When a vehicle hits a pedestrian it can be a traumatic experience both physically and emotionally, regardless of what type of vehicle was involved.
Even though motorcycles are smaller and lighter than most cars, they tend to travel at higher speeds and still have quite a bit of weight behind them, with the average motorcycle weighing between 500 and 1,000 pounds.
This means that a pedestrian who is hit by a motorcycle when walking may incur just as much injury as those who are hit by cars, and the recovery process and medical expenses are very similar. A pedestrian who has been hit by a motorcycle can find themselves facing a long recovery process with lost wages and mounting medical bills, adding severe financial strain to an already difficult situation.
Injuries Commonly Suffered by Pedestrians Who Are Hit by a Motorcycle While Walking
The injuries suffered by pedestrians who are hit by motorcycles while walking are similar in nature to the injuries one would face when being hit by any other vehicle. Oftentimes bones will be fractured or broken. Bruising and abrasions are very common as well. In severe cases, concussions and swelling of the brain may occur. Some accidents may even result in spinal cord injuries and other internal injuries.
When a pedestrian is hit by a motorcycle while walking, it is very important to determine fault. This is due to the fact that who is at fault will significantly impact the outcome of the situation.
If the pedestrian is at fault, for example: running into traffic in front of the motorcycle, the pedestrian will be responsible for his or her own medical expenses and may even be responsible for any damages the driver of the motorcycle may have suffered.
If, however, the driver of the motorcycle was at fault, such as running into a pedestrian who had the right of way in a crosswalk, then the motorcycle driver would be responsible for damages suffered by the pedestrian such as lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
What Damages Am I Entitled If Hit By a Motorcycle?
If you were hit by a motorcycle and you successfully win the claim, you will be entitled to damages that will compensate you fairly for your injuries. You may be awarded compensatory damages, which help compensate for losses that include medical bills, any lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you were by by a motorcycle and the driver was found to be at fault, you could be awarded punitive damages, which are damages that are intended to punish the defendant. You may be able to receive punitive damages on top of your compensatory damages.
The exact dollar amount that you could receive if you were hit by a motorcycle depends on the situation at hand. By working with a personal injury lawyer, he or she will be able to calculate and advise you on the types of damages and the exact amount that you could be entitled to receive.
Evidence to Gather
If you were hit by a motorcycle as a pedestrian, you were probably injured, possibly seriously. You will be facing significant medical bills and will need time off work for treatment and to recover. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim against the motorcycle rider, you will need evidence to prove that the rider was at fault and not you.
At the scene of the accident, you may be able to be pro-active about a future claim and obtain as much evidence as your injuries allow. Of course, if you were badly injured you may not be able to anything at all until an ambulance arrives.
Important evidence could take the form of some or any of the following:
- Photos taken of the place where the motorcycle hit you, e.g. if it mounted a sidewalk or pedestrian crossing. There may be tire marks showing the motorcycle track which can help prove that it hit you off the road. Also, take photos of any injuries that you received.
- Eye witness statements. Any people who saw the accident happen and are prepared to make statements describing what they saw are some of the best sources of evidence to support your claim.
- If you were hit by the motorcycle in a busy part of a city, there may be security cameras nearby that could provide footage of the incident. Make a note of the date and time as your attorney if you use one may be able to arrange for a viewing of the footage.
- Police would normally attend any accident that involved an injury. They will compile an accident report describing what they have seen at the crash scene. If the police report corroborates your account, then this could be compelling evidence to support your claim.
- Your doctor’s report about your injuries and the treatment recommended. You will need all reports from medical personnel about your injury and treatment.
- Evidence of all costs associated with your injury. This includes doctor’s consultation fees, X-rays, scans and tests, medication, hospital stays, use of an ambulance and confirmation from your employer to show loss of earnings during the time you were off work.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
If a loved one was killed by a motorcycle rider while walking and the deceased was a major breadwinner, you may be able to recover damages by filing a wrongful death claim against the motorcycle rider.
Wrongful death claims are allowed when a negligent act has led to the untimely death of a close relative. The plaintiff or plaintiffs must be closely related to the deceased and would normally have been dependent on them financially. Typical plaintiffs would be the surviving spouse, children and other dependents, such as aged parents.
Damages that could be claimed might include any or all of the following:
- Medical expenses for treatment of the accident victim before death if the person survived the actual accident but died later.
- Funeral expenses for the deceased.
- Possibly lost earnings of the deceased between the time of the accident and his / hr death.
- Loss of earnings suffered by the plaintiff(s) caused by the death of the relative. This may be extended to the expected date of retirement, depending on circumstances.
- Loss of consortium and enjoyment of life – only in some states.
It is important for the plaintiff(s) in a wrongful death claim to be clear about the damages claimed with supporting evidence. This is something that an experienced wrongful death attorney can help you with.
Filing a Claim against a Motorcycle Driver
To file a claim against a motorcycle driver you will need his or her name and contact information as well as his or her insurance information. You will need to contact the driver’s insurance company to report the accident and file a claim, but before doing so you should ensure that you have enough evidence to prove who was at fault and the extent of your damages. In this regard, you may want to consider retaining an attorney to help you with your claim.
An attorney will know what evidence you will need to prove fault and hold the driver responsible for your damages. He or she will also know what damages you are entitled to including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you work directly with the insurance company, it is not necessarily in their best interests to disclose all of the damages you may be able to seek. Working with an attorney, however, will ensure that you are able to seek all damages that you have a right to after being hit by a motorcycle while walking.