Riding a motorcycle can be a practical and inexpensive way to get where you need to be, or it can be just plain fun. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are vulnerable in an accident with a much larger vehicle. Bikers are substantially more likely to suffer serious injuries or death in a crash with another vehicle. It is estimated that a person on a motorcycle is 35 times more likely to die in a crash than a car’s occupants.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Deaths: The Statistics
Across the United States, 4,857 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2012, and another 93,000 were injured. Slightly over 10 percent of Virginia traffic fatalities in 2012 were the result of motorcycle accidents. In addition, 2,149 Virginia motorcycle riders were injured.
In many cases, these injuries and deaths could have been prevented if the driver of the other vehicle had been more attentive and careful. When a driver’s negligence causes an injury accident with a motorcycle, the biker or the family of a deceased person may be able to recover compensation for damages.
Vehicle Driver Negligence: The Most Common Cause of Crashes with Motorcycles
When a collision occurs between a motorcycle and another vehicle, it is often because the driver of the car or truck has been distracted, careless, or otherwise negligent and has failed to focus appropriate attention on others sharing the road. Changing lanes and making left turns are common situations where a driver violates a biker’s right of way and causes a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 42 percent of motorcycle collisions with another vehicle are the result of a vehicle turning left into the path of a motorcycle going straight, passing, or overtaking the larger vehicle.
Drivers frequently report that they did not see the motorcycle. This is usually because they failed to look carefully enough to observe the motorcycle, which is smaller and less visible than a larger vehicle.
Debris, gravel, potholes, and separated tire treads create roadway hazards that may be attributable to a government department responsible for road maintenance.
Driver Responsibility Toward Others on the Road
Every driver owes a legal responsibility to others on the road to be observant and to drive carefully, respecting the rights of motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers; yielding appropriately when others have the right of way; observing traffic signals and regulations; and taking care when turning or changing lanes, or checking rear view mirrors and blind spots.
If a driver’s inattention, recklessness, or failure to yield has caused a crash with your motorcycle and you were injured, or if someone close to you was killed on a motorcycle because of a driver’s negligent behavior, you’re entitled to make a claim to recover compensation from the at-fault driver. Motorcycle claims are often challenging because of bias against bikers and the commonly held but erroneous belief that anyone who rides a motorcycle is automatically a risk-taker. In fact, the majority of motorcycle crashes are the other driver’s fault. Nevertheless, this false perception makes these claims difficult.
With a skilled, dedicated personal injury attorney in your corner, your likelihood of receiving a full and fair settlement increases dramatically. Injured bikers who try to settle with the insurance company without legal assistance often end up frustrated and uncompensated. Never speak to an insurance company representative without consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer. It could irreparably harm your case.
Free Legal Consultation
When you need a top-notch motorcycle accident lawyer in Virginia, a top choice is the personal injury group of the MichieHamlett Law Firm. Our Charlottesville personal injury lawyers handle injury and wrongful death cases and their skills and knowledge are highly focused on this demanding area of law. Our practice is centered on your needs, and you are kept informed and involved in every step of the process. We return phone calls and emails promptly and are available to give you updates at any time.
We offer a free initial consultation, and if you can’t make it to our office, we’ll come to you. Call today to schedule an appointment with us to get the answers you need.