Motorcycles are often portrayed as a sign of true freedom. The wind in your hair, sun on your shoulders, and the open road in front you. Millions of men and women absolutely love riding their motorcycles but those bikers have accepted the fact that even if they ride responsibly and make good decisions, drivers of other vehicles on the road may not and frequently cause auto accidents which could leave them with serious, life-threatening injuries.
Motorcycle Accidents: A Growing Trend
According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), between 1999 and 2008, the number of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. more than doubled. While it is absolutely possible for the driver of the motorcycle to be at fault, in many cases it was the negligence of another party that caused the crash.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence occurs whenever a party is expected to behave in a certain manner and fails to do so. When it comes to motorcycle accidents, if another driver was supposed to have their eyes on the road but instead were looking at a magazine, causing a crash, they would be considered the negligent party. The at-fault driver had a duty to ensure their actions did not bring harm to others on the road and failed to do so.
The Top Three Causes Of A Crash
Time and time again we have helped clients whose crashed were caused by:
There many ways that the driver of another motorcycle, car, or bus can be negligent. This typically includes:
- Distracted driving – texting, talking on the phone, reading, applying makeup, and talking to passengers are all forms of distraction.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Poorly Maintained Roadway
State and local governments are responsible for creating and maintaining all public roads. This process often includes the assistance of engineers, construction experts, and those who perform speed surveys in the area.
In past cases, we have found that our clients were injured due to:
- pooling water on the road due to insufficient drainage
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
Whatever the cause, if a hazard or poor design of a roadway led to the accident, then the party responsible can be held liable for the injuries sustained by the biker or the death of the biker.
We all want to trust that when we buy a product, the designer, manufacturer, seller, and even the mechanic who worked on it has our best interests at heart. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen and the very machine that you think will give you the freedom of the road may cause so much harm that you are forced to never ride again.
Ok, So Why Does This Matter If I Have Insurance?
You might have been saying to yourself “Well, this is why I have insurance.” and that is true. Insurance for motorcycle riders is required by law so that if an injury or fatality occurs, coverage is provided. However, every policy has its limits and once that limit has been reached, the insurance company stops paying. Take this into consideration – in Pennsylvania, bikers are required to have a minimum coverage of $15,000 for bodily injury, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage. But how does that compare to typical medical expenses?
Due to the very nature of the motorcycle, it’s no secret that if a rider is in an accident, they have very little to protect them from harm. Even a minor accident can leave a victim with:
- broken bones
- severe “road rash”
- crush injuries that damage internal organs
- brain damage
- spinal damage
Each of these injuries will require multiple doctors visits, pain medications, antibiotics, possible surgery, skin grafts, physical therapy, and x-rays. One broken bone can leave a victim with an average of $30,000 in medical expenses – nearly double the coverage offered by insurance minimums.
Add in additional injuries and injuries that are much more severe and a victim may be saddled with hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in medical bills. This is why it is always important that you contact an attorney as quickly as possible following a motorcycle accident.
Is An Attorney Really Necessary?
In the majority of motorcycle accidents, the only way that the victim is able to get the full compensation that they need is by working with an experienced personal injury attorney. While it is possible to pursue legal action on your own it’s important to remember that personal injury law is intricate and detailed. Our team has dedicated their careers to the study of this type of law and we have helped thousands of clients get the compensation they deserve. In addition to this, we take great pride in keeping open lines of communication and we always guarantee the most affordable fees. You can rest easy knowing that your fight is our fight.