MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER ST. LOUIS
Motorcycle accidents tend to be more deadly than other automotive accidents. We specialize in helping motorcycle accident victims get the settlement they deserve.
Hiring A St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you own a motorcycle it’s probably fair to say that you know there are inherent risks when riding your crotch rocket or your hog. There are approximately 2500 motorcycle accidents in Missouri each year and about 79% of those result in a personal injury. About 5% of the total motorcycle crashes each year result in a fatality, which is approximately 12 times the fatality rate of car accidents. So although motorcycle accidents are a small percent of the total auto accidents that happen each year, the fact is that they are more dangerous and deadly than your regular car accident.
So what do you if you’re the injured party or you’re the loved one of someone who was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident? That’s where a motorcycle accident lawyer at the Combs Law Group can help you today. We offer you a risk-free consultation where you can ask us any questions about the process or your case. So we hope you reach out to us today via phone or fill out a contact form and we will get back with you to discuss your case. If you want to learn more about the process and about our firm, please keep reading.
2017: 2500 Motorcycle Accidents Missouri / 1800 Injury Related Accidents
Don’t Wait To Hire Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The biggest mistake people make after a motorcycle accident is procrastination. When the accident happens and you believe you weren’t at fault, you need to take action right away and hire a St. Louis motorcycle accident lawyer after you’ve dealt with any major or minor injuries. It’s likely that you’ve incurred some kind of injury in the accident, so at the scene, you should immediately go get medical treatment at the emergency room. Once you’ve been discharged from the hospital it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If you’re suffered serious injuries that result in a long hospital stay you should work with a family member who can help you find a motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Louis. The personal injury attorney will be able to help you deal with the insurance companies and guide you through the entire legal process.
We can’t stress enough that it’s critical for you or your family member to retain the services as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to maximize your financial settlement in the case. One thing you don’t want to do is talk with your insurance company or the other parties insurance companies before you speak to your motorcycle accident attorney. They will do their very best to get you to agree to a lower settlement amount and in most cases, they will try to get you on record agreeing to some fault in the accident. It’s your right to maintain silence, so if they are currently calling you, go ahead and put them on notice that you are in the process of hiring a personal injury lawyer.
You might be wondering whether hiring a personal injury lawyer is the right thing to do because let’s be honest personal injury lawyers get a bad rap these days. Most of the public has a general distaste for attorneys that work in personal injury law. Well we tend to disagree of course and we like to point out to our potential clients these particular reasons as to why hiring a personal injury lawyer is typically a good decision:
- Impartial Objectivity – Your motorcycle accident lawyer will support you and help you throughout the process, but more importantly, they will provide you impartial advice when it’s needed. A motorcycle accident is an emotional event and sometimes people can let their emotions get in the way of making good choices. It’s good to have a motorcycle accident lawyer, as a trusted advisor, as you walk through the process.
- Resources – Good personal injury firms like the Combs Law Group have a network of resources at their disposal. These resources might be valuable to you in this time of need. For instance, we have a network of doctors, specialists, and counselors in case you are in need of additional medical treatment. We can also refer you resources that help you out financially if you are struggling because of the accident.
- Research & Discovery – In many personal injury cases, evidence discovery can be challenging. We have contacts that we can leverage to gather police reports, medical records, criminal and driving records, financial records, and insurance documents. This saves you the time and energy of having to collect all these documents that could strengthen your case.
- Law Expertise – What’s the point in hiring a lawyer if that lawyer doesn’t know the law inside and out. But you would be surprised at how many lawyers don’t know personal injury law. Over the past several years there have been some significant changes to personal injury law in Missouri. The personal injury lawyers at the Combs Law Group are well versed in the latest motorcycle driving laws as well as the laws that govern personal injury cases that come from motorcycle accidents.
- Excellent Negotiation Skills – The majority of motorcycle injury cases are settled out of court, which means that the most important skill in getting a good settlement is negotiating. Personal injury settlements are zero-sum games, where your gain results in the loss to the other party. Having a good motorcycle injury lawyer means having a good negotiator. That’s where we stand out from the other motorcycle injury attorneys in St. Louis. We will gauge the other parties involved and then adjust our style to what we think will maximize your settlement.
- Prepared For Litigation – Not all cases are settled out of court, so good motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to go to court when they need to. When making the decision to go to court we look at all the factors involved and ultimately provide you with a probability of success. In order to negotiate effectively, we have to be prepared to go to court because insurance companies want to avoid litigation at all costs.
The Best St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Every motorcycle accident lawyer in St. Louis claims to be the “best” in town, so how do you know which one to hire. Obviously, it’s easy to say you’re the best motorcycle accident lawyer, which is why every personal injury lawyer website you visit makes that claim. We at the Combs Law Group believe we are the best but we like to back that claim by outlining why we think we can justly make the claim. We won’t deny that there are plenty of good motorcycle accident lawyers in St. Louis, and if you ask us we will tell you who those firms are. However, we define “Best” based on specific qualities and attributes we offer our clients. Throughout the years we’ve identified some of these essential attributes of a good motorcycle accident injury attorney and we’ve built our practice around them. So we hope you keep the following in mind as you evaluate who to hire to facilitate your motorcycle injury settlement:
- Accessibility – Availability is an important aspect of building a trustworthy and personal relationship with your personal injury lawyer. We strive to create a 1 on 1 relationship between you the client and lawyer who is handling your case. With other personal injury firms you will sometime meet with an attorney initially but then be handed off to a paralegal, and end up having very little communication with the lawyer assigned to your case. These are typically high volume personal injury firms that are focused on generating volume. Typically these lawyers are constantly looking for and opening new cases while their paralegals are working the cases they open. This allows them to stack cases up and the result is that you end up waiting unnecessarily. These lawyers will avoid you and push you off until they are ready to work your case. We recommend staying away from these firms because they tend to accept a lower settlement amount for your injuries. We are not a churn and burn firm, which means we may not take on as many cases in the hopes of providing higher service levels to our clients.
- Expertise – Just because you go to law school doesn’t mean you end up a being a good lawyer. It takes a particular set of skills to be a good motorcycle accident injury lawyer as well as a solid understanding of the laws that govern personal injury in Missouri as well as laws that govern the road. Experience is a good factor to consider, but you’ll find that every firm out there makes grandiose claims about the millions they’ve won for their past clients. We don’t do that at the Combs Law Group. We have fought and won many settlements for our clients, but we’re most proud of the experience those clients had throughout the process.
- Integrity – “How many lawyers jokes are in existence? Three. The rest are true stories.” That kinda sums up how people view personal injury attorneys in today’s society. It’s true to some degree that lawyers can be sharks, especially in the personal injury field. However, there are some lawyers out there that run their practice with integrity – and we are one of them. For years, lawyers had a mindset that clients need them more than they need clients. That caused people to have a negative view of the entire experience with legal representation. That’s changed in recent years with the advent of the internet and the increase in competition in the legal industry. We understand this at the Combs Law Group and that’s why we are client-centric in all of our cases. We focus on providing a good client experience from start to finish and a big part of that is being honest with our clients. In Missouri, we take an oath when we are licensed to practice. Here’s the oath:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Missouri; That I will maintain the respect due courts of justice, judicial officers and members of my profession and will at all times conduct myself with dignity becoming of an officer of the court in which I appear; That I will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false statement of fact or law; That I will at all times conduct myself in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct; and, That I will practice law to the best of my knowledge and ability and with consideration for the defenseless and oppressed. So help me God.“
- Transparency – This is a stressful time for you and we understand that which is why we strive to be as open and honest with you throughout the process. Some motorcycle accident attorneys will avoid delivering bad news to their clients and hope for the best. We think that’s a mistake in most cases. We want you to be as up-to-date about what’s happening in your case each day. We set realistic expectations from the start and then we work extremely hard to meet those expectations. We won’t make any promises and we suggest you avoid motorcycle injury attorneys who are willing to make you promises about your settlement. Yes, some cases are open and shut cases, but for the most part, maximizing your motorcycle injury settlement will require hard work on our part, and that’s what we are willing to promise our clients.
- Compassion – A car accident can be a traumatic event in someone’s life. Therefore you should look for a car accident attorney that understands this and is willing to get you connected with physical and mental health professionals.
Why Combs Law Group As A Motorcycle Injury Attorney
At the Combs Law Group, we offer best in class legal representation for anyone who has been injured as a result of a motorcycle accident where they were not at fault or had limited fault. We understand that hiring a personal injury attorney is not an easy decision. For people who have strong cases, where you clearly had zero responsibility in the motorcycle accident, you likely have your pick of any motorcycle accident injury lawyer in St. Louis. Most often though, you’re like many other clients and you’re evaluating attorneys based on whether you saw them on TV claiming they have settled trillions of dollars for their other clients. We at the Combs Law Group won’t do that, we maintain total confidentiality for our clients and that includes avoiding making claims about settlement amounts. For one there isn’t a way for you to verify that information as true and the fact is that just because a personal injury lawyer is able to get a big settlement doesn’t mean he was able to maximize the settlement. Don’t get us wrong we are 100% focused on maximizing your financial outcomes because that’s what we are here to do. However, as we’ve mentioned above we have certain intangibles qualities that you won’t find with other motorcycle accident lawyers in St. Louis. Let’s walk you through our process so that you get an idea of what to expect when you hire us for your motorcycle accident injury case.
The Client Experience For Settlement
We strive to build a client experience that is unrivaled in the St. Louis area. We want to maximize your settlement quickly, and we want you to have a good client experience throughout the process.
Free Case Evaluation
It can all start today with you contacting us to do a quick case evaluation. That gives you the opportunity to ask questions about us and the process, while also providing us some initial details about the accident.
Once we agree to take the case and you agree to work with us, it’s time for us to go to work. We begin by gather evidence and documentation that will support and strengthen your case. The more evidence, the better your case.
File Demand Packet
After reviewing all the evidence we will then meet with you face to face to provide our objective opinion on what we think is the best package of demands to make initially. This will be your opportunity to provide your inputs.
Once the demand package is filed we will then negotiate with the insurance company lawyers or the other parties lawyers to reach a settlement agreement. If no settlement is made we then move to litigation.
Learn About The Trial Process
What steps should you take immediately after a motorcycle accident?
Now if you were just in a motorcycle accident you may want to consider the following best practices. If you’re in a serious motorcycle accident or even just a minor one, the first thing to do is call 911. If are significantly injured it’s likely that others will call 911 for you, so wait for the police and the ambulance to arrive. When the police arrive they will likely ask you for a statement and get statements from the other party and any witnesses. It’s important that you keep your statement very simple and that you don’t admit fault in the accident. If you have these statements now don’t throw them away. They will be helpful to you and your motorcycle accident attorney during the discovery phase of the process. The police officer may provide you with the official crash report or that might be filed later. If you didn’t get a police report at the time of your accident we will be able to file with the state highway patrol to get copies of the accident report and any other witness statements that were filed.
The biggest mistake people make after the accident is turning down medical treatment. If you are even slightly injured in any sort of automotive accident, it’s wise to go get seen at the hospital by a doctor or a specialist. There are many internal injuries that can be caused by motorcycle accidents and just because you were able to walk away from the crash doesn’t mean you’re fine. If your recent accident resulted in an injury but you didn’t go to the see the doctor, you shouldn’t wait any further. Go to your primary doctor right away or even an urgent care center. Insurance companies love it when plaintiffs wait weeks or months to get evaluated by a doctor. That gives them the chance to claim the injury could have been caused by some other non-related accident. If contact us today about your motorcycle accident injury, we can refer you to a doctor in our network immediately.
Of course, the next most important step to take after your accident is to hire a motorcycle accident injury lawyer. Once you have a lawyer who you can trust on your side the better off you will be. Remember these car insurance companies are looking to get one over on you by getting you to agree to a settlement or admit fault on record. The last thing they want is for you to hire a lawyer who is, let’s face it, looking to make them pay for your pain and suffering, and any other costs you incurred as a result of their negligent client.
Before the police arrive at the scene (and even after), don’t ever admit any kind of fault or liability to the other party or to the police. Do NOT say you’re sorry to the other driver at any point. Just ask them for their insurance information after confirming they are okay. The police officer will ask you to provide a statement about how the accident happened. You should answer truthfully, so ask the officer for a piece of paper so that you can write down what you recall from the accident. You will then keep this written recording after the police officer has copied it into the car accident report. If you have sustained injuries from the accident (even minor injuries), either call 911 immediately after the auto accident to get an ambulance or tell the police officer you want to get checked out in the hospital. So many people don’t want to make a big fuss over something like a sprained wrist, so they don’t mention it to a police officer or ask to get it treated by a medical professional. What they don’t realize at the time is that even a sprained wrist could be a major issue for them in the coming weeks. For instance, a sprained wrist could cause them to miss work for several weeks because they can’t type without a great deal of pain. That could mean lost wages, or having to use up vacation time unnecessarily. So don’t feel bad about asking to be seen by a medical doctor. Just make sure you get a full diagnostic evaluation for your injury, including any x-rays or MRI’s that may show physical damage to your body.
But the most crucial step you will make after you’ve gone home from the hospital will be to find yourself a qualified car accident lawyer. So if you are someone who was recently injured in a car accident and you believe the other party was at fault, call the Combs Law Group. We are located in St. Louis, and handle mostly St. Louis car accident injuries, however, we also handle cases across the state of Missouri.
What information should I get when I’m in a motorcycle accident?
It’s in your best interest to gather as much information from the scene of the accident, while also providing as little information to the other party. Be honest and accurate with the police officer, but again avoid taking any responsibility. There are key pieces of information that could help your motorcycle accident attorney throughout the negotiation process. A personal injury lawyer is only as good as the information he has at his disposal. We are no different, so gathering as much detail after the accident will help us help you. Therefore, if you or a family member are capable of gathering some information, go ahead and write down the following information or notate it in your cell phone:
- Ask for their driver’s license and insurance information right away. You will want to write down their name(s), address information, and driver’s license number. It’s also handy to take a photo of their driver’s license (front & back).
- Write down the license plate number of each vehicle involved in the accident and take photos of the license plates as well.
- If there are witnesses at the scene, write down their names, phone numbers, and address information. If they give you statements, write them down and have them sign and date them.
- Photos are key pieces of evidence in most car accident injury lawsuits, so take photos of every car at multiple angles, and inside and outside. Take photos of the tire treads of each tire and take photos of the VIN number in the windshield. Some accidents may have a starting point and an ending point, so in those cases make sure to take pictures of where the initial starting point of the accident and any tire marks between in between the two points.
- Most cell phones today have built-in voice recorders, so we suggest you turn that on to record anything the other driver says and to capture anything the witnesses say. It could also help you recall what you said at the scene of the accident months down the road.
How do I deal with minor or major motorcycle accident injuries?
Injuries from a motorcycle are rarely minor. It’s not uncommon to see broken bones, scrapes, and major back and neck injuries.
The insurance companies will always question your decisions when it comes to whether you go get medical treatment right after or you wait for weeks or months after the car accident. We advise you to go to the ER to get evaluated by a doctor. If that doctor doesn’t do extensive tests like x-rays or MRI’s you will want to get a referral to a specialist so you can get those done as soon as you are discharged from the ER. The insurance companies will have their own doctors on staff that will question why you didn’t get your injuries checked by a doctor quickly. Remember the insurance companies are not on your side, so you should avoid going to doctors they refer you to.
Lastly, if you don’t have your own medical insurance and will be required to pay out of pocket you have options to get some help. You could ask the medical provider or specialist to see you and set up a payment plan with them. You could also ask them to cover the cost until you get your car accident settlement. If we decide to take your case and you have not been seen by a medical specialist, we can help you by referring you to one of the doctors in our network.
What if I have serious injuries from the car accident?
At the Combs Law Group we have seen many clients who have been in very serious car accidents. The fact is that the more serious the accident or the injuries the more important it is that you get a personal injury lawyer that knows car accident-related personal injury law. This is important because having a lawyer on your side allows you to focus on your own health.
It’s also important to get medical attention immediately after the accident or shortly thereafter. We see many clients come in several weeks or months after the accident complaining about neck or back pain that they believe is from the auto accident. Unfortunately the longer you wait, the harder it is for your lawyer to connect your injuries to the accident. So we suggest that you if you are even remotely injured in the accident you should go to the ER, your doctor, and any specialists to get tests run right away.
If you’re dealing with major injuries it’s important to adhere to all the recommendations the doctors make. Don’t put anything off because you think it might get better over time. That could result in an issue flaring up again in several months, and then you have to cover the medical costs.
How do I deal with the car insurance companies after the car accident?
After you’re involved in a car accident you should be prepared to deal with both your insurance company and the other parties insurance company. Keep in mind that the insurance companies are not on your side, including your own insurance company. Insurance companies hate personal injury lawyers and we typically don’t like insurance companies. We find in most cases that insurance companies don’t care about their customers. They are solely concerned with reducing the number of claims they have to payout while increasing the amount of the premiums they take in. Now don’t get us wrong, we are a for-profit organization and we offer our services with the hope of making money. However, our interests are aligned with our clients because the more money you make on the settlements the more money we make. So we are here to fight for your best interest, whereas insurance companies are out to trick or mislead you so that they can reduce the amount they have to pay out to you.
With that in mind let’s discuss what’s likely to happen once you get home from the accident or the hospital. First, you will probably get an introductory call from your insurance adjuster and the other parties insurance adjuster. Both of them will want to get a statement from you on what happened that caused the car accident. You are not obligated to give a statement no matter what the adjuster says on either end. You can simply tell them that you are not prepared to give a statement at the time and that you will be seeking legal counsel. Let them know that once you have obtained legal counsel they will be contacted by either you or the lawyer. Just remember that the insurance companies are trying to trick you into admitting fault or agreeing to a settlement. The one thing they don’t want you to do is to hire a car accident lawyer who will be working against them. If you don’t feel comfortable telling them “no I won’t answer your questions”, you should have a family member answer them and tell them that you’re still healing from the car accident and that you will call them back at a time that’s more convenient.
Bottom line is that insurance companies will do whatever they can under the law to reduce the amount of money they pay you for your pain and suffering, you lost wages, your medical bills or any other bills, and other costs related to your car accident.
Crucial Steps After A Car Accident
There are definitely certain things you can do to make your process go smoother after you’re involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, most people don’t know these simple things to do and things to avoid. Here’s a list that you can check off as you go through the process:
- Call the police and get a car accident report from the officer at the scene
- Gather as much information from the scene as you can
- Document or record as much of the car accident scene as well as record anything you or anyone else says
- Seek medical attention immediately after the accident by going to the ER
- Get copies of all documents related to the car accident such as medical records
- When you get someone settled to evaluate your car insurance policy to see what sort of coverage you have in place
- Notify your insurance company that you were involved in an accident, but avoid telling them anything about fault
- Call your medical providers to let them know you have been in a car accident and that you would like to schedule an appointment to get checked out
- Get in touch with a few personal injury lawyers and meet them for a free case evaluation
- Avoid speaking with the other parties insurance company until you’ve hired your personal injury attorney
Tip: Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer Before Talking To The Insurance Companies
Most Common Car Accidents Causes
- Distracted Drivers: Distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents in Missouri today. It causes more car crashes than speeding, drunk driving, and many other major accident causes. With the introduction of cell phones over the past 10 years the problem has only gotten worse. Unfortunately, the laws haven’t caught up with the technology, so many people still think it’s okay to text and drive. Many people will resort to hands-free talking on a cell phone, but studies show that even talking on the phone with hands-free can be a distraction. If it’s discovered that the other driver in your accident was texting or on the phone during the car crash, our car accident lawyers will utilize that in building your case.
- Speeding: One of the firsts things the police and the insurance companies will ask you after the accident is whether you were doing the speed limit. Even if you were slightly over the speed limit you should never state that you were over the stated limit. That, in essence, is assuming some fault in the accident. As your car accident attorney, we advise the best answer to give is that you think you were under the speed limit. You aren’t sure what speed you were going at the exact time of the accident, but it was probably under “X” MPH (the stated limit). The police or insurance will likely do an accident investigation to determine an approximate speed for both parties, so let them determine a number themselves. Learn more…
- Drunk Driving: If you notice the other driver appears to be drunk or impaired at the time of the accident, you should definitely ask the police to evaluate them. Car accident cases that involve a drunk driver can be open and shut cases, but not always. Sometimes, there are instances where you could be held partially responsible in the accident. But it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer who can help you determine whether it makes sense to pursue a case against the other party. Juries typically frown upon drunk drivers and can be very sympathetic to your situation even if you had some responsibility in the accident. Learn more…
- Reckless Driving: Reckless driving is like a catchall term to describe several driving behaviors that increase the likelihood of having an accident. Switching lanes too quickly, not using your signals when changing lanes, cutting across several lanes of traffic, abruptly stopping for no reason, going really slow on a highway with a high-speed limit, and many other irresponsible driving behaviors. All these behaviors can also be classified as aggressive behavior where the driver has no concern for the safety of his passengers or the safety of the other drivers on the road. These elements can be a major factor in any personal injury case and it’s the job of a good car accident lawyer to prove that the other driver had no consideration for your safety and that’s why the accident took place, and why you were injured in the accident. At the Combs Law Group that is what we are really good at proving. When you hire us you will get a firm that will make the case that because of the other drivers reckless driving you incurred a great deal of cost. Learn More…