Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are often caused by the negligence of other motorists. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reports that other drivers are responsible for causing approximately two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents. This is often because other drivers fail to see motorcyclists on the road, as motorcycles are much smaller and less visible than other vehicles.
Common causes involving other motor vehicles include:
- Left Turn Collisions: A vehicle making a left turn at an intersection might not see an oncoming motorcycle and collide with it.
- Lane Changes: Vehicles changing lanes without properly checking blind spots might hit a motorcycle.
- Opening Car Doors: Drivers or passengers in parked cars might open their doors without checking for approaching motorcycles.
- Rear-End Collisions: A vehicle following too closely might not stop in time, hitting a motorcycle from behind.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers distracted by their phones, other passengers, or activities might not notice motorcycles around them.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving: Excessive speeding or reckless behavior by either the motorcyclist or other drivers can lead to accidents.
- Driving Under the Influence: Operating a vehicle, including motorcycles, under the influence of alcohol or drugs greatly increases the risk of accidents.
- Failure to Yield: Vehicles failing to yield the right of way to motorcycles when required, such as at intersections or when merging.
- Road Conditions: Poor road conditions, like potholes, debris, or slippery surfaces, can lead to motorcycle accidents, especially if other drivers aren't cautious.
- Sudden Stops: Vehicles abruptly stopping without warning might cause a motorcycle following too closely to collide.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are not protected by the steel frame of a car or truck, so they are much more likely to suffer severe injuries in a crash. Even when riders are wearing helmets and other protective gear, they can still suffer life-altering injuries.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include:
- Catastrophic injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including surgeries, hospital stays, and ongoing rehabilitation. In some cases, victims are left with permanent disabilities that prevent them from returning to work and enjoying the same quality of life they had before the accident.
Legal Challenges of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accident claims can present various legal challenges due to several factors:
- Bias Against Motorcyclists: There's often a bias against motorcyclists, leading insurance companies or even juries to assume the motorcyclist was at fault. Overcoming this bias to ensure a fair settlement can be challenging.
- Severity of Injuries: Motorcycle accidents frequently result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the vulnerability of riders. Proving the extent of injuries and their impact on the victim's life requires strong legal support.
- Complexity of Accident Reconstruction: Determining fault in motorcycle accidents might be complex. Expert analysis and accident reconstruction are often necessary to establish liability.
- Insurance Issues: Insurance companies might try to minimize payouts, delay settlements, or even deny claims. Handling negotiations with insurance companies requires legal expertise to ensure fair compensation.
- Legal Deadlines and Procedures: Meeting legal deadlines and following proper procedures can be overwhelming for someone unfamiliar with the legal system. Missing these deadlines could jeopardize the claim.
- Comparative Negligence: Some states apply comparative negligence laws where compensation can be reduced if the injured party is found partially at fault. Defending against such claims requires legal expertise.
- Dealing with Other Parties: Interacting with other drivers, their insurance companies, and their legal representatives can be intimidating without proper legal representation.
Hiring a lawyer is crucial in navigating these legal challenges. A skilled attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents understands the complexities involved. They can gather evidence, handle negotiations with insurance companies, protect your rights, and fight for fair compensation. Their expertise ensures that the legal process is managed effectively, maximizing the chances of a successful claim.
Why Choose Morrison & Hughes?
At Morrison & Hughes, we are committed to helping injured motorcyclists and their families fight for the justice and fair compensation they are owed. Our Alpharetta motorcycle accident attorneys have over 20 years of combined legal experience and have successfully recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
As a small firm, we can provide the personalized attention and compassionate counsel our clients deserve. We are always available to answer your questions and address your concerns, and we will keep you informed about the progress of your case every step of the way.
Our Alpharetta motorcycle accident lawyers offer free initial consultations. Call (470) 260-9417 or contact us online to get started.