Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately extremely common in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists accounted for nearly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2017. Motorcycle accident victims and their families often have legal rights to recover substantial compensation as a result of injuries or death sustained from a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, there were 5,172 motorcyclists killed and 89,000 injured in an accident. The NHTSA estimates that the number of deaths to occur in motorcycle accidents were 28 times more likely than passenger motor vehicle deaths per mile traveled. Of the percentage killed in 2017, 27 percent were impaired by alcohol. Despite that ownership of a motorcycle is only 3 percent of all driver traffic, motorcycle fatalities account for nearly 14 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the United States.
Risks of Motorcycle Riding
Motorcycle riding is inherently more dangerous than passenger vehicle riding. A motorcycle is a vehicle with less safety protection than motor vehicles and with only two wheels they are less stable than four-wheeled passenger vehicles. Unlike a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle lacks airbags, seatbelts, and virtually any bodily protection to a rider and passenger. Often, when a motorcycle accident occurs, the rider is ejected from the motorcycle and the motorcycle commonly crashes into objects in its way.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws
In 2017, NHTSA estimates that motorcycle helmets saved over one thousand lives. Studies indicate that a motorcycle accident fatality is nearly 40 percent less likely to occur if the riders are wearing a helmet. Each state has different motorcycle helmet laws for passengers and drivers of motorcycles. Nineteen states, some being Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, and Virginia, have a universal law and require motorcycle helmets for all motorcyclists. Twenty-eight states require only a certain class of persons to wear a helmet if the passenger is under age, 17, 18 or 21. Three states do not have a motorcycle helmet law. In 2017, in states without universal laws, 57 percent of deaths occurred when an individual was not wearing a helmet, while 8 percent of fatalities occurred in states with universal helmet laws.
Contact The Law Center today to connect with a top traumatic brain injury (TBI) attorney in your area if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a TBI from a motorcycle accident. Call 866-465-1419 or fill out the form below for a free legal consultation today and understand your eligibility for financial compensation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Alcohol or drug use
- Failure to signal
- Inexperienced motorists
- Roadway imperfections or construction
- Limited visibility of motorcycles
- Poor weather conditions
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
One of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are traumatic brain injuries, which often occur when a motorcycle rider is not wearing a helmet during a crash. A traumatic brain injury disrupts normal brain function and can lead to coma or death.
Common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Lower extremities (legs, ankles or knees)
- Upper extremities (arms, wrists or shoulders)
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
A motorcycle accident occurs when an individual driving a motorcycle hits another vehicle or object causing injury or property damage to the parties involved. A motorcycle accident lawsuit can be brought by an individual who has sustained injuries or property damage as a result of the negligence or carelessness of the defendant.
As these lawsuits can be exceptionally complex, it’s important to retain knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorneys who will utilize their expertise with these specialized cases to obtain justice and compensation on your behalf. To be matched with a premier motorcycle injury attorney, call our always available helpline at 866-465-1419 or fill out the form below.
Who Can Be Held Liable in Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits?
A negligent or careless party can be held liable in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. In the context of motorcycle accidents, a person is negligent when their conduct falls below the standard of care that is required of an ordinary person in the same or similar situation. In the motorcycle accident context, a party can be negligent by failing to stop at a stop sign or wear a helmet. A person can also be negligent when engaging in active careless conduct, such as tailgating other drivers or speeding.
In order to be successful in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, a plaintiff’s attorney must show four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. A person has a duty to act safely and to not engage in careless conduct while driving and to avoid an accident. A party breaches the duty of care owed when his or her conduct falls below the required level of care or entirely lacks care to prevent the accident from occurring. Once an attorney has established a breach of duty, the attorney must show that the defendant’s careless or negligent conduct caused the accident and resulted in personal injuries or property damage. Evidence that is useful in showing a deviation from the standard of care differs by state and is part of their traffic statutes.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Damages
Motorcycle accident injuries are expensive to treat and victims may be awarded medical damages for hospital visits, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and/or surgeries. Other types of damages include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
In addition, a person can file a wrongful death lawsuit if a family member has died in a motorcycle accident.
Wrongful Death Motorcycle Accidents
Wrongful death is the taking of a life through the negligent or reckless conduct of another person. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action brought by the family members of the deceased against the party whose negligence caused their death. Wrongful death actions are defined by state statutes. An action allows the decedent’s survivors to seek damages from loss of support and hospital and funeral costs. Depending on the state, a wrongful death action can be brought by survivors of the decedent, such as a spouse or child, in addition to an administrator or executor of the decedent’s will.
In order to recover in a motorcycle wrongful death action, an attorney must still establish the four elements that are required in a negligence action as illustrated above. Therefore, in order for a party to be successful in a wrongful death action, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant’s carelessness or negligence caused the death of the decedent. Moreover, since wrongful death claims are governed by state statutes, wrongful death statutes provide information as to who may sue for wrongful death, the statute of limitations to bring an action, the types of damages available, and any limitations on damages. Because wrongful death statutes vary by state, it is important to consult a specialized wrongful death attorney to ensure you are able to maximize recovery in a wrongful death action.
Get Help After a Motorcycle Accident
Finding the Leading Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Near Me
If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury, property damage or the loss of a loved one in a motorcycle accident, it is important to find a motorcycle injury attorney to ensure proper legal protection. Individuals who have suffered as a result of a motorcycle accident have legal rights and can be eligible to receive a settlement to compensate for treatment, rehabilitation, and any other financial burdens involved in suffering from an accident.
How The Law Center Can Help
The Law Center seeks to connect victims of motorcycle accidents and injuries with the skilled, knowledgeable and seasoned motorcycle accident attorneys who are best suited to help them. Call 866-465-1419 or fill out the form below to be connected with a leading motorcycle legal specialist in your area.