It is ironic that the very reason for riding a motorcycle can be so exhilarating is also the reason motorcycle accidents can be so disastrous. For it is your freedom from a car’s “cage” that makes you so vulnerable in an accident.
How motorcycle accidents happen
According to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 75% of all motorcycle accidents and 50% of fatal accidents, involve two vehicles. The second is usually a car, and the motorcyclist almost always fares worse.
The most common factors in motorcycle accidents include:
- Inexperienced riders or drivers
- Alcohol & drugs
- Distractions (texting, talking on a cell phone, eating)
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Not using a turn signal
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Lane splitting
- Poor weather conditions
- Unexpected obstacles
- Over braking
- Vehicle defects
- Road defects (potholes, broken asphalt)
- Harassment and road rage
- Failing to wear protective gear (helmet, leather)
The high cost of motorcycle accidents
In most cases, it is the front of the motorcycle that is hit. This is also the point of impact that results in the most incapacitating and fatal injuries. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you may already have a good idea of its cost, including physical and emotional pain, expensive medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Identifying every potential factor in an accident is important in determining who is at fault or what percent each is at fault and who is financially responsible.
Fault can be a complex question on which you, the other driver, police and emergency responders, and insurance companies do not agree. It is even further complicated if there were equipment failures, poor road conditions, public vehicles, or obstacles involved.
An attorney can help prepare your strongest arguments, and may even retain a private investigator to help build your case. But you must act quickly. The insurance companies will want to settle as quickly as they can. They will not want to wait to discover that you have long-term medical and disability issues. To them, it’s just business. To you, it is your future. Do not agree to any settlement without talking to an attorney.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you:
- Understand your legal options
- Conduct an investigation into the accident
- Challenge the police report’s findings
- Help prevent insurance companies from settling too soon
- Ensure that your long-term medical, psychological and financial needs are identified
- Fight for compensation
Recovering from a motorcycle accident can be a long, hard road. And it is a road you should not head down alone.