What You Need to Know: Motorcycle Accidents

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On June 4, 2023
Utah's best personal injury attorney

Motorcycle accidents are often associated with a higher risk of severe injuries and fatalities compared to other types of motor vehicle accidents. Understanding the risks involved and knowing how to seek compensation for your injuries is crucial. In this blog post, we will explore the various risks associated with motorcycle accidents and discuss the steps you can take to seek compensation and protect your rights.

The Unique Risks of Motorcycle Riding

Motorcycle riding presents unique risks due to the lack of physical protection and the vulnerability of riders. Here are some of the risks that motorcyclists should be aware of:

  1. Lack of Protection: Unlike cars or trucks, motorcycles lack the protective barriers of an enclosed vehicle. Motorcycles offer minimal physical protection, leaving riders exposed to direct impact in the event of an accident. This increases the risk of severe injuries in comparison to other motor vehicles.
  2. Reduced Visibility: Motorcycles are smaller and narrower than cars, making them less visible to other drivers on the road. This reduced visibility can lead to a higher risk of collisions, especially in situations where drivers may not anticipate the presence of a motorcycle. Factors such as blind spots, inclement weather conditions, and nighttime riding further exacerbate this risk.
  3. Road Hazards: Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards such as potholes, debris, uneven surfaces, or oil spills. These hazards can cause loss of control, skidding, or accidents, putting riders at a higher risk of injury.
  4. Inexperienced Riders: Inexperienced riders or those lacking proper training may be at a higher risk of accidents. Lack of familiarity with the dynamics of motorcycle handling, braking, and maneuvering can lead to errors and poor judgment, increasing the likelihood of collisions.
  5. Speed and Risky Behavior: Motorcycles can provide a sense of exhilaration and speed, but excessive speed and risky behavior greatly increase the chances of accidents. Speeding, weaving through traffic, aggressive lane splitting, or other reckless actions put riders at significant risk.

These are just a few of the many risks that motorcyclists face. Understanding these risks can help riders take necessary precautions and stay vigilant on the road.

Establishing Liability

Liability refers to the legal responsibility of one or more parties for the injuries, damages, and losses resulting from the accident. Determining liability is crucial in personal injury claims. It establishes who should be held accountable for the harm caused.

In motorcycle accidents, liability can be attributed to various parties involved. Here are some common scenarios where liability may arise:

  1. Negligent Drivers: Often, the negligence of other drivers is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicle, such as by speeding, distracted driving, failing to yield, or violating traffic laws, they may be considered liable for any resulting injuries to the motorcyclist.
  2. Road Defects: Poorly maintained roads or hazardous conditions can contribute to motorcycle accidents. This includes a road defect, such as potholes, uneven surfaces, inadequate signage, or improper road design. If this causes or contributes to an accident, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road may be held liable.
  3. Manufacturer or Supplier: If a defect in the motorcycle itself, such as faulty brakes, malfunctioning components, or defective tires, leads to an accident, the manufacturer or supplier of the motorcycle or its parts may be held liable for the injuries sustained.
  4. Third Parties: Liability can also extend to third parties. Such as a bar or restaurant that overserved alcohol to a visibly intoxicated motorist who later causes an accident with a motorcycle. In such cases, the third party may be held responsible under certain circumstances, such as when they knowingly served alcohol to someone who was already intoxicated.

Liability in motorcycle accidents can be complex, as multiple factors and parties may be involved. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents is crucial.

Understanding Damages

In motorcycle accidents, victims can suffer both economic and non-economic damages.

  1. Economic Damages:
    • Medical Expenses: This includes costs associated with emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, physical therapy, assistive devices, and ongoing medical treatment.
    • Lost Wages: If the accident causes injuries that prevent the victim from working, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes both past and future lost income and benefits.
    • Property Damage: Motorcycle damage and any damage to personal belongings, such as helmets, riding gear, or other accessories, may be included as economic damages.
    • Additional Expenses: Other financial losses resulting from the accident, such as transportation costs to medical appointments, home modifications for disability, or hiring household help during recovery, may be considered economic damages.
  2. Non-Economic Damages:
    • Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical and emotional pain, distress, and suffering experienced as a result of the accident and subsequent injuries. It includes both the immediate pain and the ongoing discomfort caused by the injuries.
    • Emotional Distress: Motorcycle accidents can have a significant emotional impact, resulting in anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other trauma. Compensation may be awarded for the emotional distress experienced by the victim.
    • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the injuries from the accident prevent the victim from participating in activities they previously enjoyed, such as hobbies, sports, or socializing, they may be entitled to compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
    • Disfigurement or Scarring: Severe injuries from motorcycle accidents can lead to permanent scarring or disfigurement. Compensation may be awarded to account for the physical and emotional impact of such visible changes to the victim’s appearance.
    • Loss of Consortium: The spouse or family members of the injured motorcyclist may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, support, or intimacy resulting from the accident and the injuries sustained.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Motorcycle accidents carry inherent risks, but understanding those risks and taking proactive steps can help mitigate potential dangers. If you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention, gather evidence, and consult with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney. By taking these steps and understanding your rights, you can effectively seek compensation for your injuries and protect your long-term well-being. Remember, safety should always be a priority while enjoying the thrill of motorcycle riding.

Seeking legal representation from an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can greatly enhance your chances of receiving fair compensation. They can help with navigating complex legal processes, negotiating with insurance companies, and building a strong case to protect your rights and maximize your compensation. Shane Gosdis is dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation call (385) 429-9960 or email s@gosdis.lawyer today.

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