Many motorcycle riders enjoy the freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle instead of a car. Other motorcycle riders appreciate the cost savings, fuel economy, and ability to drive through traffic while car drivers are sitting at a complete stop. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are also more prone to serious injury if they are involved in an accident. A serious motorcycle accident can leave the rider with expensive medical bills, lost wages, and costly motorcycle repairs.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many causes of motorcycle accidents. About half of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, while the rest of motorcycle accidents don't involve another vehicle. Single motorcycle accidents can be caused by failure to control speed, dangerous road conditions, a defective part or product, or impaired riding.
Riders between the ages of 21 and 49 are more likely to be involved in accidents. Nine out of ten accidents involve male riders. Three-quarters of passengers injured in an accident were female. Motorcycle accidents occur more often in urban areas, and around Baltimore and Washington DC. Four out of ten motorcycle riders killed in an accident had alcohol in their systems.
According to the MVA, when in a crash involving a car and a motorcycle, the car driver is more likely to be at fault for causing the accident. Every motorcyclist has routinely experienced a driver merging into their lane without looking, cutting them off, pulling out in front of the motorcycle, and swerving too close. Motorcycles are smaller than cars, which also makes it harder for drivers to see them, and judge their speed and distance.
Many cars that cause an accident with a motorcycle are driven by someone who is intoxicated, drowsy, or distracted by their phone, a map, or otherwise not looking at the road. However, many drivers are just careless when driving down the road, not taking the time to look for motorcycles, changing lanes without a signal, or not thinking about how vulnerable a motorcycle is compared to a car.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), every year, an average of 70 motorcyclists are killed in traffic accidents. Another 1,400 riders and passengers are injured in motorcycle crashes. The only safety feature available for most motorcycles riders is a helmet. A helmet can help protect the wearer's head or neck, and reduces the likelihood of serious injury or death. Other riders equip themselves with boots, gloves, or protective jackets and pants.
While motorcycles have the same rights and requirements as drivers on the road, they are much more likely to be injured in an accident. A motorcyclist is six times more likely to be injured than a car driver in an accident. When a motorcyclist is struck by a driver, they can fly off their motorcycle at high speeds, hitting the ground, a stationary object, or land in the middle of oncoming traffic. Motorcyclists can also be run over by the vehicle, or pinned underneath a car.
Serious motorcycle accidents can result in acute trauma. This includes injuries to the head, abdomen, neck, spine, back, and upper and lower extremities. Accidents can also include abrasions, “road rash,” lacerations, and broken bones.
Even a low-speed accident can result in serious injuries. When a car simply bumps a motorcycle, causing the rider to lose balance, they can fall over, resulting in a sudden jerking motion to their neck or back. The rider may not notice any serious injury at the time, but a couple of days later they may realize the extent of their injury. Neck and back injuries can manifest after the accident with headaches, neck or back pain, or tingling in the extremities.
Motorcycle Injury Lawsuits
Many motorcycle accidents require emergency medical treatment, hospital stays, surgery, and include long-term medical care. Medical costs can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Filing a civil lawsuit allows an injured motorcyclist to seek monetary damages for their medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. The person who caused the accident should be held responsible for the damage they caused.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you should talk to an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer because a driver caused your accident. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.