Motorcycle Accidents are Unique
Motorcycles are becoming more popular in the United States, for a number of reasons. They are much desired for recreational transport. But also are finding favor because they are inexpensive on upkeep and have unparalleled fuel economy. An increasing number of accidents involving motorcycles has been noted among the US monitoring agencies which analyze roadway trends.
The motorcycle claims we have handled have involved some of the worst injuries we have seen, including death. Each year, around 3,000 motorcyclists are killed. And many of them die because of other vehicles driven in error. Usually the negligent driver says they never even saw the motorcycle. Their inattention, of course, excuses nothing.
Statistics underscore that in three-fourths of motorcycle accidents, it is the fault of a passenger car.
Most of the collisions we have represented have involved either the motorcycle, or the other vehicle, entering the roadway from a driveway or side street. The second most common collision cause has taken place when the negligent driver has made an illegal left hand turn in front of the motorcycle, failing to properly yield the right of way. Running stops signs would be the next most common source of accident cause. Lastly would be following too closely.
Roadway defects such as potholes, cracks and ridges are the cause of only 2% of accidents involving motorcycles. Animals are involved in 1% of mishaps.
Bias Against Motorcyclists Must Be Overcome
Motorcycles have their own handling requirements that make them different machines than cars, vans and trucks. The driving public often does not understand these differences. This endangers motorcycle operators, and also can present problems in obtaining compensation from insurance adjusters and juries. They need to understand clearly that maneuvers which are safe for a four-wheeled vehicle can be very hazardous for a motorcycle.
We have been representing injured motorcyclists for nearly 3 decades. And we know that many motorcycle insurance policies have unfair limitations on the amount of medical coverage.
The injuries sustained by the motorcycle operator and passenger are invariably more severe and debilitating than those to the offending driver. The motorcycle provides very little protection in a wreck. This is why all motorcycle training programs emphasize the need for operators to drive defensively. Even low-speed wrecks can cause catastrophic injury.
Motorcyclists who have been severely injured or disabled require extensive proceeds which may be obtained from other sources. Knowing how much a case might be worth, and who will be covering the medical bills, are threshold questions. Claimants and their families understandably want answers quickly.
Protecting Your Claim from the Beginning
The most important piece of physical evidence, following a motorcycle collision, is the motorcycle itself. It must be preserved with as little alteration as possible. The motorcycle should be transported to a safe location indoors. No one should touch it before the traffic reconstruction expert, and the product defects expert, have carefully inspected.
Sometimes a collision will be caused by a part of the motorcycle which is defective. There should be no attempt made to fix the motorcycle or remove any items from storage compartments. It is also necessary for a family member to find all documents pertaining to the motorcycle. This would include owners’ manuals and repair booklets. Warranties and other purchase papers should be given to legal counsel for review.
There are many questions which arise immediately after the medical crises is being effectively managed by the healthcare providers. Payment of the medical bills is an urgent question. Later on, considerations will turn more to compensation for future medical care.
Severe injuries carry with them overwhelming physical pain and mental suffering. The nature and scope of the medical treatment will suggest a timeframe for returning to work, if in fact that will ever be possible.
Loss of earnings issues will become vital, as will recovery of future loss earnings. These require maximum recovery, along with other matters such as property replacement and payment for all of the non-medical out-of pocket-expense.