If You are a Motorcycle Rider Who has been involved in an Accident, then You should Know Your Legal Rights
In 2012, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received reports of 4,957 fatal motorcycle accidents and 93,000 non-fatal ones; the total count of motorcycle accidents that same year was 112,000.
Analysis of motorcycle accidents has shown that the ones who often got involved in accidents were riders who never received formal riding education, but learned only from friends or kin. Thus, these riders may have learned how to balance and zigzag their way through traffic (through lane-splitting), but with regard to riding safely and properly observing traffic rules and signs (as well as knowing what traffic signs actually mean), how much they know is a big question.
Every year, the number of motorcycles on the road continuously increases. Unfortunately, with many riders not skilled enough to ride safely, this increase of motorcycle presence has given rise to the number of accidents too. A motorcycle accident can either be a single vehicle motorcycle accident or multiple vehicle accident.
Single vehicle motorcycle accident, which is the most common type of motorcycle crashes, involves no other motor vehicle besides the motorcyclist himself/herself. Its causes include riding with a high blood alcohol level, riding too fast during poor weather conditions or on poor road condition, and failing to brake and maneuver properly, especially when rounding a corner. Thus, motorcyclists losing their balance and crashing into road fixtures or asphalt, or being thrown off from their bikes are not uncommon sights.
Multiple motorcycle accidents, on the other hand, though less common, usually result to more serious injuries; most are fatal too. This type of accident involves another vehicle, such as a car or worse, a truck. Of this type of accident, the worst is head-on collision, which often occurs in undivided rural highways where one vehicle, either the motorbike or the other vehicle, ends up traveling on the wrong side of the road.
Most multiple-vehicle crashes are due to car drivers either failing to notice approaching motorcycles or drivers denying motorcycles the right of way – situations that put drivers at fault during accidents. However, despite actual accident cases that verify such situations, most drivers still put the blame on motorcycle riders, saying that riders often careen in and out of traffic, putting their own and other motorists’ lives at risk.
According to the law firm Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., “There are a wide range of different reasons that motorists may be attracted to motorcycles as an alternative to other forms of transportation, but the unfortunate reality is that motorcyclists face serious risks to their health and safety when sharing the road with cars. Whereas car accident victims have the added protections of certain safety features such as airbags and seat belts, the relative exposure of motorcycle riders and passengers means that the potential for catastrophic injuries or even death in the event of an accident is greatly increased.
Motorcycle accident victims are often forced to cope with serious challenges as a result of their injuries, and in many cases, it may be necessary to pursue legal action in order to recover the compensation needed to deal with these challenges. Fortunately, with the help of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer, many victims are able to get this compensation, allowing them to better deal with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.”