If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Iowa and are pursuing a claim for damages, the insurance company or other driver is bound to present arguments against your claim. To make sure that your case is solid, familiarizing yourself with common defenses against motorcycle accident claims and hiring an attorney are important.
You Violated Motorcycle Regulations
Perhaps the most commonly used defense that another driver may argue is that you, the motorcyclist, were in violation of motorcycle laws and regulations at the time of accident. Motorcyclists must adhere to motorcycle-specific laws, like not carrying a package that restricts a driver from using both hands (Iowa Code 321.275(6)), or not riding more than two abreast in a lane (Iowa Code 321.275(4)). If the other driver can prove that a violation occurred and that the violation caused the accident, then your claim might be in jeopardy.
You Were Speeding
Another common argument that the other side might make during a motorcycle accident claim is that you were speeding at the time of accident and that the speeding caused the accident. If the defense can prove you were speeding – or that any other traffic violations occurred, like an illegal lane change – then you may be partially or totally at fault for the accident. If you’re partially at fault, the damages you recover may be reduced proportionally to your percentage of fault. But if you were more than 50 percent at fault, you may be barred from recovering damages.
You Were Driving While Impaired
Another common defense against motorcycle accident claims is that the motorcyclist was impaired at the time of the accident. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can severely hinder your ability to recover damages. The insurance company or court will again assign you a percentage of fault, which affects your ability to recover damages. In many cases, impairment will prevent you from recovering damages.
You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet
While Iowa doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, not wearing one might be an issue in your motorcycle accident claim if you suffered head or neck injuries. The insurance company or other driver in your accident may argue that not wearing a helmet led to more severe injuries than you might have suffered otherwise had you been wearing one. This could increase your comparative negligence, and therefore, reduce the damages you have to recover. Talk to your attorney about establishing that helmet use did not have an impact on your injury severity.
An Attorney at Walker, Billingsley & Bair Can Help
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Iowa, an attorney can help anticipate the other side’s defenses and address them appropriately. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our personal injury attorneys will fight to prove the other party was at fault, helping you recover compensation to which you’re entitled. Call us today at (888) 435-9886; you also can contact us online by visiting our contact page.