Other than perhaps a helmet, a motorcyclist is completely exposed to serious injury or being killed in an accident. According to the most recent available numbers from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there were about 8.4 million motorcycles on United States roadways last year. About 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in reported accidents, and about 4,700 others were killed. Motorcyclists were five times more likely to be injured in a crash per mile traveled than occupants of a passenger car. They were about 26 times more likely to be killed.
Motorcyclists have little or no protection
There’s no steel frame or body surrounding motorcyclists to protect them in an accident. There aren’t any air bags or seat belts either. Maintaining control and stability of a vehicle with two wheels is much more difficult than one with four wheels. We at Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law reviewed a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which found more than half of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. Motorcyclists are often launched off of their bike upon any type of impact, only to be stopped by another vehicle, the asphalt or concrete below them, or a stationary object.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
As a result of the fact that motorcyclists have little or no protection from bodily injury in an accident, common injuries they suffer include but aren’t limited to:
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises and “road rash”
- Foot, leg, hip and other fractures
- Spine and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fatal injuries
Although lower body injuries and fractures are more common, head and spinal cord injuries are more severe. A spinal cord or traumatic brain injury can permanently and profoundly affect a motorcycle accident victim’s quality of life.
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Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
We at Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law have found that most motorcycle accidents occur because other motorists just don’t see the motorcycle. They present a different profile on the road than other vehicles, so they’re less likely to be seen in heavy traffic, blind spots, at night or in less than optimum visibility. Liability often results from:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist
- Vehicles making left turns in front of the motorcyclist
- Other vehicles violating traffic laws in an intersection
- Rear-end collisions
- Cars opening doors
Proof of negligence can become very complicated very quickly. It’s commonly broken down into four elements. If an injured person fails to prove any single element of negligence, their case fails in its entirety. Those elements are:
- A duty to use reasonable care for the safety of the person and property of others
- A breach of that duty
- Causation in that the breach of duty caused the injury or damages
- Actual damages in the form of medical bills, lost earnings or permanency of injury
Negligence in motorcycle accidents can be highly disputed. When that occurs, the Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law team might retain an “accident reconstruction specialist”, a design engineer or other qualified expert to testify to what occurred immediately before the accident, during, and after the accident to support a claim of negligence.
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If you’re in a motorcycle accident, you’re going to be financially affected by bills, pain and suffering and possibly permanent disability. Somebody else was negligent, and you’ll want the maximum compensation that the law permits. Our attorneys at Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law have vast experience and success in proving damages in personal injury cases. These damages can include but not be limited to:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent disability
If you or somebody close to you has been in a motorcycle accident, it’s extremely important that you contact Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law by phone (602) 691-7278 or by our “Contact Us Form” as soon as possible so that your rights are preserved and protected. Don’t give any statements to the insurer of the other party, you’ll only prejudice your case. Contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation. People injured by the negligence of others deserve fair and just compensation.