Motorcycles have increasingly become a popular choice of commuting for many over the past decade. The rising fuel costs and the congestion often experienced with traffic have seen a significant increase in the number of motorcycles on our roads. However, this newfound popularity has also had an unfortunate downside; the rise in motorcycle accidents. The vulnerability of motorcyclists makes them more likely to suffer severe injuries in the event of an accident compared to occupants of a car.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an accident than car passengers. This is due to the significant lack of protection offered by motorcycles in the event of a collision. A number of injuries can be sustained in a motorcycle accident, most commonly including fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and occasional cases of amputations. The range and severity of motorcycle injuries reiterate the necessity of motorcycle safety practices and investing in protective gear.
Types of Injuries
The injuries from motorcycle accidents range from mild to severe, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Fractures are prevalent, as the body can experience extreme blunt force trauma during a motorcycle crash. In some catastrophic cases, amputations may occur. Skin abrasions, known as “road rash”, are also common since motorcycles offer no exterior protection. Additionally, injuries to the brain and spinal cord are not uncommon. Traumatic brain injury can occur despite wearing a helmet particularly in a high-speed collision. Spinal cord injury might lead to partial or complete paralysis which underscores the dangers motorcyclists face.
Importance of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Confronting the painful aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be daunting and overwhelming. Navigating insurance claims, filing lawsuits, and seeking adequate compensation require knowledge, experience, and perseverance. Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can alleviate some of the pressures associated with this process. Attorneys specializing in this area of law can strategically negotiate with the insurance companies and fight relentlessly for your just compensation.
Compensation for Injuries
Victims of motorcycle accidents are entitled to seek compensation from responsible parties. These might include another driver (if their negligence contributed to the accident), the motorcycle manufacturer (if a defect in the bike contributed to the accident), or even a local government (if poor road conditions contributed to the accident). Compensation may cover a variety of damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other related costs. Linking with our compensation page might provide more insight on this.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur due to several factors. Foremost, motorcycles are less visible in traffic and less stable than four-wheeled vehicles, making their crashworthiness limited during accidents. Challenges posed by road and weather hazards, such as potholes, wet roads, and even strong winds can considerably contribute to accidents. Furthermore, behavioral factors play a significant part in overall motorcycle safety, such as motorcyclist and driver compliance with traffic laws, and responsible riding/driving behavior.
Road and Weather Conditions
Unlike motor vehicles, motorcycles are particularly susceptible to road and weather conditions. Features such as a narrow tire and a single-track nature can cause the motorcycle to lose balance with a slight disturbance from gravel, wet surfaces, or sudden changes in the road level. Therefore, motorcyclists have to be particularly careful and conscientious about changes in the weather and overall road conditions to mitigate the risk of accidents.
Immediate Actions After an Accident
In the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident, specific immediate actions can aid in the subsequent investigation, legal proceedings, and insurance claims. Firstly, prioritize medical attention; your health and wellbeing are paramount. Collect information from the other parties involved and, if possible, take photos of the accident scene and your injuries. Importantly, refrain from admitting guilt or negotiating with insurance adjusters directly at the scene. Their strategy is to minimize payouts, and without adequate legal representation, you may undervalue your claim.
Actions in the Days and Weeks After the Accident
Firstly, document all accident-related expenses, physical and emotional health changes, interactions with insurance companies, and disruptions to your daily life. Arrange for bike repairs but maintain parts that could serve as crucial evidence. It is also advisable to secure a motorcycle accident lawyer who can guide you through the intricate process of claims and might help you achieve a fair outcome.
Investigation and Reconstruction
The importance of a comprehensive investigation and meticulous reconstruction of the accident circumstance cannot be overstated. Both these processes help provide a clear picture of what transpired in the lead-up to the accident and can prove invaluable when building a solid case. A motorcycle accident lawyer can bring in experts in accident reconstruction to further solidify your claim.
Importance of Having an Attorney
Identifying the cause of the accident is crucial in determining the party or parties responsible. Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers familiar with accident scene analysis can guide you through the complexities associated with accident investigations and reconstructions. They help in demonstrating liability and ensuring victims secure the compensation they are entitled to.
Who Can File Suit in a Motorcycle Accident
Claims following motorcycle accidents can be made by any party directly involved or affected. This may include the motorcyclists, passengers, pedestrians, or owners of damaged properties. Factors such as traffic laws, motorcycle crashworthiness, and liability laws play a pivotal role in determining who shares accountability.