Motorcycle Accidents & Liability: What You Should Know
20 March 2016
Motorcycles & Accidents
Arguably one of the most thrilling and liberating ways to enjoy the open road, motorcycles have become an increasingly popular alternative to automobiles as they offer riders the increased freedom and maneuverability that comes with two wheels. Motorcycle ownership in the United States has been steadily increasing since 1980 and as of 2012, there were approximately 9 million motorcycles registered in the United States.
The increased freedom that motorcycle riding allows, however, comes with considerable risk. With no cabin or other structure around the rider to serve as a barrier in the event of a collision, motorcycle riders are exposed to the full force of impacts. Although helmets and protective gear can lessen the severity of motorcycle accident injuries, motorcycle accidents are far more likely to result in death or serious injury than crashes where only automobiles are involved. Additionally, the increase in maneuverability afforded by the two-wheel setup also makes motorcycles much less stable than cars, making them more difficult to control––especially when ridden at high speeds. On top of this, their relatively small profile compared to cars can make a motorcycle more difficult for motorists to spot.
Here are a few things all drivers and motorcycle riders should know in the event that they are ever involved in an accident related to a motorcycle:
Motorcycle Accident Fatality Statistics
Riding a motorcycle continues to be one of the most dangerous forms of transportation in the United States. According to an estimate from the federal government in 2013, the number of deaths on motorcycles was 26 times higher per mile traveled than the number in automobiles. There were a total of 4,295 motorcyclist deaths in 2014, accounting for 13% of all deaths resulting from motor vehicle crashes.
Negligence & Determining Liability
It is the first and foremost responsibility of all motorists on the road to exercise care and caution to avoid injuring others or damaging their property. In most motor vehicle accident cases, including motorcycle accidents, liability is governed by the law of negligence. Whatever the type of vehicle involved, drivers shown to be acting in a negligent or careless manner are usually held liable in the event of an accident.
What To Do In A Motorcycle Accident
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of being involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you gather as many facts and details as possible. Locating witnesses, recording damages, and taking notes and photographs of the accident scene immediately can all provide valuable evidence in court to make sure you get as much––or pay as little––as possible.
How An Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you ever find yourself in an accident involving a motorcycle in Austin, it is important to get in contact with an accident lawyer as soon as possible. Insurance companies often like to hold motorcyclists at fault in these types of cases, and those involved in motorcycle accidents often have a harder time receiving the compensation they deserve. An experienced accident lawyer who fully understand the laws pertaining to personal injury and motor vehicle accidents to ensure that you are fully compensated for all medical bills, damages, and lost income.