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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

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What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents occur as frequently as any other vehicle accidents. But the degree of injury may be more severe because motorcycles are fast vehicles that do not necessarily provide the most protection. By being aware of the common causes of motorcycle accidents, you may prevent them or even seek recourse after being injured. The following are the common causes of motorcycle accidents: 

  • Head-on Collisions: when a car and a motorcycle crashes front-to-front against each other. Due to the nature of the collision, it often results in fatalities. As a result, the family members of the victim may sue for wrongful death in those incidents.
  • Left Turn Accidents: when a car is attempting to make a left turn and hits the car going straight. Generally, the person who is making the left turn is at fault. But if the person who is going straight was speeding or doing some other dangerous activity, then the person turning may be less at fault.
  • Lane Splitting: when a motorcycle drives in between two lanes. When an accident occurs, fault will be determined by whether lane splitting is permissible in that state.
  • Speeding and DUI: like cars, motorcyclists are not allowed to speed and drive under the influence. When they do get into speeding accidents, fatalities are more likely to occur than when cars get into accidents.
  • Road Hazards: motorcyclists can get into accidents when there are potholes, uneven lanes, or even when there are objects on the road. When such occurs, the city may be responsible for your injuries. This depends on whether the city has notice of the hazardous condition and whether they took any actions to prevent it.

Can I File a Lawsuit If Another Rider Caused My Injuries?

Yes. A plaintiff may file a negligence claim against another rider who they believed caused their injuries. Negligence is the theory of exercising care an ordinary person would under similar or same circumstances. In other words, if the reckless rider engaged in risky behavior on a bike, and that risky behavior led to the accident, then the rider would be liable for the accident.

What If I Have Been Involved in a Motorcycle Crash?

A motorcycle crash is often much different than a typical car accident. Because the motorcycle driver is exposed, and often driving at high speeds, motorcycle crashes can involve very serious injuries to the driver. 

Here are some points of advice if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident:

  • File a report with the police: You should report the incident to the police. The police report can be used for evidence in case you need to file a lawsuit.
  • Gather information from witnesses and any parties involved: Make sure you record important information such as driver’s licenses, plate numbers, and contact information from other drivers and any witnesses to the crash
  • Keep records of hospital expenses and costs: If you’ve been treated for injuries, be sure to keep records and receipts from your hospital visits. You should also keep records of any lost wages you experienced due to the injuries.
  • Make a written account of what happened: It helps to record in writing what you believe happened before, during, and after the accident. You should do this early after the accident, while you can still remember all the smaller details

Taking these steps can help you when dealing with insurance companies, and if you will be filing for relief in a civil court of law.

How is Liability Determined in a Motorcycle Crash?

In a motorcycle crash, the court may examine many different factors to determine who is liable for the accident and the resulting injuries. These factors may include:

  • Whether the parties were following traffic rules
  • Weather conditions
  • Photographs and videotape of the event
  • Conditions of the vehicles involved
  • Whether the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet
  • Past histories of reckless driving, if any
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Physical evidence, such as skid marks or broken pieces of the vehicle left on the road

You should note that there may be slight differences between the words “accident” and “crash”. The word “accident” or “collision” usually implies that more than one vehicle is involved in the injuries. On the other hand, the word “crash” may mean that only one driver was involved. 

What Type of Recovery is Available for Motorcycle Crash Claims?

In many cases, recovery for motorcycle is usually processed through insurance claims. This is especially true where no other cars were involved, for example if the driver skidded and fell. 

However, for injuries caused by a collision between a motorcycle and another car, the motorcyclist may have sustained serious injuries. For these types of claims, the motorcyclist may be able to file a lawsuit with the court in order to recover damages for their injuries. 

The monetary damages award may cover expenses like hospital bills, attorney’s fees, court costs, lost wages, and loss of future income. The amount of recovery will of course depend on the nature of the crash, as well as state laws. 

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Yes, a personal injury lawyer can help you when you are involved in a motorcycle accident. He can go over your rights and potential legal claims. Even simpler claims require the expert knowledge of an attorney. Motorcycle laws can vary widely from state to state, so it’s in your best interests to hire a lawyer for advice on motorcycle laws. Your lawyer can instruct you on how to proceed and can represent you throughout the process.

Photo of page author Ki Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 10-04-2017 02:50 PM PDT

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