Car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle accident cases all fall under the category of personal injury law. These types of cases may seem similar, as they all deal with different kinds of motor vehicle accidents, but motorcycle accident cases actually present plaintiffs and their attorneys with some unique challenges.
Not only can motorcycle accidents be caused by conditions that typically wouldn't deter the average passenger vehicle, but also the lack of a protective steel “cage” around the motorcyclist means that when crashes occur, the injuries a motorcyclist sustains can be catastrophic and the cost of the required medical treatments, devastating.
In addition to the differences in the way that motorcycles and passenger vehicles handle, and the potential for horrific injuries, motorcyclists who are injured in accidents often also face unfair biases and preconceived notions from law enforcement officers, insurance companies, judges, and even juries.
Seeking justice and compensation for injuries and other losses sustained in a motorcycle accident that wasn't your fault may seem like an uphill battle. Fortunately, knowledgeable and experienced accident attorneys can help their clients overcome these and other challenges.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, here's what you need to know.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There's no question that a 400-pound motorcycle on two wheels handles differently than a 3,000-pound passenger vehicle on four wheels. The challenge is getting law enforcement officers, insurance company claim adjusters, judges, and juries to understand what the differences in size, weight, and handling capability mean in the context of your accident.
Whereas most passenger vehicles are generally unfazed by crumbling or cracked pavement, tiny potholes and small bits of debris in the road, when a motorcycle encounters conditions like these, serious accidents can result.
Also, because some motorcycle crashes can be caused by the conditions of a poorly-maintained road, motorcyclists who are injured in such accidents aren't always sure who to hold responsible for their injuries. A personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accident cases can help you determine whether the municipal, county, state, or federal government is responsible for the maintenance of the road, so you know just who to name in your lawsuit.
Additionally, in cases where the motorcycle accident was caused by construction debris littering the roadway, the construction company heading the project may also be liable. Your motorcycle accident attorney can help you identify the individuals who and agencies that had a duty to keep you safe.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a biker is injured or killed in more than 80 percent of motorcycle crashes. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Head injuries, such as concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- “Road rash”—serious scrapes and lacerations caused by sliding across the pavement
- Muscle damage
- Ruptured eardrums
- Nerve damage
- Leg, knee, and foot injuries
Biases and Preconceived Notions
Biases and preconceived notions that people may have about motorcycles and those who ride them shouldn't stand in the way of an accident victim's quest for justice. Too often, people are quick to assume that the biker was at fault in an accident, despite extensive research showing motorist error as one of the most common causes of serious motorcycle crashes.
The stigma against motorcyclists is one of the biggest reasons why it's so important for motorcycle accident victims to have quality legal representation. Don't let someone's false opinion of your or your leisure activities stand between you and a fair financial award. Your motorcycle accident attorney will work hard to dispel any and all inaccurate opinions of your case.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and plan to take legal action against the at-fault party, finding a skilled personal injury attorney with experience handling these types of accidents is essential to your success. Contact McGartland Law today to schedule a free initial case consultation.