Seattle Drunk or Drugged Driving Motorcycle Accidents Lawyer
Motorcyclists are always in a dangerous position compared to drivers of traditional motor vehicles, simply because they are not shielded within the body of a vehicle, and they are often ignored or not seen by other drivers.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, motorcyclist fatalities occur 28 times more frequently than passenger vehicle fatalities. As per the 2015 Annual Collision Data Summary from the Washington State Department of Transportation, 2,440 motorcycles were involved in collisions, including 76 fatal collisions, 406 serious injury collisions, 1,562 minor injury collisions, 365 property damage only collisions, and 31 unknown injury collisions.
The dangers of riding a motorcycle increase significantly when having to share the road with drunk or drugged drivers. Drunk or drugged drivers may face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI), but motorcyclists or their loved ones can bring separate civil charges for injuries, expenses, sufferings and losses.
Did you sustain serious injuries or was your loved one killed in a motorcycle accident involving a drunk or drugged driver? You deserve justice and compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee today at (206) 899-5415 for a FREE consultation if you have suffered a motorcycle accident in the greater Seattle area.
About Drunk Driving/Drugged Motorcycle Accidents
When motorcyclists are the victims of an accident caused by a drunk or drugged driver, it is vital to their claim to establish that the at-fault driver was indeed under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident. In Washington state, there are three main types of DUI cases:
- Impairment DUI involves any driver whose ability to drive has been appreciably lessened by alcohol or drugs.
- “Per se” alcohol DUI involves cases where the driver has a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater.
- “Per se” marijuana DUI involves cases where the driver has a concentration of five nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood.
These last two cases are called “per se” DUIs because they are based on the alcohol or blood content in the driver’s system and do not require proof that the driver was impaired by these substances.
In other words, intoxication is defined by the law and not by how the driver feels or other subjective factors. This makes it important for victims of motorcycle crashes to always have documented proof of any toxicology or other reports (e.g., field sobriety tests) to establish a case of drunk or impaired driving (since the other driver may claim the motorcyclist was a fault in some way).
Common Injuries Suffered in a Drunk or Drugged Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents caused by a drunk or drugged driver can cause serious and even life-changing injuries.
The only protection motorcyclists have is their helmet, which is no match for a two-ton car or semi-trailer truck. The State of Washington requires all motorcyclists – operators and passengers – to wear helmets while riding a motorcycle. While helmets certainly reduce the chances of a person suffering a severe head injury in a crash, they cannot prevent all injuries.
The physical trauma of hitting the ground, skidding along the concrete, or smashing into a pole or wall can be absolutely devastating. Some common injuries for drunk or drugged motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Severed limb
- Head injuries and concussions
- Deep abrasions
- Serious burns
- Permanent disabilities
- Traumatic memories
- Anxiety issues
- In the worst cases, death
Statistics show that a motorcyclist is involved in a crash in Washington every four hours, which translates to six motorcycle accidents every day. Whereas 38.8 percent of drivers and 30.7 percent of occupants died or were injured in collisions, 90.5 percent of motorcyclists died or were seriously injured.
A motorcycle accident can cause you tremendous pain and suffering. This type of incident can be even more frustrating when it was caused by a drunk or drugged driver who failed to consider the well being of other drivers. Your case deserves the care and attention of an experienced Seattle motorcycle accident lawyer.
Contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee today at (206) 899-5415 for a FREE consultation and to learn more about your legal options.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim for My Motorcycle Accident?
In Washington State, under the Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.080, motorcycle accidents have a three-year statute of limitations. This means you have three (3) years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Failure to do so can lead to your case being dismissed.
As with any serious vehicle accident or crash, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to begin the process of gathering evidence, deciding on who to hold responsible, understanding your legal options, understanding what forms of compensation you may seek, and deciding whether or not a civil lawsuit is necessary to collect compensation in full.
This is not only important for the individuals involved, but also for the lawyer who needs appropriate time to conduct a proper investigation and due diligence on the case.
If the statute of limitations is coming up soon, most lawyers will decline to take on the case.
Statute of limitation laws are meant to protect against fraudulent cases where someone just wants to collect after an incident has occurred or is alleged to have occurred. “Ambulance chaser” lawyers are called as such for a reason. These types of lawyers/law firms want to get on top of a case as soon as possible before the smoke has cleared.
Legitimate motorcycle accident attorneys want to gather proper evidence, conduct a thorough investigation, and litigate the case in a reasonable timeframe. The sooner you contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee after a motorcycle accident, the easier it will be to resolve the case in a fair and equitable manner with the full compensation you are entitled to.
How Much Can I Recover for the Injuries I Suffered?
Compensation for motorcycle accidents due to drunk or drugged driving can include compensation for property damage to the motorcycle itself, as well as recovery for present and future medical expenses, as well as other damages resulting from the accident.
The amount of compensation you will be able to recover for your motorcycle accident will depend on a number of factors including but not limited to:
- Short, medium and long-term physical pain
- Rehabilitation costs
- Ongoing medical costs and costs of medication
- Travel costs after the accident
- Ongoing care such as physiotherapy or home assistance (cooking, cleaning, etc.)
- Lost wages for time missed at work
- Mental trauma and stress resulting from the accident
- Impaired mental ability or even change of personality
- Funeral and other death-related benefits in cases of fatal accidents
- Family compensation in cases of death of a loved one, such as family therapy
After a motorcycle accident due to drunk or drugged driving, it is important to let your motorcycle accident attorney handle any communication involving the case, including with insurance companies. Because compensation can be significant, insurance companies often have an interest in settling the case as soon as possible, before the victim has time to consider their options.
One tactic insurance companies use is to offer a quick “lump sum” settlement that sounds good on the surface, but may not be enough to cover present or future expenses due to the crash. Once the victim accepts the lump sum offer, they will have to cover any further expenses out of pocket once the settlement money runs out. Besides this, insurance companies are very experienced at dealing with victims and know how to ask questions that may be used against the victim, hurting their chances at obtaining a fair settlement.
Victims often respond to questions in ways that hurt their own case, sometimes because they don’t understand the legal factors involved and sometimes because they don’t fully know the facts of their own case. This is why it is important to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the case.
When you are recovering from an accident, your focus should be on your health. Allow The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee shoulder the burden of your claim and help you obtain the compensation you are owed.
The The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee: Here When You Need Us Most
Motorcycle accidents involving drunk or drugged driving are, unfortunately, very common, and motorcyclists are disproportionately victims of serious injury and death.
As a motorcyclist, you have just as much right as any other driver on the road. If you have been injured because of a negligent drunk or drugged driver, know that there is hope.
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee, we work hard to earn your trust. We are a dependable Seattle law firm that you can look to when dealing with an alcohol or drug-related motorcycle accident crash. With the help of The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee, you can be sure that your motorcycle accident case will be handled properly, with personalized attention and full understanding of the law to get the maximum amount of compensation that victims and their families are entitled to.
Contact us anytime at (206) 899-5415 for a FREE consultation.