It is ironic that the very reason riding a motorcycle can be so exhilarating is also the reason motorcycle accidents can be so disastrous. For it is your freedom from a car’s “cage” that makes you so vulnerable in an accident.
How motorcycle accidents happen
According to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 75% of all motorcycle accidents and 50% of fatal accidents, involve two vehicles. The second is usually a car, and the motorcyclist almost always fares worse. Sadly, Florida annually leads the entire nation in the number of motorcycle deaths and injuries according to the statistics provided by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Always a controversial subject, motorcycles are one of those topics that most people have an opinion about and cannot remain neutral – they seem to either love them or hate them.
The most common factors in motorcycle accidents include:
- Inexperienced riders or drivers
- Alcohol & drugs
- Distractions (texting, talking on a cell phone, eating)
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Not using a turn signal
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Lane splitting
- Poor weather conditions
- Unexpected obstacles
- Over braking
- Vehicle defects
- Road defects (potholes, broken asphalt)
- Harassment and road rage
- Failing to wear protective gear (helmet, leather)
Since 2000, if you are over 21 years of age and have health or motorcycle insurance that has a minimum medical benefit coverage of at least $10,000 you do not need to wear a helmet. If you are under 21 years of age you must still wear a helmet.
The high cost of motorcycle accidents
In most cases it is the front of the motorcycle that is hit. This is also the point of impact that results in the most incapacitating and fatal injuries. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you may already have a good idea of its cost, including physical and emotional pain, expensive medical bills, lost wages and property damage.
Identifying every potential factor in an accident is important in determining who is at fault or what percent each is at fault and who is financially responsible.
Fault can be a complex question on which you, the other driver, police and emergency responders, and insurance companies do not agree. It is even further complicated if there were equipment failures, poor road conditions, public vehicles, or obstacles involved.
An attorney can help prepare your strongest arguments, and may even retain a private investigator to help build your case. But you must act quickly. The insurance companies will want to settle as quickly as they can. They will not want to wait to discover that you have long-term medical and disability issues. To them, it’s just business. To you, it is your future. Do not agree to any settlement without talking to an attorney.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you:
- Understand your legal options
- Conduct an investigation into the accident
- Challenge the police report’s findings
- Help prevent insurance companies from settling too soon
- Ensure that your long-term medical, psychological and financial needs are identified
- Fight for compensation
Recovering from a motorcycle accident can be a long, hard road. And it is a road you should not head down alone. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, call Rowe Law Offices for a free consultation.