A motorcycle accident can happen quickly, resulting in devastating injuries or even death. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might feel that you are partially to blame. Or perhaps the insurance company believes you are to blame. However, very often, riders are not at fault.
Motorbike crashes are commonly caused by factors beyond the rider’s control, like bad road conditions, faulty or defective parts, other drivers, or other bikers. If another party’s negligence caused you to be injured in a motorcycle accident, you are likely entitled to compensation. In fact, even if you might be partially at fault, you may still be able to recover.
At the Reed Firm, we are dedicated to righting the wrongs committed against those injured in motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, insurance companies may attempt to use negative stereotypes of motorcycle riders against you. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself. Contact Reed Firm to ensure your rights are protected.
Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Dangerous?
Motorcyclists are more likely to suffer devastating injuries or death because they don’t have the same types of protection as the occupants of cars or trucks. Even when motorcyclists wear helmets and safety gear, they are often thrown from the motorcycle or pinned between the motorcycle and another vehicle, resulting in catastrophic injuries. Approximately 75 percent of motorcycle accidents involve a larger, passenger vehicle, and nearly half of all fatalities are caused by collisions between motorcyclists and passenger vehicles.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Negligent drivers cause the majority of motorcycle accidents because they just don’t look out for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are more difficult to see, and many drivers don’t take the time to check their surroundings. For example, inattentive drivers are more likely to change lanes and hit a motorcyclist traveling in a blind spot. It is also commonplace for drivers to pull from a stop and into the path of a motorcycle, causing the motorcyclist to broadside the passenger vehicle.
As with other types of car accidents, distracted driving is one of the most common causes of preventable accidents. Drivers tend to become distracted by their phones, passengers, the radio, other accidents that have occurred, or simply by staring into the distance and ignoring the conditions around them. When a passenger vehicle driver gets distracted, he or she could turn into a motorcyclist who has the right-of-way or swerve into the motorcyclist’s lane, causing a devastating accident.
Motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles and may appear farther away than they are. As a result, a driver may miscalculate how much time they have to change lanes or make a turn, resulting in the driver running into the motorcyclist or running the motorcyclist off the road. And far too many accidents are caused when an inattentive driver turns in front of a motorcyclist.
Aggressive or Reckless Driving
Aggressive driving is also very dangerous. Aggressive drivers generally drive faster, which means that more time is required to avoid a collision with a motorcyclist. Aggressive drivers often tailgate and cut drivers off, recklessly disregarding the consequences.
Not paying attention is one thing. Driving in a manner that knowingly places others at risk is another and might be considered reckless. Reckless driving is worse than negligent driving, and if a reckless driver has injured you, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention
We can’t change the way some folks drive, so motorcyclists must be vigilant when riding. The following tips can help reduce the risk of a crash:
- Slow down to ensure you have time to react to inattentive or reckless drivers.
- Look behind you when you stop at intersections, and keep your bike in gear so you can pull away if it appears that a driver behind you isn’t going to stop.
- Never ride between active traffic and parked cars because, for example, a parked driver might open his or her car door and you might plow into it, or a pedestrian might walk in front of you.
- Never drink and drive, for obvious reasons.
- Perform regular maintenance on your bike; for example, you don’t want other drivers to have an even harder time seeing you because a light doesn’t work.
- Learn how to deal with common road hazards; for example, taking a motorcycle riding course will provide you with maneuvering strategies for potholes, blown out tires, etc.
- Never share a lane with another car because drivers typically do not expect that and likely will not see you.
- Always drive defensively and assume that other drivers will not see you.
Injuries Caused By Motorcycle Accidents
No matter how safe you are, another driver may cause you to be involved in a collision. And though many motorcyclists wear safety gear when riding, even the best safety gear can’t prevent every type of injury. Wearing a helmet can decrease the severity of a head injury, but head injuries are always a possibility. Other safety gear might prevent some superficial injuries, but you may still suffer broken bones or other catastrophic, lifelong injuries. Some of the most severe types of motorcycle accident injuries we see include the following:
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Road rash that can lead to serious infections
- Muscle, tissue, or joint damage
- Broken bones
- Partial or complete paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s crucial that you obtain medical treatment asap. If the paramedics at the scene suggest that you go to the emergency room, follow their advice. Otherwise, you should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Some injuries may not become apparent until hours or even days after the accident. You should undergo a comprehensive evaluation early on, follow your doctor’s orders, and keep all of your medical documentation. Doing so can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
Recovering Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
You can pursue compensation for your injuries, whether you were moderately injured or severely injured. Under Arkansas law, victims of personal injury accidents have a right to file a lawsuit against the party or parties whose negligence caused their injuries. Depending on the facts of your case, multiple parties may be liable, such as an employee and his or her employer. The following damages are often available:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish (“loss of enjoyment of life”)
- Loss of consortium
In cases where a motorcyclist dies, his or her family can pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the responsible parties. In those cases, the family can claim compensation for the victim’s medical expenses, as well as funeral and burial expenses. The family can also recover for the victim’s pain and suffering and “loss of life.” Finally, certain family members can recover for their own mental anguish caused by the loss of their loved one.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Little Rock Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Whether you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, road congestion, or dangerous conditions on the road, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Attorney Tim Reed has extensive experience representing clients who were injured in motorcycle accidents. He understands how devastating those injuries can be and will work diligently to pursue the compensation you need and deserve. Contact the Reed Firm to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.