Motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injuries, but the risk of suffering catastrophic harm is greater for a person riding a motorcycle than for someone in a car. Collisions involving cars and motorcycles can happen for numerous reasons, but some of the causes of motorcycle crashes are different than those of car accidents.
Causes of Motorcycle and Car Accidents
Some behaviors, such as speeding and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause crashes involving both motorcycles and cars. Other actions are more likely to cause either motorcycle or car accidents.
Distracted driving is a frequent cause of car accidents. Using a cellphone to talk or text while driving, changing the radio station, and reaching for an object on the floor or in the backseat can take a driver’s eyes off the road and can make it difficult for the driver to respond quickly to an unexpected danger.
Fatigue is a common reason for car accidents. Drivers who are making long journeys or returning home after work may doze off behind the wheel or unintentionally cross from one lane to another.
Aggressive driving is a common problem across the United States. Drivers who are frustrated and impatient may drive too close to others, run red lights, weave in and out of traffic, and take other actions that can lead to accidents.
Other scenarios are more specific to motorcycle accidents. For example, a large percentage of motorcycle crashes occur when a driver in a car is making a left-hand turn and collides with a motorcycle that is traveling straight or attempting to pass the car. A person in a car may not see a motorcycle since it is smaller than a car.
Lane splitting is a practice that is legal in some states and illegal in others. A person who is lane splitting drives a motorcycle between two rows of cars that are stopped at an intersection or caught in a traffic jam. That can lead to accidents because drivers in cars may not see a motorcycle. A collision may occur if a person in a car attempts to change lanes or make a turn, unaware that a motorcycle is nearby.
Motorcyclists are also more likely to collide with stationary objects, such as trees, fences, or signs, than drivers in cars. Hazards on the road such as sand, puddles, and potholes may have little or no effect on a car, but they can cause a driver on a motorcycle to lose control and crash.
Common Severe Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
A car is built with a strong metal structure for protection and is equipped with seatbelts and airbags. A motorcycle has none of those features. Riders, therefore, have little protection in the event of an accident.
When a motorcycle crash occurs, a driver and passenger have a higher risk of suffering severe and even fatal injuries than a driver or a passenger in a car. A helmet may prevent serious head trauma, but a person who is thrown from a motorcycle may still suffer other forms of harm, such as back injuries, organ damage, broken bones, cuts, road rash, lost limbs, and paralysis.
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm May Be Able to Help You
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented clients across the United States who suffered severe and debilitating injuries in motor vehicle crashes, including accidents involving motorcycles. We understand the circumstances that can lead to motorcycle collisions and the serious harm they can cause. If you were hurt in such an accident and the other motorist was at fault, we may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and secure a financial award to compensate you for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
You may be entitled to compensation even if you were partly at fault for the accident, depending on where you live. Several states have comparative negligence laws that let people who were hurt in accidents recover compensation if they share responsibility for their own injuries. Some states only allow victims to receive compensation if their amount of liability does not exceed a specific percentage, while others allow for compensation regardless of a victim’s amount of responsibility.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), most states have laws that require motorcycle riders to wear helmets, at least under certain circumstances. If you were hurt in an accident while you were not wearing a helmet, and if a helmet could have prevented or lessened the severity of your injuries, you may be eligible for a reduced financial award, depending on the laws in your state.
Connecting with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. If you do not meet your state’s deadline to file a lawsuit, you may lose your right to pursue compensation, even if you have a valid claim.
A member of our team can discuss the accident, your injuries, how the crash has affected and will continue to affect your life, and how we may be able to help you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 to speak with a member of our staff.