Compared to motorcycles, there are more cars involved in accidents. Yet, motorcyclists tend to suffer more severe injuries or die more frequently than vehicle occupants when a crash occurs.
In a motor vehicle accident with a motorcyclist, the motorcyclist regularly faces blame. Many people believe motorcyclists are reckless thrill-seekers, so they assume the rider did something risky to cause the accident. Because of their negative reputation, motorcyclists are often accused of misconduct, and in many accidents, this is not the truth.
It is more likely that the driver of the car or truck acted negligently and caused the accident. There are many causes of motorcycle accidents. But which of those causes are due to the vehicle driver? Let’s take a closer look.
One of the main contributors to motorcycle accidents is speeding. Whether they admit to it or not, every driver has engaged in speeding. However, there’s a severe risk that comes with speeding. The faster that a driver speeds, the shorter their reaction time.
That means the driver won’t have enough time to respond when a motorcyclist attempts to turn or merge into another lane. Speeding increases the chances of a motorcycle crash.
There are also traffic conditions that encourage speeding to happen. The more congested the roads, the more drivers look for opportunities to speed to get ahead of traffic. This puts motorcyclists at serious risk of injuries.
Another common cause of collisions is failing to yield the right of way. Left turns are some of the most dangerous maneuvers for motorcyclists. When drivers aren’t paying attention at intersections, they can make a turn without noticing an oncoming bike and hit a rider.
Drivers may fail to yield the right of way because they are distracted and fail to watch for smaller vehicles. Drivers are more likely to notice the presence of an SUV or larger vehicle before they notice a motorcyclist.
Some drivers see a motorcycle but engage in aggressive driving to prevent the motorcycle from merging or to turn quicker. WHatever the reason, failing to yield can cause a collision or run a motorcyclist off the road.
Drivers can also hurt motorcyclists when they make illegal turns.
Some examples of illegal turns include:
Any of these illegal turns can cause harm to a motorcyclist. If a driver makes a U-turn and merges into a lane occupied by a motorcyclist, that cyclist can suffer serious injuries. If a driver cuts off a motorcyclist, that cyclist can hit the rear or side of the vehicle. Choosing to turn during a red light can cause a driver to crash into a motorcyclist traveling across the intersection.
Distracted driving is another threat to motorcyclists. Distracted driving makes the roads even more dangerous, as drivers already have difficulty seeing cyclists. Any action that takes a driver’s mind off the road is a distraction.
The main activity that comes to mind is using a cell phone to text or even talk. But turning on the radio station, adjusting the GPS, and eating a quick snack are also considered dangerous distractions. The second a driver took to grab something to drink may be the same one a motorcyclist pulls up.
Another danger to motorcyclists is drivers operating cars under the influence. Driving under the influence can involve alcohol or drugs.
Driving and adjusting to traffic changes is already difficult while sober. When a driver’s mind is impaired, they will find it harder to perform the same driving functions. Drunk drivers are notorious for hitting other motorists and causing devastating injuries. An impaired driver has a greater chance of not noticing a motorcyclist and hitting them.
Drivers can also hurt motorcyclists even when their cars are parked. One of the most common types of motorcycle accidents involves car doors. When drivers fail to notice an oncoming motorcyclist’s presence, they can open a car door into the street and accidentally hit the cyclist.
This type of accident is dangerous because a motorcyclist can rarely stop in time to avoid the door. If they’re traveling in a lane with flowing traffic, they may be unable to swerve into another lane. They may have no choice but to hit the car door and suffer the pain. They can get seriously hurt just because a driver or passenger went to exit a car at the wrong time. In certain states, causing a dooring accident may be a criminal offense or infraction.
In addition to car drivers, other parties’ negligence can cause motorcycle accidents. One of those parties is government agencies responsible for the cities’ and states’ infrastructure.
Motorcyclists aren’t the only ones who come out of hibernation during the warmer months. Some states begin construction once the weather gets warmer. While roads are under construction, they can have all types of hazards. The roads may be uneven and contain potholes. These types of defects can cause severe damage to a motorcycle’s wheels.
Some roads have an improper design to handle large amounts of traffic. Drivers can become very impatient and reckless as they’re traveling on one or two-lane roads. Failing to resolve these issues may be negligence on the part of transportation departments.
Another party whose negligence can contribute to a motorcycle accident is motorcycle manufacturers. Motorcycle manufacturers are responsible for designing functional, safe products for motorcycles. However, some manufacturers create defective parts.
Unfortunately, it’s not until the rider is on the road that they discover how defective the motorcycle part is. Any part of the motorcycle is at risk of being defective and malfunctioning, from the steering wheel to the tires. These defective parts can increase the chances of an accident.
It can be quite chaotic when you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident. Having a driver hit you and being ejected from your motorcycle are traumatic enough, but there are so many serious injuries that you can experience from the crash.
Some of the severe injuries from motorcycle accidents include:
You may require immediate medical treatment following your accident. You may also require ongoing medical treatment for weeks, months, or years, depending on your injuries’ seriousness. While medical treatment is extremely costly, medical bills are not the only financial burden your accident can cause.
Recovering from your injuries may require time off work. You may think that missing a few days doesn’t matter, but you can lose critical income your family needs. Even those few days can add up and cause a financial strain on the household.
Further, severe injuries can keep you out of work for a long time. Motorcyclists with permanent injuries might never return to their previous jobs and earn what they once did. You should seek compensation for all your past and future lost income.
Ongoing pain may be another issue that you can face. Your body and mind may never be the same following your accident. You may suffer chronic pain in some areas of your body. You may have developed several mental health issues like PTSD and anxiety.
Dealing with these new changes can affect your self-esteem and physical well-being. Each one of these consequences can affect your life in so many ways. You should seek compensation for your intangible losses, as well.
If another party caused your motorcycle accident, that party should be liable for your injuries. In personal injury law, you can seek compensation from the person who caused you harm. You should not have to pay for an accident that was not your responsibility.
You can obtain just compensation if you prove the person’s negligence contributed to your accident and prove your losses. But this process will not be easy. One of the issues that you may face is harassment from insurance companies.
If you are not the at-fault party for your accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. This should provide coverage for at least your medical expenses and lost income, as well as intangible losses. However, the insurance company is often standing in your way.
Even though insurance companies know you deserve this compensation, they don’t want you to obtain it. Adjusters will go to great lengths to avoid paying what you need.
To prevent you from seeking this compensation, insurance companies might harass you about your claim. They will ask you to submit additional statements that they can use against you. They might request access to a lifetime of medical records, which they do not need. They might try to convince you to accept much less than you deserve.
The best way to protect yourself is by consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney.
If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, it is in your best interest to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Call a local lawyer today to schedule a free consultation about your case.
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