Many Americans enjoy motorcycling, both as recreation and as an economical and convenient way to commute from place to place. Unfortunately, every time motorcyclists ride they expose themselves to a significant risk of serious bodily injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that nearly 100,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in 2012. When these accidents occur because of someone else’s negligence, victims can often recover through a personal injury lawsuit. Among the damages that may be available in a lawsuit arising from a motorcycle accident include compensation for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, lost income, and loss of quality of life. In order to ensure that they receive a fair and just settlement or award, victims should be certain to discuss their case with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Under tort law, a motorcycle accident victim must be able to establish that their accident was caused by someone else’s negligence in order to be able to recover. In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, “negligence” refers to a party’s failure to act with that degree of care that would be exercised by a reasonably prudent person in similar circumstances. Some of the more common examples of negligence that can often lead to motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while impaired
- Failure to yield
- Failure to stop at a stop sign or stop light
- Defectively designed roads
- Poorly maintained roads
- Defectively designed motorcycles
- Defectively manufactured motorcycles
- Driver fatigue
Just as there are various causes of motorcycle accidents, there are also several parties that could potentially be held liable in a motorcycle accident case. If, for example, unreasonably dangerous road conditions resulted in a motorcycle accident, the governmental agency responsible for the maintenance of that road may be held liable in certain cases. If, on the other hand, a motorcyclist was struck by a driver who ran a stop sign, that driver could potentially be held responsible for any losses incurred by the motorcyclist.
Common Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable individuals on the road. They are often much harder to see than other vehicles simply due to their significantly smaller size, and also can easily be thrown from their vehicles in the event of a collision. Furthermore, they do not enjoy the protections of a vehicle body or safety features such as airbags or seatbelts as do most other motorists. Some of the more common injuries sustained by motorcyclists who are involved in accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Accident amputations
Fortunately, these injuries and their associated economic and noneconomic damages are often compensable through a personal injury lawsuit.
An Experienced Motorcycle Attorney Can Help You Recover
Motorcyclists have the right to safely use roads just like any other type of motorist. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will work to ensure that any motorcyclists injured in accidents can fully and justly recover from negligent drivers or other parties. If you have suffered injury as a victim in a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact an attorney for a free consultation to make sure your legal rights to compensation are protected.