Motorcycle awareness campaigns strive to reduce the number of accidents that occur across the nation each year. Accidents involving motorcycles are still very common despite the awareness effort. People injured in motorcycle accidents can receive compensatory damages or settlement agreements, but there are a number of circumstances that can affect the outcome of a motorcycle personal injury claim.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Traffic and safety laws in many jurisdictions require motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Passenger helmet laws may also exist. The failure to wear a helmet can stop operators and passengers from receiving compensation in a claim or lawsuit. This is especially true when the injuries suffered involve the head or neck.
Studies support the argument that a helmet can significantly reduce the seriousness of head and neck injuries. Motorcycle deaths are less common when helmets are worn. Insurance claims adjusters and defense attorneys rely on these studies when arguing personal injury claims. Even if your accident happens in an area where helmet laws don’t exist, failing to wear a helmet can still have a big impact on your claim or lawsuit.
While you may not be able to recover damages for a head or neck injury if you weren’t wearing a helmet, you may still be able to receive compensation for other injuries.
Although a lot of states have no formal laws about lane splitting, police, insurance companies, claims adjusters, and others usually consider lane splitting activity as unnecessarily risky or outright negligent activity. This means lane splitting is something that can make an accident your fault, even if the other driver wasn’t diligent in observing traffic or operating his or her own vehicle.
Police reports play a big role in personal injury claims, and police are often intolerant of lane splitting, even if no laws exist against it. They may record the lane splitting activity as negligent. This, in turn, may make it fairly simple for a claims adjuster or attorney to argue you were at fault for your own injuries as well as any injuries others suffer in an accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Although accidents involving motorcycles are no more common than any other kind of motor vehicle accident, they are more likely to result in very serious injuries and deaths. Any number of factors influence accidents, but there are clear statistics about serious incidents, including motorcyclists hit when they are:
- making left hand turns
- passing another vehicle
- lane splitting
Not all safety hazards and accident causes involve other motorists. Motorcyclists are more likely to have single vehicle accidents due to:
- road conditions
- weather factors
- fixes obstacles, like guard rails and mediums
Motorcycles are lighter in weight. Drivers and passengers are not enclosed within a framed vehicle. These facts make it easier for the motorcycle to be thrown off balance and for the driver or passenger to be ejected and seriously injured.
Inattentive drivers that are not on the lookout for motorcycles are only one potential cause of accidents.
- Motorcyclists must be aware of their increased risk for accidents under particular circumstances.
- They must never take their own health and safety or the health and safety of other for granted.
- Speeding, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and generally being inattentive while operating a motorcycle can all result in accidents and serious injuries for:
- the driver,
- his or her passenger,
- and other drivers.
- Wearing a helmet significantly decreased the risk of death and serious head and neck injuries.
- Motorcyclists must mindfully observe other drivers and traffic and road conditions.
- Like any other driver, they must always be aware of their surroundings.
How a Lawyer can Help with a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Some motorcycle accident claims may go smoothly, without the other driver or his or her insurance company fighting a reasonable demand for compensation. Others may be more difficult to win, especially if police reports or witness statements make it appear as though the motorcyclist was entirely at fault for the accident.
An attorney familiar with motorcycle accident claims understands the strategies for getting compensation even when a motorcyclist may be partially at fault. He or she may also be able to help you win a claim for injuries even when lane splitting is frowned upon by local law enforcement or when helmet studies are introduced by claims adjustors or attorneys.