​What Are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

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.

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Speeding Drivers Cause Motorcycle Accidents

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.

Failing to Yield the Right of Way

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.

Making Illegal Turns

Drivers can also hurt motorcyclists when they make illegal turns.

Some examples of illegal turns include:

  • Making a U-turn in a lane where it’s prohibited.
  • Turning into a lane without having the appropriate space.
  • Making a right turn with a “No Turn On Red” sign.
  • Merging into a lane or turning without using turn signals.
  • Cutting off other drivers while merging lanes.

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 and Motorcycle Accidents

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.

Driving Under the Influence

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.

Dooring Accidents

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.

Road Conditions

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.

Defective Motorcycle Parts

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.

Extensive Medical Treatment Can Be Necessary After a Motorcycle 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:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries

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.

Lost Time from Work

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.

Severe Pain and Suffering

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.

Why You Should Seek Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident

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.

Facing 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.

How a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You

You need the best legal representation possible to obtain dull compensation for your motorcycle accident. That is why you should consider hiring a reputable and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Motorcycle accidents are different from other motor vehicle accidents, and there are various battles that motorcyclists may face during their claims.

Because many still hold negative opinions about motorcyclists, you may have a harder time proving the other party’s negligence. A motorcycle accident lawyer has experience in protecting the legal interests of motorcyclists. They also know the best evidence to use to prove negligence and liability.

Holding Several Parties Liable

A motorcycle accident lawyer also knows how to hold parties liable for your accident. You may have thought that just the driver was responsible for your accident. Upon further investigation, you may discover that the driver’s car contained a defect that caused your accident. The driver also might have been working at the time of the crash, leading to employer liability.

All parties who were responsible for your accident should be accountable. An experienced lawyer knows how to hold one or multiple parties liable for your accident and seek total compensation for your losses.

Experience with Proving Negligence

One of the greatest benefits of legal counsel is having someone who knows how to prove negligence. Negligence is the legal standard that determines liability for injuries and losses. If you can prove a person’s negligence, that person may be liable for your accident.

To prove negligence, you must prove:

  • A legal duty. The person must have owed you a legal duty of care.
  • A violation of that duty. The person’s actions must have violated the required care they owed you. A lack of action may also be a violation of duty.
  • Causation. A proven link between the person’s actions and your injuries must exist.
  • Damages. These are the physical, mental, and financial damages that you suffered from the person’s actions.

Establishing negligence is the first critical stop when seeking compensation for your injuries. Then, you must prove the extent of your losses.

Seeking the Best Outcome for Your Claim

Overall, your lawyer can help give you peace of mind as you fight for your compensation. Being involved in a motorcycle accident is scary and traumatic. You may have had a near-death experience and are now dealing with the aftermath of severe injuries. You should focus on your physical healing and keeping your family on track.

Filing a motorcycle accident claim may seem overwhelming, but a motorcycle accident lawyer can handle your case for you. They can lead and guide your claim to the best possible outcome.

Contact a Local Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

Tatiana Boohoff, Lawyer for Motorcycle Accident cases near Tampa area.
Tatiana Boohoff, 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.

June 11, 2023
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