Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

February 27, 2024

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

There were 1,921 motorcycle crashes in Wisconsin in 2022 alone, in which 80 people lost their lives [1].

A motorcycle collision is more likely to cause serious injuries for the motorcycle operator, which makes it essential to work with experienced attorneys who understand all aspects of these accidents.

If you’ve been in a serious accident while riding, call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, a premier motorcycle accident law firm, at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review.

Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim With Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

As soon as you get in touch with us, you’ll be paired with an experienced lawyer who will evaluate your case and introduce you to the claim process through the following steps:

  • Free consultation – Your attorney will listen to the details of your motorcycle crash and determine whether you can seek compensation.
  • Case investigation – We’ll assess the facts and ascertain how we can move forward in accordance with Wisconsin law. This includes identifying what type of claim we can pursue and what types of evidence we will need to support it.
  • Gathering evidence – Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers will seek all the details of the incident, which can include medical care reports, accident scene footage, and eyewitness statements.
  • Consulting experts – Having handled hundreds of these cases, we’ve developed an extensive network of experts who can provide factual, impartial opinions about the mechanics of motorcycle crashes.
  • Insurance company negotiation – Before we take a case to trial, we will work with your own insurance company and that of other parties involved to secure compensation for your accident-related expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages.
  • Legal representation at trial – When an accident occurs, an insurance company can attempt to provide as little compensation as possible. If they refuse to provide adequate compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries, we will develop a strong case to bring in front of a jury, earning you the settlement you deserve.

How Much Can Be Recovered in Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits

There is no set settlement amount for a Wisconsin motorcycle crash, but we always seek maximum compensation for injured motorcycle riders.

For example, we were able to settle a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit for the family of a rider who died when a distracted truck driver turned left in front of him. The decedent’s loved ones received $14,100,000 to assist in their healing process.

Factors That Affect Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amounts

When we handle personal injury cases for clients involved in a motorcycle accident, we’ll skillfully present all the factors that will help ensure a higher settlement. This includes:

  • Cost of losses – Your medical expenses and lost wages are always taken into account.
  • Extent of injuries – Those with serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, typically receive more.
  • Insurance coverage available – This includes both your motorcycle insurance and that of the car driver or any other parties involved.
  • Evidence and witnesses – The more evidence and eyewitnesses that our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys present, the more compelling your claim.

Types of Cases That Our Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Handle

Our lawyers handle cases on a variety of parameters, which include:

  • Left-hand turn – Up to 43% of motorcycle accidents each year are due to other vehicles turning left in front of a rider in order to beat traffic [2].
  • Rear-end – As motorcycles are less stable than cars, a light tap can cause them to tip over.
  • Head-on collision – Motor vehicles may kill or seriously injure motorcycle riders when a head-on collision occurs.
  • Lane change – Many drivers fail to check their blind spots for motorcyclists when switching lanes.
  • Road hazards – Slick roads, especially during winter, can cause a motorcyclist to wipe out.
  • Dooring – These accidents occur when a car occupant opens their door into a rider’s path of travel, potentially throwing them off their motorcycle.

The Most Common Injuries We See Among Motorcycle Accident Victims

Motorcycle accident injuries are typically more severe than ones in an auto accident because these vehicles provide far less protection. In fact, fatality rates for motorcycle accidents are nearly 30 times higher than for passenger vehicle accidents [3].

Our legal team has seen the following injuries in among motorcycle accident victims:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Contusions and lacerations
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Paralysis

Wisconsin motorcycle accident injuries

The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

There are numerous reasons that can cause a motorcycle crash. The most common ones include:

  • Speeding – Wisconsin issued 1,100 tickets for drivers going over 100mph in 2022 [4], and even a few miles over the speed limit can result in a serious crash.
  • Failure to wear a helmet – Even though motorcycle riders above the age of 18 aren’t required to wear a helmet, not wearing one can turn a minor crash into a fatal one, such as what happened to a Clayton man who veered off the road and died at the scene [5].
  • Failure to obey traffic laws – Drivers who fail to yield frequently kill motorcyclists. This recently happened in Racine County when an Amazon driver turned left in front of a motorcycle and killed a 42-year-old father [6].
  • Distracted driving – Over 40 Wisconsinites were killed due to distracted driving in 2022 [7]. Recently, a driver was sentenced for killing a motorcyclist in Wisconsin Rapids because she was playing a mobile game while driving [8].
  • Drunk driving – Over 778,000 Wisconsinites have at least one OWI charge [9], making drunk drivers a serious concern for anyone getting on their bike. Just recently, a Janesville biker died in a head-on collision with an intoxicated driver [10].
  • Faulty parts – Motorcycle models and parts are frequently recalled due to serious defects that can cause a crash. For example, Honda recalled 15,848 bikes due to a faulty speedometer cable that increased the risk of accidents [11].
  • Dangerous roads – Wisconsin roads are the fifth worst in the United States [12]. As motorcycles are more susceptible to road imperfections due to their smaller size, the poor infrastructure increases the risk of deadly motorcycle accidents.

Wisconsin motorcycle accident causes

Who Can Be Held Liable After a Motorcycle Crash

There are a variety of defendants that a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can pursue for damages, including::

  • At-fault driver – Approximately 70% of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections because the other driver violated the motorcyclist’s right of way [13].
  • Other drivers – Dangerous pileups may occur if other drivers fail to slow down near an accident.
  • Motorcycle manufacturer – All vehicle makers must ensure that their products are road-safe.
  • Helmet manufacturer – If your helmet fails to prevent brain injuries, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
  • Local government – In Wisconsin, there are four potholes for every 621 miles of road [14], increasing the risk for motorcyclists. Municipalities must be held accountable for failure to fix them.

What to Do After a Wisconsin Motorcycle Wreck

A motorcycle wreck is terrifying and disorienting, but you must act fast to ensure you’re legally and physically protected. Follow these steps as soon as possible:

  • Stay at the accident scene – Don’t leave until you have gotten the names of all individuals there when the accident occurred. Be sure to ask for the responding officer’s name, too.
  • Seek medical help – You may not immediately realize you are seriously injured because of shock, so go to the hospital right away.
  • Call a Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyer – Talk to us before you talk to anyone else, especially an insurance agent.
  • Do not speak to insurance adjusters – Let us handle the accident claims process to ensure the insurance company does not pressure you to settle for less than you deserve.
  • Keep detailed records – Gather all your documentation, including the police report and any medical bills, as this will be helpful during the claims process.

You Have Limited Time to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Wisconsin

There’s a very brief time period where you can recover damages under Wisconsin law. The applicable statutes of limitations are:

  • Personal injury – Three years from the time of the accident
  • Wrongful death as a result of an auto accident – Two years after the time of death
  • Product liability – Three years

The sooner that you can secure representation, the more likely you are to receive compensation.

Damages That Our Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover

Your Wisconsin motorcycle accident attorney can pursue different types of damages based on who is filing the claim. If you’re the injured party, we can seek compensation such as:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Emotional or psychological trauma
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Vehicle repair and replacement

Wisconsin laws surrounding fault have evolved significantly in the past few decades. The most recent legislation requires uninsured motorist (UM) coverage but not underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).

This can make it challenging to recover funds from negligent drivers without adequate insurance — another reason why you need a skilled attorney at your side.

Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If you have lost a loved one and are filing for damages related to their death, we can help you get the settlement you deserve for your pain and suffering. These damages may include:

  • Funeral costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of companionship

Eligibility to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim

Your ability to receive a settlement hinges upon proving negligence, of which there are four components: duty of care, breach of duty, cause, and damages. These are defined as follows:

  1. Duty of care – The liable party was responsible for acting prudently to avoid accidents. This could mean following the rules of the road or manufacturing safe parts.
  2. Breach of duty – The organization or individual did not uphold their duty of care.
  3. Cause – Their carelessness was the primary cause of your injuries.
  4. Damages – You suffered financial losses as a result of these injuries.

Proving Fault for Wisconsin Motorcycle Accidents

Wisconsin motorcycle laws play a major role in determining fault for these types of accidents, as juries and insurance companies will want to know that riders were following all applicable laws before determining compensation. These include:

  • Helmet laws – Riders under 18 or with only an instructional permit must wear helmets.
  • Licensing – A motorcyclist needs to have a valid Class M motorcycle license or a permit.
  • Lane splitting – You are not allowed to share a lane with a car or ride in between lanes, also known as white-lining.
  • Protective gear – Riders have to wear eye protection. Though not required, you’re strongly encouraged to wear heavy-duty boots, gloves, jackets, and pants.
  • Vehicle condition – Your motorcycle must have its headlights on at all times. It must also be equipped with a rear-view mirror that provides visibility up to 200 feet.

When we seek damages, our law firm will use a variety of evidence in the case. This includes:

  • Accident report
  • Surveillance footage
  • Medical documentation
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Expert testimony
  • Photos and videos of crash scene

Wisconsin is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you can collect damages as long as you are less than 51% responsible. However, your damages will be reduced proportionate to your blame.

How Much Does Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Cost

We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you owe us nothing unless we win. This ensures you don’t need to worry about legal fees as you undergo the claims process, and you can focus on healing instead.

Differences Between Car and Motorcycle Accident Cases

There are a few significant differences between motorcycle and car accidents, including:

  • Extent of injuries – Motorcyclists are usually left with more severe injuries.
  • Lack of protection – Motorcycles don’t have as many safety features as cars.
  • Control – It’s much easier to lose control of a motorcycle than a passenger vehicle.
  • Visibility – As motorcycles are smaller, many cars fail to check for them, causing accidents.
  • Road conditions – Something as small as an oil slick can cause serious trouble for a motorcycle.

How Long Does Settling a Motorcycle Accident Case Take

These cases generally take over six months to settle. Some factors that influence the timeline include the willingness of the other parties to negotiate and the complexity of the case.

With the short statute of limitations, it’s even more important to hire a lawyer fast.

Contact a Wisconsin Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today!

Motorcycle accidents are more complicated than car crashes, so you need personal injury attorneys highly familiar with these cases on your side. We’ve recovered millions for our clients, always working on a contingency basis so that everyone can afford excellent legal representation.

Call us at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation and take the first step toward securing justice for your motorcycle accident.

Resources: [1] The Star News, [2] National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, [3] J.D. Power, [4] WTMJ-TV, [5] WCCO News, [6] CBS 58, [7] Wisconsin Department of Transportation, [8] Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, [9] WKBT, [10] WMTV-15, [11] Adventure Rider, [12] CBS 58, [13] FindLaw, [14] WBAY

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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