behalf.

Communicating with the necessary parties can become tricky, especially if you’re unfamiliar with laws surrounding accident liability. Insurance companies may try and trick you into admitting liability. Because our firm has had over 15 years of experience in communicating with insurance adjusters, we understand how to communicate your needs without compromising leverage.

Were you injured in a vehicle accident caused by someone else? You don’t have to navigate your legal options alone: Our personal injury lawyers are here to help. Call or text Tom Wilmowski at 314-860-1644 or reach out through our online contact form for a free consultation.

Motorcycle Accident Medical Recovery

Your doctor will provide you with critical information on how to support your recovery. The type of medical treatment you’ll receive will depend entirely on what type of injuries you sustain. This could include any of the following:

  • Casts or splints
  • Stitches
  • Burn treatment, including skin grafts
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health counseling

You will need to follow up on all of your appointments and keep a record of your medical expenses for your personal injury claim. Make sure you maintain communication with your doctor and follow their treatment plan accordingly. Doing so not only aids in your physical recovery but also positions you to pursue compensation through legal action.

What Type of Damages Can I Expect if I’m Hit on a Motorcycle?

If you’ve suffered a motorcycle accident, medical expenses are unlikely to be all of your accident-related losses. You can hold the at-fault driver liable for all of your accident damages through a motorcycle accident claim. Some of these may include:

  • Medical bills. This includes costs associated with emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, surgery, doctor’s visits, medications, rehabilitation, therapy, and any future medical expenses related to the accident.
  • Lost income. If you are unable to work due to severe injuries sustained in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and any diminished earning capacity resulting from your injuries.
  • Property damage. This covers the cost of repairing or replacing the motorcycle and any other personal property damaged in the accident, such as protective gear or personal belongings.
  • Pain and suffering. You may be able to recover non-economic damages such as physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the accident and injuries sustained.
  • Disability and disfigurement. Compensation may be awarded for permanent disabilities, disfigurement, scarring, or loss of limbs that affect the victim’s quality of life and ability to perform daily activities.
  • Loss of consortium. If your injuries impact your relationships with family members or your ability to provide companionship, care, and support, you may be awarded damages for loss of consortium.

These damages don’t only apply to surviving motorcycle accident victims. If your loved one passes away in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else, you may also be eligible to seek damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. The total amount you’ll be paid will depend on the available evidence in your case, the level of suffering you’ve endured, and the effectiveness of your attorney — one of many reasons why hiring a qualified and experienced lawyer is so important to your success.

When Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

The easy answer is always. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer is key to not only seeking fair compensation but also to ensuring you are protected from being sued yourself. In the chaos of an auto accident, the at-fault party isn’t always clear, and there are many situations where the wrong person may be assumed responsible for the accident. This is especially true if the victim has passed away and is unable to assert their innocence.

If you live in Missouri or Illinois and you’re looking for representation in a motorcycle crash case, few law firms can provide the top-tier support offered by Tom Wilmowski. Our law firm has the resources and experience necessary to build a rock-solid case and guide you through the complexities of the legal process. Reach out through our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.

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