Riding in a small, open vehicle with other cars and big trucks carries many risks. Each person must decide whether owning and operating a motorcycle is worth the danger.
Motorcycle accidents are fraught with dangers. Riders who drive motorcycles are much more likely to be injured in a crash because they lack the protection a car’s walls can provide. Riders who survive might sustain head injuries, broken backs, and paralysis.
Not every person who rides a motorcycle crashes. However, crashes happen frequently and are usually devastating. If you are considering a motorcycle but don't know whether it is the right choice for you, consider the pros and cons of riding detailed in this blog, by our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics in the United States
Over the last ten years, between 4,000 and 5,000 people have died in motorcycle accidents annually. Additionally, motorcycle crashes injure between 80,000 and 100,000 people yearly. Approximately 30 percent of crashes involving motorcycle drivers included at least one driver impaired by alcohol. if you or a loved one has been injuries due to a impaired driver speaking with a drunk driving accident lawyer might be your best shot at receiving maximum compensation.
Due to the severe injuries that motorcyclist crash victims sustain, they receive massive medical bills. By some estimates, all the motorcycle crashes in the United States cost victims about $6.5 billion in medical and other expenses and about $16.1 billion for intangible losses like pain and suffering. Those costs vary year to year but ultimately result from the motorcycle riders' injuries—damages that often go beyond physical pain.
The risks of physical, financial, and personal losses are high in any motorcycle crash. It is worth considering how much you may have to pay after an accident before you decide whether or not you want to purchase a motorcycle for your personal use.
These are a few of the main reasons that motorcycle riders crash. However, there are plenty of other reasons too. For example, when snow, ice, or debris obstructs roads, car or truck drivers could lose control of their vehicles and crash into a motorcyclist. In addition, car drivers can seriously injure motorcycle riders by opening their doors in front of a moving biker, leading to a collision.
When considering the risk of riding a motorcycle, think about these dangers.
What to Do if You’re In a Motorcycle Accident
If you have a motorcycle, avoiding an accident is not always possible. No matter how careful you are, there is always the possibility that another driver will make a mistake and crash into your bike.
following these steps after a motorcycle accident can help you prepare a solid civil case to seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
- Call 911 for an ambulance. Seek medical attention right away to make sure that you begin your journey towards healing. The medics will create reports about your injuries and status after the crash. It is crucial to start treatment as soon as possible for your health, but it is also vital that you have official documents showing that the accident caused your injuries.
- Call the police. You will have to prove that you did not cause the accident in a personal injury claim. A police report detailing how your accident happened can help do so.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Get their insurance information, their driver’s license details, and contact information so that your lawyers can get in touch with them later.
- Talk to witnesses. No matter where you crashed, it is likely that at least one or two other people saw the crash occur. Talk to any witnesses to get their accounts of what happened. Ask for their contact information and, if possible, a written statement of what they saw.
- Take photos. If you can safely do so, take pictures of the accident scene. Pay close attention to visible injuries and damage to vehicles. This photographic evidence will be helpful for your lawyers when they put together a complaint against the at-fault driver.
- Call your insurance company. Report the accident but do not apologize or admit that you did anything wrong since the other party can use these statements against you in court. Report what happened to the insurance company to ask for help.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer. If you did not cause your accident and want compensation from the driver who did, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. These lawyers have experience dealing with motorcycle accidents and can help you gather evidence and file an effective claim against the driver who hurt you.
Losses You Could Suffer in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents commonly cause economic and non-economic damages; these categories cover all the losses and suffering you endure after an accident.
Common losses motorcyclists sustain in accidents include:
- Medical expenses: Crash victims often incur expenses for emergency room visits, surgeries and procedures, hospital stays, ongoing therapy, medical equipment, and prescriptions
- Loss of income: When injured, crash victims have to take time off of work to recover and thus lose income
- Loss of earning capacity: In some cases, a crash victim’s injuries are so severe that they cannot return to the same job as before. In these cases, loss of the ability to earn the same wages is a loss.
- Property damage expenses: The costs of repairs or replacements to a motorcycle, gear, and other property like a phone damaged in the crash add up quickly for injured motorcyclists
- Pain and suffering in general: Pain and suffering is a broad category that covers various types of personal and physical suffering
- Emotional trauma and distress: Many people suffer emotional distress or develop conditions like PTSD after an accident
- Loss of life enjoyment: Even if injuries are not permanent, they may limit victims from various activities they used to enjoy before the crash
- Loss of consortium: In some cases, loved ones lose meaningful relationships because of the accident and subsequent injuries
These are common damages a motorcycle accident could cause, but there are others. Some other things to consider is how your going to prove these damages in your claim. That is why contacting a lawyer is so important, to ensure that you account for all of the losses you have suffered when you seek compensation.
The Steps to Recovering from a Motorcycle Accident
It can be challenging to recover from a motorcycle accident, no matter how severely it injured you.
It can be helpful to know the steps you should take to help you recover as quickly as possible.
- Get medical attention. Before anything else, ensure that you have received the medical treatment necessary to help you start on the road to healing. This treatment also includes seeking any counseling or mental support that you may need.
- Call a motorcycle accident lawyer. First, take advantage of a free consultation with a lawyer. They can help you decide whether to pursue a claim against the other driver to seek compensation.
- Meet with the lawyer in person or over the phone. After the initial consultation, meet with the lawyer to discuss your case and sign a contract to work together.
- Start gathering evidence. You and your lawyer will collect evidence like medical bills and records, receipts for property repairs, witness statements, photos of the accident, the police report, and other items that will help prove your claim.
- File a complaint. Your lawyer must send a demand letter to the at-fault driver. This letter will explain what happened in the accident and why you believe you deserve compensation.
- Negotiate. The party who caused the accident will respond to your complaint, rejecting your statement or making a settlement offer. Then, your lawyer will work on gathering more evidence to prepare to go to court. They will also work with the at-fault party to negotiate a favorable settlement.
- Go to court, if necessary, and seek a verdict. If the other party refuses to make a fair settlement offer, your lawyer will have to take your case to court. The judge or jury will hand down a judgment granting you the settlement amount you deserve.
Once you receive a verdict, your lawyer will help you pay your debts, get your settlement check, and take the remainder home. You may never feel the same after a devastating accident, but compensation can help ease your burdens.
Deciding Whether Riding a Motorcycle Is Worth It
As you can see, motorcycle accidents have severe consequences. While you may never be in an accident, it is always possible that some driver on the road will overlook you and cause you to crash. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether riding a motorcycle is worth it when you know what could happen if you crash.
If you ride a motorcycle and have a crash that is not your fault, reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer near you who can help you figure out how to get your life back on track and ensure that the accident does not cost you everything.