Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents And What To Do After A Crash
Bikers are a different breed. But they are also some of the most responsible and careful drivers on the road. It’s not hard to understand why. Lacking the protection of seat belts, airbags, and a large metal frame surrounding them, motorcycle riders are at a much higher risk of catastrophic injuries or death if they get in an accident. Because of their smaller stature and more agile mobility, they also face unique dangers from other drivers who may not see them or account for their presence. And if they do get injured in an accident, bikers may face additional challenges due to unfair and outdated stereotypes held by police officers, judges, and juries.
All of these distinctions between car accidents and motorcycle accidents make it critical that injured bikers retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who understands who they are and what they face after they crash their bike.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Many of the same factors that cause automobile accidents – speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence – also cause their fair share of deadly motorcycle accidents. But, as noted, the very nature of motorcycles leave them vulnerable to several specific types of accidents, including:
- Unsafe Lane-Changing Accidents. Because of motorcycles’ smaller stature and their ability to move through traffic in ways other vehicles can’t, they are particularly susceptible to being hit by drivers who may change lanes without adequately and fully checking their blind spots.
- Front-End Collisions. Like drivers, bikers need to make sure that there is plenty of space between themselves and the car in front of them. When a driver ahead of them makes a sudden, unexpected, or unwarranted stop or has non-functioning brake lights, a biker can hit that vehicle and be thrown from their motorcycle at a high velocity. The same thing can occur in a front-end collision with a fixed object, when there are unsafe road conditions or a biker needs to take sudden evasive action to avoid another vehicle.
- Rear-End Collisions. Motorcycles can come to a stop much faster than cars can, a fact many drivers are unaware of. When a motorcycle stops suddenly, a vehicle following too closely can hit the back of the bike and cause the biker to fly backward, often leading to serious head, back, or neck injuries.
- Left-Hand Turn Accidents. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 40% (872) of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle crashes in 2014 involved other vehicles that were turning left while the motorcycles were going straight, passing, or overtaking other cars. Left-hand turn accidents can occur because a driver fails to yield the right-of-way or misjudges the speed at which the motorcycle is traveling. For more statistics on the percentage of motorcycle accidents caused by cars, click here.
Bikers Face Unfair and Outdated Stereotypes
People of all ages and from all walks of life like to ride motorcycles. Too often, however, bikers injured in a motorcycle accident face prejudice and stereotypes that can stand in the way of their recovery of compensation for their injuries. This bias may include caricatures of bikers as criminals or “outlaws”; irresponsible and caring nothing about following safety rules or the safety of others.
These unfair and outdated prejudices can taint jurors in motorcycle accident lawsuits. Because of their bias – conscious or unconscious – a juror may be inclined to blame a biker for their injuries even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Such views may also color the perception of police officers who prepare reports about the accident.
For example, even if speed was not a factor in your crash, an officer may be more inclined to believe another driver’s unreliable and inaccurate assertion that you were speeding. Even if a driver’s inattentiveness or failure to see a biker was an accident’s primary cause, an officer might say that the driver’s inability to see the motorcycle was due to the biker maneuvering recklessly.
Bikers Should Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer As Soon As Possible After a Crash
You may not have a lawyer at the time you get in a bad motorcycle accident, but it’s a pretty sure bet that that driver who hits you does. If the driver has auto insurance, the insurance company’s lawyers are, in effect, the insured driver’s lawyers. As soon as the driver notifies their insurer about the accident, those lawyers, claims adjusters, and investigators will be on the case and on the scene to gather evidence, take statements, and begin their investigation – all with the goal of defeating or minimizing any injury claims you may bring.
This head start can have devastating effects on your motorcycle accident injury lawsuit. By contacting an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer ASAP after your crash, you can deny the insurance company that advantage, level the playing field, and give yourself the best shot at obtaining the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
Call Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Kirk Moyer Today For Your Free Consultation
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Lake County, Cook County, or Chicago, please give Lake County motorcycle accident lawyer, Kirk Moyer, a call at (847) 244-3444 to arrange for your FREE initial consultation.