Even minor motorcycle accidents can result in injuries that require extensive treatment, including physical therapy, medication, and even surgery. Some victims are unable to return to work for long periods of time, leading to financial problems and pain after the accident. Motorcycle accident victims have the right to seek legal assistance for compensation for medical bills and rehabilitation services. Here’s everything you need to know about hiring a car accident lawyer.
Frontal collisions are among the most dangerous types of collisions for motorists, since cars weigh much more than motorcycles, and bicycles are often not equipped with many safety features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2019 that motorcycles make up just 4% of registered vehicles, but drivers account for almost 15% of all traffic accidents. In 2019 alone, nearly 85,000 drivers were injured.
Although motorcycle riding is more dangerous than other modes of transport, certain factors increase the risk of injury. Constantly speeding over the speed limit, entering and exiting traffic, and driving without the proper protective gear all increase the chance of crash damage.
MAIN CAUSES OF MOTOR ACCIDENTS
Unlike car occupants, occupants are not protected by a metal frame or airbags. In addition, motorcycles weigh much less than vehicles, making riders more susceptible to more serious injury than car drivers.
Some causes of motorcycle accidents are more common than others, according to the NHTSA. Recognizing the most common factors that cause collisions is a great way to avoid accidents.
1. VEHICLES MAKING LEFT-HAND TURNS
Cars often collide with motorcycles when turning left. According to NHTSA, these types of collisions are responsible for more than 50% of all fatal accidents involving motorcycles and automobiles.
Vehicles turning left are dangerous for motorcyclists because they can collide with oncoming or passing motorists at intersections. Drivers may not be able to see these vehicles when driving from the side, and it is difficult for drivers to estimate how fast motorcycles are moving.
2. MOTORCYCLE AND STATIC OBJECT ACCIDENTS
Collisions between racers and stationary objects such as trees, fences and noise barriers are often devastating. When a rider crashes into a metal fence at high speed, there is a high risk of serious injury, even when wearing the correct protective gear. According to NHTSA, 23% of motorcycle deaths in 2019 were related to immovable property.
3. ROAD HAZARDS
Vehicle drivers may not notice things like loose gravel, rough road surfaces, and slippery highways. However, motorcycles are lighter and more prone to road hazards that may not affect other vehicles. Motorcyclists must always exercise caution and stay alert to stay safe.
4. SHARE THE CYCLE PATH
Bike lane splitting is when motorcycles ride in and out of stationary or slow-moving traffic and wade between cars. This dangerous behavior is string splitting. Lane sharing is a risky behavior because cars can suddenly pull away and collide with a bike because they can’t see the bikes in their blind spots. There is little space for motorcyclists to maneuver safely between cars and collisions are common in such cases. There are only a few states that allow this behavior. In many states, you may receive a notification if you participate in a lane separation.
Drivers cannot control how other vehicles drive, but they can control how safe they drive. Some riders buy motorcycles for adventure, but you must not break safety rules while riding. Below are some behaviors that often result in autocollisions.
1. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Unfortunately, alcohol is often a factor in fatal motorcycle accidents. In fact, nearly 30% of fatal accidents in 2019 were due to alcohol or drug use. Riders are too debilitated to safely ride a bike if their blood alcohol level is above 0.08%.
Some motorcycle ads encourage risky behavior, such as B. Speeding. While it is tempting to drive faster than the legal speed limit on light and powerful motorcycles, this is a risky behavior that can lead to serious traffic accidents. In fact, over 33% of motorcycle fatalities in 2019 were due to speeding.
3. DO NOT WEAR PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Helmets and leather jackets will protect your body in the event of an impact. However, you could be seriously injured if you don’t wear protective gear during an accident. NHTSA estimates that 37 out of every 100 motorcyclists killed in collisions could have survived if they were wearing the right protective gear.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of causes of motorcycle accidents. Drivers must always be alert to avoid potential hazards.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT
The first thing to do is to see a doctor if you are injured. You must call the police and medical personnel to report the incident so that the relevant authorities can draw up an official report of the incident. It’s best to see a doctor even if you don’t think you have any injuries. Some injuries are not immediately visible after the accident, and some symptoms may take several days to appear.
If you want to claim damages, you need to collect evidence. An attorney can review your case and help you gather evidence to file a claim with an insurance company or file a personal injury claim with a court. The following evidence may help support your claim:
- Insurance information and personal details for others involved in the crash
- Names and contact information for all witnesses
- Photographs of the accident scene, including property damage and road conditions
- A copy of the police report
- Medical records and bills
Gathering evidence is an important step, and you will likely want to rely on the assistance of an attorney.
PROVING NEGLIGENCE AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Proving liability in a motorcycle accident is crucial to obtaining compensation, but gathering the right evidence to convince an insurance company or court is often difficult. As a plaintiff in a case, you must prove the following elements:
States require all drivers to exercise caution while driving. If another motorcyclist or rider rides recklessly, they are liable for any injuries resulting from their dangerous behavior.
- The defendant must prove that the other driver or passenger was not acting as a reasonable person when the accident occurred.
- You must prove that the defendant’s actions directly caused your damage.
- You must prove that the accident resulted in an injury that requires medical attention.
- You are not entitled to any compensation unless you can prove that you have suffered personal injury or other significant damage.
HOW TO FILE A ROAD ACCIDENT REPORT
The person who caused the accident must pay medical bills and other damages related to the accident. However, several states are considered states of no fault for motorcycle and other motor vehicle accidents. In places like New Jersey, liability is assigned on a case-by-case basis, but there are differences in how accident costs are paid.
Drivers in no-fault states must have personal injury insurance and basic liability insurance. In the event of a motorcycle accident, your insurance will cover your medical expenses, lost wages and property damage, even if you were not the cause of the accident.
Navigating through no-fault insurance is often difficult. Injury victims living in no-fault states are best advised to consult an attorney before filing a lawsuit.
There are some people you can sue if you are injured in a motorcycle accident:
- Other drivers in collision
- Third parties involved in the accident, e.g. B. Pedestrians.
- Owners of vehicles involved in an accident
- Local authority responsible for road maintenance when poor road conditions contributed to the accident
Most motorcycle-related lawsuits are resolved before the defendant files a lawsuit in the local court. However, a claim must be made if the insurance company does not offer adequate compensation. Insurance adjusters often offer lower rates immediately after an accident. If you don’t understand the total cost of your future medical expenses, you may despair of accepting the offer.
Be sure to consult an attorney before making any insurance company decision. An attorney can help you understand your future medical expenses and the value of your injury. Once you hire a team of attorneys, they can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery.