While motorcycle accidents make up a small percentage of all motor vehicle accidents, the injuries riders sustain are often severe. According to the Insurance Information Institute, riders are thirty times more likely to be killed in a motorcycle crash than drivers and passengers of cars or light trucks. The most obvious factor is a driver’s level of protection in a closed vehicle. Still, other factors come into play as well. Motorcycles are far more vulnerable to weather conditions and road hazards.
A significant factor is a “failure to see” the motorcycle or misjudging its speed and position. The size of a motorcycle makes it more likely to be hidden in another driver’s blind spot. Inattentive drivers may not register the presence of a motorcycle at all.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, forty-two percent of fatal motorcycle accidents occur when another vehicle turns left when the motorcycle is going straight or passing. Not being able to see the motorcyclist is no excuse: it is the driver’s responsibility to be aware of their vehicle’s blind spots and fully evaluate safety before turning or changing lanes.
Survivors of motorcycle accidents often sustain significant injuries, including muscle damage, road burn, severe limb injuries, limb loss, spinal cord injuries, and head injuries.
It is not uncommon for the riders to require extensive medical interventions including hospital stays, surgeries, and long-term therapies. The losses mount up and include property losses, emergency medical care and treatment, long-term rehabilitation and therapy, physical injuries and emotional injuries, lost wages, losses due to reduced earning potential, pain, suffering, and wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious motorcycle accident, it may be to your benefit to consider a personal injury lawsuit.
Starting a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
The likelihood of a successful motorcycle accident lawsuit increases when you engage with a qualified personal injury lawyer soon after your injury.
Your process for starting a motorcycle accident lawsuit begins at the accident scene. Every action that you take from the moment of impact can support or undermine your case.
If you can, gather information at the scene of the accident. Essential information includes the driver, vehicle, insurance information, witnesses’ names, and contact details. It is also helpful to take photographs of the vehicles, road conditions, hazards, property damage, and injuries. If your injuries prevent you from gathering information at the scene, you can access much of this information from the police report.
It’s important to get medical treatment for your injuries and follow all recommendations. Some injuries may not be evident immediately after the injury. Your medical team will provide you with symptoms to look out for.
Avoid making statements to the other driver and their insurance company. Your statements could be misconstrued to suggest that you are at fault or that your injuries are not serious.
Getting the compensation you deserve may require evaluating the cause of the accident, conducting an investigation, gathering documentation of injuries and losses, negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company, keeping up with deadlines, and possibly litigation and trial. In the case of serious injuries and losses, hiring a personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle accident claims may be essential.
Look for a personal injury lawyer in your state with a proven track record in motorcycle accidents. You can often find testimonials, results for similar cases, ties to your local community, awards, and recognition on their website.
Once you have found a lawyer you think is a match, your next step is scheduling a free, no-obligation meeting. In that meeting, you and the lawyer will review the specifics of your case, including the police report, witness information, medical reports, lost wages, etc. During this meeting, you and the lawyer will determine if you have a case.
Once you have secured a lawyer, they will represent you with the driver and their insurance company. Your lawyer will manage all aspects of your lawsuit, including negotiations. This support lets you focus on healing and getting your life on track.
Contact Us Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you and your family shouldn’t have to worry about your current bills and your financial future. The right lawyer can help you focus on what’s important: healing and restoring your life.
Burnett & Williams is one of Virginia’s oldest and most recognized personal injury law firms. We are experts in personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents, and have a proven track record. Contact us today for a free consultation.