Motorcycle Accidents Are Likely if Riding Near a Negligent Driver
Operating a motorcycle requires a special license and skill. The exhilarating feeling of the open road is also the same thing that places you at risk for serious injuries in an accident. Your chance of crashing depends upon the behavior of the drivers that surround you, and whether you have time to react. Both motorcyclists and drivers have a responsibility to share the road. When the actions of one or more drivers cause you harm, you may want to discuss your options for civil action with a motorcycle accident lawyer. A motorcycle accident happens in a split second, and there is often little to no time for the operator to avoid a collision. The size and weight of a motorcycle is no match for a car, SUV, or semi truck. When another driver fails to use care behind the wheel, the results can mean serious injuries or death for motorcyclists.
Driver Error Causes Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies four of the most dangerous types of driver errors that contribute to motorcycle accidents: intersection dangers, blind spots, “hard to see,” and braking.
- Intersection dangers: The NHTSA reports that forty-two percent of motorcycle crashes involving motorists occur in intersections. The failure of another motorist to yield the right-of-way to a motorcycle proceeding straight through the intersection is dangerous and often deadly.
- Blind spots: Approximately half of the area surrounding a car contains blind spots preventing drivers from noticing motorcycles. A proper adjustment of a vehicle’s mirrors is a proactive step toward preventing a possible motorcycle accident.
- Hard to see: Many drivers fail to see a motorcycle because of its narrow profile, according to the NHTSA. In addition to blind spots, drivers must watch for motorcycles in a variety of roadway settings, behind objects, and in adverse weather conditions.
- Braking: To slow down, motorcyclists downshift or roll off the throttle instead of braking. The absence of a brake light can cause a motorist to misjudge stopping distance for both the motorcyclist and their own vehicle.
Many drivers can avoid striking a motorcyclist by simply adhering to the rules of the road. In addition to drivers failing to obey traffic laws, many engage in negligent behaviors behind the wheel. Dangerous behaviors by drivers place motorcyclists at risk for serious injuries and death.
Dangerous Driver Behaviors
Responsible driver behavior is essential for everyone’s safety. If the driver who struck your vehicle engaged in one or more of the following behaviors, they may be liable for your damages:
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Aggressive driving: The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety defines aggressive driving as including such actions as purposely speeding or tailgating other drivers. Aggressive driving can quickly change to road rage, resulting in even more dangerous behavior like that of throwing objects.
- Distracted driving: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports there are three main types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. The second a driver takes their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off driving, they create danger for motorcyclists.
- Drowsy driving: Drowsiness can cause a driver to experience impaired judgment and delayed reaction times—effects similar to those of alcohol.
Even if the responsible driver fails to be charged or convicted in a criminal proceeding, this does not prevent you from pursuing a civil action for damages. A civil claim is different from any criminal charges the driver may face. If a driver caused you serious harm due to their reckless behavior behind the wheel, you may be eligible for compensation. While no amount of financial compensation can return your life to how it was before the accident, it can help pay for your medical care.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle safety gear can only protect you so much in a serious accident. With no seatbelt, a motorcycle operator and rider are often separated from the motorcycle in a crash. No airbags soften your blow as you strike the hard surface of the road or another vehicle. The injuries you experience can range from those requiring a long recovery to catastrophic and permanent injuries. Regardless of the type of injury you experience, a serious motorcycle accident changes your life. The following types of motorcycle accident injuries can result in massive medical costs and an inability to work. Your lack of income can cause you much anxiety when your primary focus should rest on your medical care and procedures.
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury can result in a lack of mobility and sensation. Accident victims often require the use of a wheelchair and home modifications for the chair. A wheelchair accessible van and other needs, along with continuous medical care can cost millions of dollars over time.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
While research shows that wearing a helmet can help prevent serious injuries, not all states require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Additionally, a traumatic brain injury is still possible with or without a helmet. This form of traumatic injury can disrupt normal brain function. Depending upon the severity of a loved one’s brain injury, they may require continuous and expensive care.
Only a medical professional can diagnose internal bleeding. This particular type of injury is serious due to its potential to cause organ damage and possible death. Internal bleeding often exhibits no signs, making it imperative that you see medical attention—even if you feel fine.
Striking an unforgiving service like that of the road or another car can leave you with multiple broken bones. The type of break can determine the length of your recovery. Broken bones can affect your life and your finances. You may need future surgeries, physical therapy, and assistance with daily tasks, all of which can result in extensive bills. While not a complete list of injuries, the injuries listed above are serious in both physical, emotional, and financial terms. If your weekend motorcycle ride or your motorcycle commute to work turned tragic due to a careless driver, you have options. Consider discussing your case with a motorcycle accident lawyer now.
Compensation in Motorcycle Accident Cases
There is no guarantee of compensation in a motorcycle accident case; however, the following types of compensation are typically included in civil claims and lawsuits:
- Hospital costs for your care immediately following your motorcycle accident
- Medical expenses associated with long-term care such as physical therapy
- Income lost due to time spent recovering from injuries
- Reduced income capacity if you can’t return to the same job as before
- Pain and suffering
The insurance company representing the driver who caused your accident may contact you. If they offer you a settlement, accepting it can put you at a disadvantage later, should you develop complications from your injuries. Accepting their offer closes your claim and your case. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you by negotiating for a fair settlement on your behalf. Your case may reach a successful conclusion out of court. For cases that proceed to trial, the ability to present before a jury is important. Most motorcycle accident lawyers have trial experience. If necessary, they can apply this experience to present the best case possible for damages. A motorcycle accident is a traumatic experience. Collecting your thoughts and learning about your injuries takes time. If you desire to pursue a civil claim and lawsuit, you must act now. Immediately contacting a motorcycle accident attorney can help you rest easier knowing someone is on your side.
For a free legal consultation, call 833-552-7274
What the Statute of Limitations Means for You
The urgency to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer is due to the statute of limitations. In Florida, for example, the law allows four years to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit. The injuries you experienced, along with the changes in your life, can make this time pass quickly. Once you realize the statute of limitations for your case expired, you may not have any further options for compensation. A motorcycle accident attorney can ensure that your case meets all court requirements promptly. Doctors’ appointments, medical procedures, and time spent resting are important for your health and recovery. De-stress by handing the details of your case over to a licensed motorcycle accident attorney.
When a Motorcycle Accident Turns Deadly
Thousands of motorcyclists and their passengers die each year in crashes involving other motorists. If you lost a close loved one who died doing something that they love, think about contacting a motorcycle accident attorney right away. The unexpected cost of a funeral and a loss of income are just two of the possible types of compensation in a wrongful death case. If the driver who caused your loved one’s death was negligent, you may qualify for a wrongful death claim and lawsuit. The loss of your close loved one in a motorcycle accident deserves justice. Most motorcycle accident attorneys offer free case evaluations, and many work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only collect a fee if they win your case.
A Motorcycle Accident Is Likely When a Motorist Fails to Use Care
You can take every precaution possible when riding your motorcycle, yet still experience harm due to the actions of one motorist. In a split second, your life can change forever. When your motorcycle crashes, there is little you can do to prevent yourself from suffering from serious injuries. Once you process what occurred, you may feel frustration and anger over the reckless actions of the negligent driver. Serious injuries require serious attention from medical professionals and rest by you. Any attempts to pursue compensation on your own can leave you exhausted and stressed. A motorcycle accident lawyer can represent you when it comes to insurance companies. Insurance companies will try a variety of tactics to pay you less than you deserve—or to deny your claim. The right lawyer will fight to hold them accountable for fair compensation. If they must proceed to trial, your lawyer can put their presentation skills to use before a jury. Your right to ride a motorcycle along highways and city streets should not result in tragedy. Using caution and wearing protective gear helps, however, there is no way to predict the actions of another driver.
Speak to an Experienced Clearwater Motorcycle Attorney After an Accident
As long as motorists continue to engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel, motorcyclists are at risk for harm. If you experienced serious injuries riding your motorcycle due to the reckless actions of another driver, consider contacting an attorney. You must collect as much evidence as possible regarding your accident, including police reports and photographs. Act quickly. The statute of limitations sets a strict time limit for filing a civil lawsuit. Failure to file before the deadline may prevent you from ever pursuing compensation. Your medical bills, missed time from work, and pain and suffering are not fair. From suffering serious injuries to the sudden loss of a loved one, a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver is almost always preventable. If another driver failed to use care and share the road with you or someone close to you, hold them accountable by pursuing justice for your loss. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/motorcycle-accident-attorneys/