Missouri personal injury attorney Eric Bartlett, a 27-year personal injury lawyer, delves into the legal aspects surrounding personal injury cases, empowering you with the knowledge you need to understand your rights and options when seeking justice and compensation for personal injuries but we’ll be discussing motorcycle accidents this time around. Motorcycle accidents present a unique set of circumstances compared to standard car accidents. They require particular attention to detail due to various factors that come into play. Motorcycles are increasing in popularity, and understanding the intricacies of motorcycle accidents is crucial for all parties involved, including riders, drivers, and attorneys.
The Growing Popularity of Motorcycles
Motorcycles have been gaining popularity over the years. From 2002 to 2021, there was a 100% increase in motorcycle sales and registrations. The year 2021 saw a nearly 10% increase in new motorcycle registrations, partly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people turned to motorcycles as an alternative means of transportation and recreation during lockdowns.
Interesting enough, helmet laws have been trending in the opposite direction, with fewer states now requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. As of now, only 18 states in the U.S. mandate helmet use for motorcyclists. The repeal of helmet laws is a notable shift in motorcycle safety regulations.
The Danger of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars due to the lack of protection they offer. In accidents, motorcyclists are vulnerable and exposed to injuries. Head injuries, in particular, are a significant concern, as even a low-speed accident can result in severe head trauma if the rider is not wearing a helmet. Speed limits on highways can reach 70 miles per hour or more, and accidents at these speeds can be catastrophic.
Motorcycle accidents can lead to various injuries, including lost limbs, fractures, head injuries, and more. These accidents often result in lifelong consequences for the victims. For example, a recent case involved the tragic death of a motorcyclist in a collision with a tractor-trailer. The accident left a grieving family, and the aftermath highlighted the severity of motorcycle accidents.
Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents
Let’s take a closer look at the statistics related to motorcycle accidents:
- The majority of motorcycle accidents occur on urban roads rather than rural roads.
- Most accidents happen in good weather, as motorcyclists tend to avoid riding in adverse conditions.
- Approximately 50% of motorcycle accidents occur at night, while the other half occur during the day.
- Nearly two-thirds of motorcycle fatalities involve accidents with two or three vehicles, highlighting the complexity of such accidents.
- And, almost 67% of motorcycle accidents have no alcohol involvement on the part of the motorcyclist.
These statistics emphasize the importance of understanding the unique circumstances surrounding motorcycle accidents. While motorcyclists represent a small percentage of vehicles on the road, they account for a disproportionately high number of traffic fatalities and injuries.
The Complex Nature of Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims
When it comes to pursuing a motorcycle accident injury claim, several critical factors need to be considered. Here are some key steps in the process:
Preserve Evidence: The first step after an accident is to ensure that all relevant evidence is preserved. This includes gathering witness statements, video footage, and photos of the vehicles involved. Additionally, an accident reconstruction expert might be needed to analyze the scene and the events leading up to the crash.
Contact Insurance Companies: Begin the claims process with the insurance companies involved. However, proceed with caution when dealing with insurance companies. You are not obligated to provide a recorded statement, and it’s often advisable to consult with an attorney before doing so. Recorded statements can be used against you later in the claims process.
Identify All Responsible Parties: Determine all the parties involved in the accident, including other drivers, vehicle owners, and potentially even the manufacturer if there was a defect in the motorcycle. Identifying all responsible parties is crucial for maximizing compensation.
Medical Treatment: Seek immediate medical attention after an accident, even if you don’t believe you’re seriously injured. Some injuries might not be immediately apparent, and a delay in medical treatment can be used against you by insurance companies. Keep all records of medical treatment, including bills, prescriptions, and doctor’s notes.
Value Your Claim: Calculating the value of your claim is complex. You’ll need to account for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and future medical needs. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can provide invaluable assistance.
Negotiate or Litigate: After gathering all necessary evidence, you can attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance companies involved. However, insurance companies often offer lower settlements than victims deserve, so being prepared to take your case to court is essential.
The Role of Personal Injury Attorneys
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney is highly advisable in motorcycle accident cases. They can provide a wealth of expertise, including:
Case Assessment: Personal injury attorneys can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, helping you understand the potential outcomes.
Evidence Gathering: Attorneys can assist in the collection of evidence, which is often complex in motorcycle accident cases.
Negotiations: Attorneys are skilled negotiators and can work to secure a fair settlement on your behalf.
Litigation: If necessary, your attorney can represent you in court, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Remember, personal injury attorneys often work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement can significantly reduce the financial burden on accident victims.
In summary, motorcycle accidents present unique challenges due to their inherent dangers and the complexities involved. If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney at Northland Injury Law to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. If you’d like to hear more about protecting yourself after a motorcycle accident occurs, listen to our weekly podcast down below!