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- Motorcycle Accidents
Operating a motorcycle safely requires a certain degree of skill and experience, but even the most experienced biker faces the risk of a motorcycle accident every time he or she heads out onto the open road. Motorcycle accidents occur more frequently than many people realize and they often have catastrophic consequences. In fact, motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding as a passenger in a car, and are 5 times as likely to suffer injury in a collision with a car.
Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycles offer very little protection to riders in the event of a collision with another motor vehicle. The lack of airbags and other safety features means that victims of motorcycle accidents rarely escape severe auto accident injuries. Head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, burns, and internal injuries in motorcycle crashes can take years until the motorcyclist fully recovers. In the most serious cases, motorcycle accidents lead to permanent disabilities or death.
Motorcycle crashes often occur because the bikes are less stable than cars and must balance on two wheels. Misalignment of the front and rear tires at higher speeds can cause the front end of the motorcycle to become unstable and “wobble.” If a motorcycle accident is caused by this issue, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might become financially responsible for any resulting injuries due to product liabilities. Other product defects that can cause a motorcycle crash include handlebar defects, tire defects, and fuel line defects.
Many motorcycle accidents occur when the driver of a car, van, or truck is unable to see the motorcyclist. However, this does not excuse the driver from auto accident liability. Approximately two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle that violated the motorcyclist’s right of way. This is an especially dangerous issue at intersections, where an estimated 70% of motorcycle-versus-vehicle accidents occur.
Road hazards can also be extremely hazardous for a motorcyclist and cause many motorcycle accidents every year. Potholes, oil slicks, puddles, and debris on the roadway, pose a significant risk to motorcycle riders. Adverse weather conditions can also contribute to motorcycle accidents. Inadequate motorcycle maintenance, which can lead to engine or brake failure, or operating a motorcycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also increase the chances that a motorcycle collision will occur.
Lawsuits for Injured Motorcyclists
Individuals who are injured in a motorcycle accident may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other auto accident damages suffered. Each state has different laws regarding motorcycle-automobile accidents, so it is important to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident in order to understand your legal rights and options.