By Marcus Fernandez
Many people fail to distinguish a motorcycle accident from other crashes involving motor vehicles. There are, in fact, many similarities between the two. Some examples are: the negligence of one or more of the parties, the need to determine liability or measure the damages sustained and the involvement of insurance companies. But how these factors interplay when a motorcycle is one of the vehicles in the accident serve to create a situation unlike the circumstances that occur in more common crashes between two cars.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
It’s readily apparent how vulnerable a motorcycle rider is. A driver or passenger in a car is enclosed in essentially a steel cage. A biker has a helmet and some level of protective clothing. Not only is a biker exposed to direct contact with the other vehicle, but he or she faces the serious danger of injury from contact with the road surface. This can be in the form of a direct blow between the rider’s body or head and the road or by skidding long distances across the road surface after falling off the bike. It should come as no surprise that motorcycle accidents typically have a higher incidence of serious injury and death than in collisions involving cars.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There is a common perception that bikers as a group are daredevil riders seeking thrills. The statistics involving motorcycles and accidents, however, contradict this. In cases involving a crash between a motorcycle and a car, the driver of the car is more likely to be at fault. Other drivers may complain motorcycles are difficult to see, but it is the duty of every driver to operate his or her vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.
Some of the more common motorcycle accidents involve:
- An automobile turning left in front of a motorcycle traveling straight ahead
- Cutting off the path of a motorcycle by entering an adjacent lane where the bike was driving
- A car striking a motorcycle from behind
Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents
When a person is found to be negligent in a personal injury case that causes harm or injury to another, the injured victim has a right to compensation for his or her losses. Typical compensation includes recovery for physical and mental injuries, lost wages and income, repair or replacement of personal property.
The potential for serious injury when a biker is involved in a collision is significant. This emphasizes the need to fully understand the nature of the injuries. Serious injuries may require extensive rehabilitation and long periods of time for full recovery. In some accidents it even results in permanent disability. Certain injuries called latent injuries are not readily apparent but may take time to reveal themselves. For example, injuries to the head, not uncommon in motorcycle accidents, are latent injuries. This can be problematic if the injured rider settles the case before the true extent of injury is known.
Insurance Companies and Holding the Negligent Driver Accountable
Unfortunately, bias against bikers is prevalent in the insurance industry. Claims adjusters rank high on the list of those who believe motorcycle riders, exhibit risky behavior on the road. This, coupled with the insurance companies’ tendency to delay settling claims for as long as possible and for as little money as possible, makes it difficult for an injured biker to receive just compensation. A typical scenario has the claims adjuster denying the driver of the other car was liable for the accident and then finally offering a low ball settlement that doesn’t cover a fraction of the real loss. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Legal Advice
Level the playing field. When you retain an attorney, you have an advocate who looks out for your best interests exclusively. Contact our team for immediate help with your motorcycle accident case today.