• Des Moines Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys
  • Phone: 641-792-3595
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When tragedy strikes, motorcycle injury attorneys emerge as unwavering advocates for riders in their time of need. Specializing in the unique challenges of motorcycle accidents, these legal experts navigate the complexities of the law to ensure injured riders receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

Important Safety Tips for Beginner Motorcyclists

With today's economy, many people find motorcycles to be a practical and economical alternative to cars. In Iowa, weather affects when people can ride there can be many months of enjoyable motorcycle riding.

People choose motorcycle riding for various reasons. It offers numerous benefits, such as reduced environmental impact, but also comes with significant risks. If you or a loved one has recently purchased a motorcycle or is considering buying one, it's important to understand these risks and take necessary precautions.

Understanding the Risks

Motorcycles lack the protective shell that cars provide. This means that in the event of an accident, riders are far more vulnerable to serious injuries. To mitigate these risks, consider the following safety measures:

1. Ride with Your Lights On: Ensure your motorcycle is visible at all times.
2. Wear Protective Gear: Always wear a helmet, clothing that covers your skin, and fully enclosed shoes.
3. Follow Traffic Laws: Adhere to all road regulations to stay safe.
4. Stay Aware: Be mindful of your surroundings and other drivers.
5. Avoid Riding Under the Influence: Never ride when you've been drinking or are extremely tired.
6. Maintain Your Bike: Regularly check lights, tire pressure, and brakes.

Filing a Claim for Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Iowa

Motorcycle accidents can leave victims and their families devastated due to the severe injuries and financial burdens involved. To recover damages in a Des Moines motorcycle accident claim, you need to prove that the other driver was at fault. This involves demonstrating that the other driver acted negligently, breaching their duty to drive safely, which led to the accident.

Establishing Negligence

To prove negligence, gather valid evidence such as:
Police Reports: These detail the accident scene and may include citations issued.
Photos and Videos: Visual evidence of the scene and injuries.
Eyewitness Statements: Testimonies from those who saw the accident.
Damaged Vehicles: Physical evidence from the accident.

Keep all medical appointments, contact the insurance company, and retain all documents and communications related to the accident.

How Iowa’s Helmet Laws Affect Your Case

Iowa does not have a helmet law, so motorcyclists aren’t legally required to wear one. However, not wearing a helmet can still impact an injury claim, particularly if the rider suffered a head injury. Iowa follows a modified comparative negligence system, allowing recovery of damages even if partially at fault, as long as you are not more than 50% at fault. However, the damage award is reduced by your percentage of fault.

Types of Recoverable Damages

Economic damages cover current and future loss of income and medical bills. Catastrophic injuries may require future medical care, such as surgeries or home care. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life.

Motorcycle Licensing Requirements in Iowa

The legal age to operate a motorcycle in Iowa is 14, with specific restrictions for younger riders. Riders 14 to 17 must obtain a motorcycle instruction permit and can drive with a licensed parent or guardian. At 16, riders can obtain an intermediate motorcycle license, but still face restrictions, such as not riding between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. without proper accompaniment. At 17, riders can obtain a full license after holding an intermediate license for at least a year and completing required driving hours.

Motorcycle Safety Course

Riders under 18 must take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved course before receiving their instruction permit. These courses teach essential skills such as riding in a straight line, turning, shifting, and stopping.

Unlicensed Motorcyclists in Accidents

Riders without proper licenses or those violating license terms may face legal and civil consequences if they cause an accident. This can affect their comparative negligence in an accident claim. It's crucial to consult with an attorney if involved in an accident under such circumstances.

At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our motorcycle accident attorneys can represent you in dealings with your insurance company, or when filing a personal injury claim. Set up your consultation now by calling 641-792-3595