For many, motorcycles embody the freedom and joy of the open road. Most motorcycle riders believe that just "getting there" is not the point. The fun is in the journey. But motorcycles are relatively small and can be difficult to see. Add in negligence by other drivers and a fun ride can end in tragedy. Pursuing compensation against an unsafe driver allows you to receive the medical treatment and rehabilitation that let you return to a normal life. You may also be able to pursue damages for the suffering you had to endure from the crash. In the worst case, you can pursue damages for the loss of a loved one.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motorcycle accidents are a growing public health concern within the United States. Thousands of people are killed each year through motorcycle accidents and crash-related expenses are exceeding $12 billion annually. Unfortunately, motorcyclists have little protection when involved in a crash, resulting in higher fatality and serious injury rates. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approximates that motorcyclists are 5 times more likely to be injured in a collision, and 25 times more likely to die in a car crash than a passenger car occupant.
Common motorcycle-related injuries include contusions, fractures, pulled muscles, strains, concussions, and lacerations. These are often the result of impact with the road surface and can cause severe, and even permanent, damage. For an insurance company to pay medical expenses and bills, they require accurate estimates and calculations.
Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents:
- Blind spots: Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, and it is easier to slip into a blind spot and go unnoticed.
- Making left-hand turns: A driver is looking for cars, typically only noticing the absence of cars and not the presence of another object. It is this inability to notice motorcycles that leads cars to make left turns in front of motorcycles.
- Lane Splitting: This often causes an accident because of the close proximity, and reduced space to maneuver. The fact that cars are not anticipating lane splitting and are not looking for a smaller object like a motorcycle increases the likelihood of an accident.
- Distracted Drivers: Distracted drivers can be doing a number of tasks such as eating, texting, phone calls, reading, adjusting the radio, using the GPS, looking down, etc. all while they should be focused on driving.
- Drunk and Impaired Drivers: Drunk drivers most often cause extreme damage to others through their decreased alertness and delayed reactions to traffic conditions. This can be especially deadly to motorcyclists.
- Road Damage: The agency responsible for maintaining or designing the roadway can be potentially held accountable for a crash caused by an unsafe roadway.
Just like automobile drivers, motorcyclists have a number of rights. While those rights may vary from state to state, the idea remains the same: motorcyclists have a right to safety and protection while on the road. Because rules and regulations change so often, it is important for bikers to stay up to date.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to try to evade responsibility by blaming a motorcyclist for their own accident and injuries. Moreover, there can be a bias among juries against motorcyclists. Some people are prejudiced against motorcycles as inherently dangerous. Insurance companies are aware of this and will utilize it to their advantage. They will try to reduce the amounts they are willing to pay or refuse to pay altogether.
In order to maximize your chances for justice following a motorcycle accident, contacting an experienced attorney is crucial. Contact us today to review your case and your options.