Driving a motorcycle presents unique challenges to the driver. With over 8 million Americans owning motorcycles, motorcycle accidents tend to be worse than car accidents and even more complicated when making financial claims. Not to worry, though, in this comprehensive guide of personal injury lawsuits, we offer insight on what to do after a motorcycle accident.
If you have suffered from injuries after a motorcycle accident, you will need to claim financial compensation to pay for medical expenses. However, as we said, motorcycle accidents present unique challenges. Most people usually stereotype motorcyclists as careless drivers, and you may find that insurance companies typically offer a lower amount to the plaintiff. That’s is why it is essential to find an attorney experienced in motorcycle accidents from https://reeplaw.com/motorcycle-accidents/.
Common injuries experienced after a motorcycle accident
Motorcycle accidents are riskier because of the lack of coverage and minimal protection you have on your bike. The NHTSA has reported that people on motorcycles are likely to suffer fatalities 29 more times than in car accidents.
Several reasons can contribute to motorcycle accidents. They are the size of your bike or the vehicle and the speed both drivers were traveling at. While you may recover from some injuries, other injuries are severe and may require hospitalization. Let us look at the common motorcycle injuries.
Lower extremities injuries – NTHSA says this is the most common type of motorcycle injury. It’s usually extreme injuries found below the waist. During the impact of an accident, your legs and the pelvis area may experience the most because they are exposed. In severe lower extremity injury may result in temporary or permanent disability.
Upper extremities injuries – this is the second common type of motorcycle accident injury. It involves injuries to the face, head, neck, abdomen, hands, or thorax.
Injuries a person can suffer during a collision with a car are;
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken or amputated limbs
- Broken ribs
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Facial disfigurement
- And the worst of all, death
Personal injury lawsuits that apply to motorcyclists
Generally, if you drive a motorcycle, you must adhere to the same rules as other drivers with cars do. You all have the same privileges as drivers of vehicles together with the same legal obligations such as following road rules, checking speed limits, and all traffic signs. However, some special laws only apply to motorcyclists;
1. You must own a special motorcycle license
To be deemed legal to drive a motorcycle, you must obtain a motorcycle license. You will undergo a training class to learn the basics of driving the bike and take other practical and written tests.
Ensure before you get on a motorcycle, you have your license. Surprisingly there are motorcycle riders who are not aware of this requirement. Even if you have your driver’s license if found riding a bike without proper documentation, you will receive a citation. If you are involved in an accident and lack a license, it might jeopardize your case.
Requirements for getting a motorcycle driving license varies from state to state, so ensure you check the requirements for the state you are in to apply for the license.
2. You have to wear a helmet
Only 19 states, including Georgia, California, and New York, require motorcyclists to wear helmets when riding. Most other states have partial law on the requirement of wearing helmets, which primarily applies to young riders and minors. Iowa, New Hampshire, and Illinois are the only states with no helmet laws.
Besides the helmet, motorcyclists must wear additional safety apparel when on the road, such as eyewear and padded clothing, and equip their motorcycles with safety lamps, reflectors, turn signals, and features to accommodate passengers.
3. Lane splitting
Lane splitting means riding your motorcycle between two lanes in traffic. In the USA, lane splitting is illegal in all states except California. Recently in Utah, they have passed a law allowing lane filtering. This means a rider can pass between lanes of stopped cars to get to the intersection.
You can sue if you are a motorcyclist and are injured by another driver’s negligence during lane filtering in Utah or lane splitting in California.
Who is liable during a motorcycle accident?
Anyone can be held liable for a motorcycle accident, depending on the circumstances. The obvious one who may be held liable is the other driver. If a driver of another car caused you to harm in an accident, your best recourse is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Motorcyclists are also more prone to suffer from road design flaws and maintenance issues more than vehicle drivers. For example, the road has potholes, uneven surfaces, debris, missing lights and signals, blind spots, missing or faulty guardrail, and any other issues. State agencies such as local governments are responsible for ensuring safer roads and eliminating as many of these risks as possible. If an accident happens on a poorly designed or maintained road, you are entitled to sue the agency responsible for maintaining and designing that road.
The statute of limitations for suing government agencies is six months. It may also be hard to claim from these agencies because they are protected under the Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity. Ensure you get advice from a lawyer if you wish to file a claim against state agencies.
Finally, if flaws in the motorcycle itself caused the accident, your lawsuit will fall under a product liability lawsuit. This type of lawsuit has a different set of regulations and legal precedents from previous cases.
Your product liability suit may fall under two categories; design flaws, which means the motorcycle was manufactured as ordered but poorly designed, or manufacturing flaws, which means the problem lies with how the motorcycle was assembled.
If you or your loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident and the case includes any of the parties mentioned, find an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to file the personal Injury lawsuits for you to include all the relevant parties.