The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that motorcyclists involved in an accident are 35 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than those traveling in automobiles. Nearly 150,000 motorcyclists were fatally injured in motorcycle accidents in 2013. Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 18 percent of all traffic accident fatalities that same year.
At Davis & Brusca, LLC, we represent people injured in motorcycle accidents. Our legal team is committed to helping clients claim the compensation they are entitled to under the law.
While there are many types of motorcycle accidents, more than half of all motorcycle fatalities are caused by collisions with an automobile. And in approximately 78 percent of the fatal collisions, the car has struck the motorcycle head on.
While each situation is unique, lack of visibility is a frequently cited cause of wrecks involving motorcycles. Drivers of automobiles frequently claim that they “didn’t see” the motorcycle before the crash. To some extent, this may be derived from the fact that a motorcycle’s size allows a rider to pass other vehicles in the same lane, “split” lanes in heavy traffic, or other environmental conditions. However, more frequently it arises from the simple fact that the driver of the car didn’t look carefully before attempting to move their vehicle into or out of a lane in which the motorcyclist is riding.
Road hazards such as puddles, pot holes, uneven surfaces, and debris which has fallen into or been left in the road are also frequent causes of crashes, and each of these hazards can prove fatal for motorcycle riders. Automobiles can easily pass over a lot of these hazards, but when a motorcycle hits a slippery surface or faces a dead animal in the road, the results can be catastrophic.
Serious injuries can occur when a motorcyclist is thrown from their motorcycle, even when protective safety gear is worn.
When a motorcycle accident occurs because of the negligence of another, the motorcyclist can bring a claim for his/her injuries and damages provided liability can be established and the offending person can be identified. A person bringing a claim always has the duty to prove that their injuries were caused by another person or company. A claim can be asserted when the crash was caused by the other person’s negligence in failing to yield the right of way, failing to secure loads & permitting them to spill onto the roadway, or any of a number of other factors. It is imperative to document the crash, collect physical evidence and any witness testimony as soon as possible — at the accident scene if possible.
Other damages can also be awarded in a motorcycle accident claim. The past, present, and future earnings of the victim, as well as their loss of earning potential, can be awarded when severe or fatal injuries have occurred. Compensation for medical bills and loss of employment may also be awarded along with compensation for any pain and suffering related to the accident. Please note that these are general statements, and the particular facts of any given crash will dictate what damages are recoverable.
Motorcycle accidents can happen at any time; even to the most alert and careful rider. Motorcycle riders can reduce their chances of suffering injuries by carefully following safety guidelines, the rules of the road and remaining alert. It is a proven fact that helmets save lives, and for motorcyclists, helmets often make the difference between life and death. Protective clothing with high denier material and leather riding gear can also reduce the chances of serious injury or road rash in the event of an accident.
Educating yourself on the rules of the road governing the state in which you are riding is a critical first step to safety. Adhere to local speed limits, avoid lane splitting, and refraining from riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also important steps to preserving your safety on the roads, along with keeping your bike properly maintained. And remember to check the weather forecast before you embark on your journey.