Drivers have a duty to drive their best and reasonably avoid causing harm while on California’s roadways. No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, accidents have the potential to cause serious damage and injuries for all involved. Unfortunately, for motorcycles, this is especially true.
Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous and often result in serious injuries. However, it is important to note that a significant number of these incidents are severe enough to cause death. Though motorcycles can be fun to ride, it is important to understand how lethal they can truly be. Understanding the risks and statistics associated with motorcycles allows you to make smart, empowered decisions about whether you ride as well as how and when you choose to do so.
Motorcycle Death Statistics
Though motorcycles only make up 3% of the vehicles in the United States, accidents involving motorcycles comprise almost 15% of all motor vehicle accident deaths. This equates to about 5,000 people annually. In other words, motorcycle accidents are extremely common compared to other types of car accidents.
Not all motorcycle accidents are fatal, but the accidents themselves are quite common. Regardless of the outcome, motorcyclists have a 1 in 100 chance of encountering an accident, while cars only have a 1 in 366 chance of experiencing a collision. You are around 36 times more likely to experience an accident while riding a motorcycle than while driving or riding in a car.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Just like any type of accident on America’s roadways, there are a number of motorcycle accident causes. Each situation is unique and depends on many factors before, during, and even after the incident. However, there are some general causes that frequently lead to motorcycle accidents.
Common motorcycle accident causes include:
- A driver failing to properly check their blind spot before changing lanes.
- A motorcyclist weaving in and out of traffic.
- A driver failing to give a motorcyclist sufficient room on the road.
- A driver or a motorcyclist trying to cut in front of other traffic or stopping suddenly.
- Drunk driving by either party.
- Distracted driving by either party.
Though these causes certainly don’t comprise all the potential reasons motorcycle accidents occur, they do serve as a good reminder of what both drivers and motorcyclists can do to improve safety on the road. By being more careful, patient, and aware, drivers and motorcyclists can reduce their risk of experiencing an accident.
The Importance of Wearing Helmets
Many areas do not have laws that require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, though they are shown to significantly reduce brain injuries and death. Because of this, many motorcycle riders choose to ride without a helmet. In fact, only 71% of motorcyclists say they regularly ride while wearing a helmet. Riding without a helmet makes you significantly more likely to die in a motorcycle accident, and many accident injuries and deaths can be avoided by wearing a helmet.
In addition, from a legal perspective, wearing a helmet may help you preserve your potential accident settlement. If you were wearing a helmet, a civil court can see that you did your due diligence to avoid injury and follow the rules of the road. However, if you weren’t wearing a helmet, an opposing attorney may argue that if you had been wearing a helmet, the accident wouldn’t have caused significant injuries. In this way, drivers that cause motorcycle accidents may attempt to escape blame, and your settlement may diminish.
Types of Motorcycle Injuries
There are many common injuries that result from motorcycle accidents. Though every accident is different, our clients often suffer one or more of the following:
- Broken limbs
- Broken ribs
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Dental injuries
As you can see, none of these injuries are minor. In fact, most motorcycle injuries require extensive medical care, often involving lengthy hospital stays, rehabilitation, and ongoing attention.
Seeking a Personal Injury Settlement
In some situations, drivers who experience accidents on the road can seek a personal injury settlement from the driver that caused the accident. This most often occurs when the driver responsible for the crash acted negligently and caused a significant amount of harm. Motorcycle accidents frequently qualify for personal injury claims.
Pursuing a personal injury claim can help you pay for the change in lifestyle that resulted from your injuries, as well as ongoing medical bills and medical care. You may also be able to claim pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages if the circumstances are severe. Of course, pursuing a personal injury claim is not easy, and nothing can bring back your health. However, receiving proper compensation can help you relieve the financial burden caused by the incident
If you experience a motorcycle accident, tell emergency responders and police officers what happened but do not elaborate or admit fault. If you do so, you are risking your potential for financial support and compensation. Stick to a brief summary of events rather than elaborating on your emotions or admitting your part in the collision.
Seeking a Wrongful Death Settlement
If someone you love was killed in a motorcycle accident, it is possible for their beneficiaries to compensation for the damages experienced. Though no amount of money will bring your loved one back, you may be able to make up for any lost income their death caused. Wrongful Death settlements often cover funeral expenses, pain and suffering, medical bills, as well as the income your loved one would have earned in the future. This can help to ease your financial burden, solidify your future, and allow you space to grieve.
Contact Our Attorneys
Whether you are pursuing a personal injury claim or seeking a wrongful death settlement, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Without proper legal representation, you may lose the opportunity to relieve your financial burden. The settlement that may result when you hire an expert attorney is well worth seeking legal counsel.
The attorney team at Peach & Weathers have encountered motorcycle accidents of all types and can fight for you with the tenacity and ferocity that you deserve. For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, please contact us online.