Motorcycles may be fun, but they are also dangerous. Their small size makes them hard for other drivers to see and they don’t offer much protection for their passengers. That’s why fatalities are more common in motorcycle accidents than in car accidents.
Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that 4,295 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2014. In the 1970s, over 80% of those killed accidents were 29 or younger. Today, the majority of motorcyclists who lose their lives are 50 years old or older. Age is a factor but there are other reasons why crashes happen.
Unfortunately, not every accident can be prevented. They can be caused by weather, obstacles on the road, or even medical events like stroke or heart attack. No matter the cause, without enough time to react, a motorcyclist will be injured or killed. Thankfully, the lawyers at The Frickey Law Firm have more than 120 years of combined experienced working with motorcycle accident victims.
What Causes a Motorcycle Accident?
Approximately 75% of motorcycle accidents involve one other passenger vehicle. Many of these are caused by the car or truck driver not seeing the motorcyclist. Another common cause is drivers failing to yield right of way to motorcyclists.
Additional motorcycle accident causes include:
- Some motorcyclists don’t realize they need the same amount of space to stop as a car does. If the motorcyclist has to break suddenly, they could rear-end the vehicle in front of them if they don’t have adequate time to stop.
- Blind spots. Motorcycles are small and get lost in a driver’s blind spot. That makes it easy for a driver to pull out in front of or change lanes on top of a motorcyclist without realizing they were there.
- A common motorcycle accident we see is when a driver turns left across an intersection in front of a motorcycle. A motorcycle’s size makes it look further away than it is. This can cause a driver to think they have time to make a turn when they don’t.
- Distracted driving is no joke. Motorcyclists and drivers of passenger vehicles cause accidents when distracted by the radio, a cell phone, or other passengers.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Whether or not a motorcyclist is wearing the right gear, an accident can cause severe or life-threatening injuries. In the best case scenario, the motorcycle rider walks away with minor cuts and scrapes. In the worst case, they go to the hospital with catastrophic injuries.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, emotional distress, and time off from work. Injuries you might recover damages for include, but are not limited to:
- Neck, spinal cord, or back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Muscle and joint damage
- Broken bones
- Severe bruising
- Road rash
What Should I Do if I’m in a Motorcycle Accident?
The most important thing to do if you’re in a motorcycle accident is to stay calm. After an accident you will be in shock and adrenaline will be coursing through your body. This can make you underestimate how injured you really are.
In the case of neck and back injuries, it’s dangerous to move until you are absolutely certain you don’t have a major injury. If you landed on your back or neck, hit your head, or rolled several times, it’s best to assume you may have a neck or back injury and stay still.
Accidents are traumatic experiences. That makes it hard to take the steps to protect yourself and get to a safe place. If you’re ever in an accident, remember these tips:
- Get help. If you need an ambulance, call 9-1-1. If you aren’t injured, call the police department’s non-emergency number so an officer can respond to the scene and clean up crews can be dispatched.
- Get to safety. Move your bike off the road if you can. At the very least, you should get off the road as soon as possible.
- Find witnesses. Whether someone saw the entire accident or part of it, having a witness can help your case if it goes to court.
- Write down the details. Take pictures of the accident scene. Include your bike, injuries, the surrounding area, and any other vehicles or people that were involved. You should also note the date and time of the accident, the location, what the weather was like, and what you remember happening.
- Visit your doctor. Even if you don’t need emergency medical treatment, it’s still a good idea for your primary doctor look you over as soon as possible.
- File an insurance claim. Always notify your insurance company, as well as the insurance company of anyone else involved.
- Get a lawyer. Contacting a motorcycle accident attorney can help take some of the strain off you and lets them start on your case right away.
What Should I Avoid Doing After a Motorcycle Accident?
Knowing what not to do after a motorcycle accident is just as important as knowing what you should do. The following tips can protect your best interests and increase your chances of filing successful lawsuit:
- Stay where you are. Only leave the scene if you need to go to the emergency room.
- Only talk to emergency personnel. Don’t get into a conversation with the other driver or passengers involved. You may say something that could compromise your case without realizing it.
- Don’t talk to insurance adjustors. Their number one goal is to get you to settle for less money than you’re entitled to. If one contacts you, refer them to your lawyer.
- Don’t speculate. Even if you think the other party is at fault, only discuss your theories or opinions with your attorney.
- Don’t accept a settlement. The first offer you get from an insurance company is going to be lower than what your case may be worth. Discuss any offers you receive with your lawyer before accepting.
- Avoid recorded statements. If the insurance companies ask to record your statement, decline and reschedule so your attorney can be with you.
- Don’t stress. Relax and let the lawyers at The Frickey Law Firm do the worrying for you.
What Can I Recover Damages for?
You simply can’t count on others to drive the way they should. Most motorcycle accidents result in some kind of injury to the motorcycle driver. If you or a family member has suffered a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of someone else, we may be able to help you recover damages for:
- Time away from work/lost wages
- Emotional anguish
- Mental trauma
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
The worse case scenario in a motorcycle accident is wrongful death. While we hope that never happens to anyone in our community, it’s a reality all motorcyclists should be aware of. A loss of life leaves a void in a family. Money can never fill the gap caused by the loss of a family member, but it can ease the financial burden from a serious injury or death.
Why Should I Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Getting life back on track after a motorcycle accident can be tough. There are a wide range of emotions to juggle, along with physical and financial stress. The good news is we know what you’re going through. We’ve helped countless clients in situations like yours. We’re committed to providing legal council that is kind, compassionate, and understanding.
Call The Frickey Law Firm at 303-237-7373 today to schedule your confidential appointment with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys. Consultations are always free, and we won’t accept payment until we win your case.