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Motorcycle accidents have unique risks that are less prevalent in many other forms of vehicle wrecks. Because riders are more exposed to collision forces and impacts, they may be more likely to sustain severe injuries. Here are some of the facts behind motorcycle accidents and tips on how to cope with their aftermath.
The comparative dangers of riding a motorcycle instead of occupying a passenger vehicle are well known. In 2014, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to experience fatal crashes per mile traveled, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports.
What causes the heightened risk rate for bikers? There are a number of important factors, including:
Many other circumstances impact the likelihood and severity of motorcycle accidents. For instance, riding with passengers can significantly change the way motorcycles handle. State governments recommend even experienced riders refrain from carrying passengers on new motorcycles that they're unaccustomed to. Gusts of wind created by passing trucks can suddenly move riders in unexpected lateral directions. Motorcycle operators need to maintain constant awareness of numerous factors to stay safe.
Motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles may involve negligence if motorists didn't do their due diligence to avoid the collision. As with other accidents, however, court decisions rely on verifiable proof.
The details and records associated with motorcycle wrecks can be used to determine who was at fault. For instance, if a motorist drifts into oncoming traffic and hits a biker, they may be deemed negligent because they were in a place they shouldn't have been. If their swerve was the result of another accident or mechanical failures, however, they might not be held responsible. The outcome of each case will depend on the facts and evidence of the accident.
Courts can also hold motorcycle riders and other injured victims partially responsible for collisions. A biker who drove at reckless speeds might receive a reduced damage judgment even after proving that another motorist failed to react to their presence in time to prevent an impact.
It may not be enough for plaintiffs to gather evidence to support their arguments. They may also need to establish the facts of their cases in a manner that disproves other possibilities.
Motorcycles with defective or unreasonably dangerous designs may place drivers at higher accident risk. Manufacturers like Harley-Davidson have been sued over the alleged tendency for some of their bikes to wobble. A Texas man filed a suit against Yamaha after experiencing a paralyzing accident that he believed was caused by a defective throttle mechanism. Even though these kinds of accidents aren't caused by motorists or riders, courts can decide in favor of victims who file defective products lawsuits against manufacturers.
Surviving a motorcycle crash is a life-changing event. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help determine the next steps in filing legal actions and seeking compensation.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified motorcycle accident lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.