The Oxford motorcycle accident lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. have built a reputation of excellence throughout Mississippi for helping injured motorcyclists obtain the compensation they deserve after a wreck.
The insurance company is concerned about its bottom line, not your recovery. Our experienced attorneys understand the tactics used by insurance companies to devalue claims and we know how to fight for every penny you deserve under the law.
If you were hurt in a crash due to someone else’s carelessness or reckless actions, call Roberts Wilson, P.A. today at (662) 533-9111 or contact us online for a free case review with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Our firm serves clients throughout North Mississippi, including Oxford, Holly Springs, Batesville, Pontotoc, and other areas.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
After a serious motorcycle wreck, your top priority should be to heal and rebuild your life. You may believe that the insurance company will compensate you fairly, especially if the other driver was clearly at fault. However, motorcycle accident claims are rarely so simple. The process of recovery after a motorcycle crash can be grueling and lengthy. Insurers may offer you a low settlement with the hope that you don’t know the true value of your case or they may deny your claim altogether.
You also only have a short period of time in which to seek compensation.
Because of these reasons, it is crucial to discuss your situation with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a wreck. Without experienced legal counsel, you may experience a variety of unexpected issues with your case, such as:
- The insurance company is not on your side: Most accident victims have little to no experience dealing with insurance companies. A seasoned lawyer will handle all communications with the insurer on your behalf and protect your rights.
- You may leave money on the table: Financial losses such as medical bills and other expenses only represent a portion of the damages to which you may be entitled after a motorcycle accident. An attorney will gather crucial evidence and enlist expert testimony to account for the full value of your losses both today and in the future.
- Your injuries may be severe: Even a minor collision on a motorcycle can cause severe injuries. When you are recovering from your injuries, it can be difficult to fully understand the long-term physical, financial, and emotional consequences of your accident. A knowledgeable lawyer will work with your doctors and other experts to gain a clear picture of the extent and nature of your injuries.
- Bias against motorcyclists: There is an unfortunately common misconception that motorcycle riders are careless. This often makes the fight for justice an uphill battle for fair compensation. Our attorneys perform a thorough investigation of every accident to determine how it occurred and who may be liable. This process is critical for protecting your rights when the insurance company claims that you caused the crash.
- It may be necessary to take your case to court: Many motorcycle accident settlements are negotiated between the injured party’s lawyer and the insurance company. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, you need an attorney who can prepare your case for trial and pursue a favorable outcome in court.
Over the years, we have seen numerous problems that can arise when someone represents themselves in a motorcycle accident case and we know that a lawyer can make your life easier.
The legal team at Roberts Wilson, P.A. has the knowledge, skill, and resources needed to effectively pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve after a wreck. We have a proven history of success helping the wrongfully injured throughout Mississippi move forward with their lives.
Mississippi Motorcycle Laws
When riding a motorcycle in Mississippi, you need to follow the rules of the road. As a biker, here’s what you need to know:
You Must Be Licensed
Before riding a motorcycle in Mississippi, you need to start with a Mississippi motorcycle endorsement. Mississippi Code Annotated §63-1-6 states that no one can operate a motorcycle on Mississippi highways without an operator’s license with a motorcycle endorsement on it.
You must first hold a valid Mississippi driver’s license to get a motorcycle endorsement. Then you can obtain a temporary permit. Following an inspection of your bike and further testing, you can get either a four- or eight-year endorsement.
In Mississippi, you can get a motorcycle license when you are 16 years old. If you can prove that you are enrolled in school, you can get a motorcycle permit when you are 15 years old. If you can show proof that you are enrolled in school and also enrolled in a high school driver’s education program, you can get a motorcycle permit when you are 14 years old.
You Must Wear a Helmet
Mississippi law requires both motorcycle operators and their passengers to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
Additionally, your helmet must comply with the minimum guidelines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in accordance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 (MS Code Annotated §63-7-84).
Your Motorcycle Must Be Properly Equipped
MS Code Annotated §63-7-13 requires all motorcycles in Mississippi to have a headlamp that complies with the required lighting levels for all motor vehicles.
Your motorcycle must also have at least one foot- or hand-operated brake (MS Code Annotated §63-7-51).
You Must Adhere to Safety Guidelines
Riders are required by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to follow the safety guidelines established in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Motorcycle Operator Manual.
Motorcycle safety is taken seriously in Mississippi. In fact, state law requires that when a motorcycle is purchased from a retailer, $50 of the sale goes to the Mississippi Trauma Care Systems Fund.
Is Lane Splitting Legal In Mississippi?
Sometimes called stripe-riding or white-lining, “lane splitting” is the term that describes when a motorcycle rides between two lanes of traffic to pass other vehicles. The maneuver is also used by bikers to weave through slow or stopped traffic, often to get to the front of a traffic line at a stopped red-light intersection.
Motorcyclists commonly argue that lane splitting is a useful tactic to avoid serious motorcycle wrecks caused by negligent drivers. However, the practice remains illegal in every state except California.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle wrecks occur for a number of reasons. Our motorcycle accident attorneys thoroughly investigate each case to determine why the crash happened and who is at fault.
Most motorcycle accidents are the result of careless drivers, not motorcyclists. These wrecks involve a variety of types of driver negligence, including:
- Cars turning left across traffic
- Open-door accidents (when the door of a parked vehicle is opened into a motorcyclist’s path)
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Distracted driving
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Excess speed
- Following a motorcycle too closely
- Errors when turning left in front of a motorcycle
- Failure to check blind spots before changing lanes
Drivers have a duty to share the road safely with bikers. When they fail in this obligation, motorcycle riders can be severely hurt or killed in crashes.
Types of Motorcycle Wrecks
Motorcycle accidents can take many forms, including:
A motorcyclist is most at risk for serious injury and death when another vehicle crashes head-on with the bike. Even at relatively low speeds, a biker can be launched over the other vehicle’s roof or through the windshield.
When the drivers of passenger vehicles stray into an oncoming lane, they place themselves and others at risk. Head-on collisions are often caused by negligent behaviors such as distracted driving, drunk driving, or falling asleep behind the wheel.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle accident. While these types of crashes can cause severe injury for the occupants of any vehicle, motorcyclists are at significant risk when hit from behind.
Tailgating and distracted driving are common causes of rear-end collisions. It usually takes less time for a motorcycle to stop than a passenger vehicle. When drivers don’t pay attention or follow too closely, they are often unable to brake in time to avoid crashing into a motorcycle that stopped in front of them.
The force of a rear-end crash can throw riders forward into the road, where the impact with pavement may cause serious injury. In other cases, the motorcycle could slide out from under a rider, causing him or her to roll onto the other vehicle’s hood.
In some cases, vehicles do not even have to make contact with motorcycles to cause accidents. Although any driver should take evasive action to avoid a hazard or other vehicle, there is a substantial risk of injury when motorcyclists are forced to make emergency maneuvers.
For example, suppose a biker rides along a two-lane road and another driver approaches from the opposite direction and suddenly drifts into the motorcycle’s path. The motorcyclist may avoid the other vehicle by swerving, but he or she is then forced off the road and crashes. Even though the other vehicle did not collide with the motorcycle, the car’s driver may still be responsible for the wreck.
A motorcycle’s smaller size can make intersections particularly dangerous for bikers. Careless drivers who turn left are more likely to misjudge distances or fail to notice motorcycles that are going straight. Alternatively, drivers who run red lights when motorcyclists have a green arrow to turn left may see the motorcycle but be unable to avoid a collision.
Motorcycle riders are at extreme risk of severe injury when they are involved in intersection accidents. They could easily be propelled into traffic, increasing the possibility of suffering additional injuries by being struck by multiple vehicles.
Dangerous Road Accidents
All drivers must adjust to various road conditions. However, motorcyclists are at heightened risk when the negligent maintenance or defective design of a road creates hazards that result in serious wrecks.
Motorcycle accidents can be caused by a number of dangerous road conditions, such as:
- Missing or faded road striping
- Missing guardrails
- Inadequate grading (increasing the risk of hydroplaning on wet roads)
- Gravel and other road debris
- Pavement fissures
- Fresh cut grass
Depending on the cause of the crash, liability could fall on the government agency responsible for maintaining or designing the road, the subcontractors involved in the road’s construction, or multiple negligent parties.
When a rider buys, leases, or rents a motorcycle, he or she has a right to expect that it will function properly. Unfortunately, negligent manufacturers of vehicles and their parts can put riders’ lives at risk.
Defective vehicle components can directly cause a motorcyclist’s injury, or a part’s failure could result in a wreck. Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers will investigate your accident to ensure that the parties responsible for your crash are held accountable for their wrongdoing.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Below are some general guidelines about what to do after an accident, if you are able. First, make sure everyone is reasonably safe and call 911. Keep in mind that it is never a good idea to argue with people at the scene of an accident. You should also be sure to cooperate with law enforcement and first responders; they are there to help you.
After a motorcycle accident:
- Get out of the road to safety
- Check on other drivers and passengers if possible
- Call police
- Take pictures of the accident scene and vehicles
- Exchange information with the other parties involved
- Talk to an attorney before giving a recorded statement to any insurance company
Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?
There is an old saying, “a lawyer who represents themselves has a fool for a client.” We agree! The motorcycle accident lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. are human too; we’ve had experiences where we needed to get independent advice from time to time.
Unless you are accustomed to handling accident claims, there are many, many ways you can harm your case if you are not careful and aware of the danger. We know where the pitfalls are in personal injury cases. We know how to maximize your recovery and make sure you and your family are protected.
The reasons to hire a lawyer are often simple and straightforward:
- The larger the claim, the more room for error
- You may be uncomfortable handling a claim on your own
- You don’t have time
- The process is always adversarial, no matter what they say
- There may be hidden insurance contract obligations
- You could miss out on money if you don’t
How Long do You Have to Contact a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident?
It is always advisable to get legal advice as quickly as possible after an accident. Our firm offers free initial consultations, so you risk nothing by contacting our office right away. During your free initial consultation, we will take time to listen to your side of the story. We will then explain your rights and legal options.
In Mississippi, you only have three years to file a motorcycle accident claim in most instances. A claim could also have a deadline as short as one year if it involves a government vehicle, so it’s important to get advice quickly. This is known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file a claim within the applicable deadline could cause your claim to be denied. An attorney will ensure that every deadline is met throughout the legal process and that all required documentation is submitted correctly and in a timely manner.
If you were hurt in a wreck, it is in your best interest to contact our office as soon as possible. It is crucial that you do not make a recorded statement to an insurance company until you have discussed your situation with an experienced attorney.
How Much Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Charge for a Case?
At Roberts Wilson, P.A., we charge no upfront fees and we only get paid if your case is successful or we win at trial. This means we advance all litigation costs that may arise, such as:
- Crash report fees
- Medical records fees
- Filing fees
- Accident reconstruction
- Expert witnesses
- Deposition fees
Benefits of Hiring Roberts Wilson, P.A. to Handle Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Roberts Wilson, P.A. are your local injury lawyers. We live and work in your community. This means we are more accessible and we have first-hand experience with the laws, courts, and areas where your accident occurred. This gives your case an advantage you won’t get by working with an out-of-town or out-of-state firm. When you choose our firm, we will:
- Conduct a comprehensive investigation of your accident
- Gather evidence and testimony to support your case
- Assess the extent and nature of your injuries
- Determine the value of your current and future losses
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be negotiated
At Roberts Wilson, P.A., you are more than a case number, you are our neighbor. We take your injuries, recovery, and rights personally. We will work diligently on your behalf to help you recover the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled under Mississippi law.
Speak with an Oxford Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Free
If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash, you may be facing high medical bills, pain and disability, and time away from work that you cannot afford. Our Oxford motorcycle accident lawyers understand the hardships you may be enduring and we are committed to fighting aggressively to ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Contact us today online or at (662) 533-9111 to discuss your case for free with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. We serve clients in Oxford, Holly Springs, Batesville, Pontotoc, and many other areas throughout Mississippi.