At What Speed Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
Motorcycle accidents can occur at any speed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a study showing that only one out of 1000 motorcycle crashes occurred at high speed. The average speed at the time of the collision was actually only 21.5 mph, and the pre-crash speed average was just under 30 mph. This tells you that a motorcycle does not have to travel at high speed to cause an accident. Regardless of the low average rates, motorcycle accidents often result in the most severe or deadly injuries among auto accident cases. If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by negligence, you could file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation for your losses.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The causes of motorcycle accidents vary significantly, and speeding is among the top. Even with the required safety gear, a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than other drivers on the road. When someone chooses to drive above the speed limit, they violate the law and the duty of care they owe the other drivers. Additionally, when a car traveling at high speed cannot stop in time and hits someone on a motorcycle, the risk of deadly injury to the motorcyclists is exponentially increased.
Sometimes multiple factors can collide to result in an accident, but overall, some causes are more common than others. They include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and other substances can inhibit a person’s ability to remain alert and alter their judgment. It is also a criminal offense. If the at-fault party in your accident was intoxicated at the time of the crash, they could simultaneously face criminal charges and a civil lawsuit.
- Cars making left-hand turns. Nearly half of all motorcycle accidents result from cars making improper left-hand turns. This type of collision typically occurs when a motorcycle goes straight through an intersection or attempts to pass a vehicle. Motorcycles are less visible than cars, making them easy accidental targets during a left-hand turn.
- Road hazards. Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards, such as debris or objects falling from vehicles or poorly maintained road conditions.
- Lane splitting. When a motorcyclist drives between two vehicles in parallel lanes, it is lane splitting. This practice is illegal in many states and dangerous given the proximity to the cars and low visibility.
- Defective motorcycle parts. A surprising number of motorcycle accidents result from faulty parts on the vehicle. If your accident was the result of your motorcycle failing while in operation, you may have cause to file a product liability case and hold the designer, manufacturer, or distributor responsible.
Sometimes there are environmental factors that can cause an accident. For example, inclement weather can cause rain, snow, and ice, and slick pavement is dangerous for any vehicle. Combined with speeding or driving under the influence, it can cause serious accidents and injuries.
What Are the Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents?
Even low-speed motorcycle accidents can result in some of the worst injuries that accumulate significant financial losses due to medical treatment and lost income. Some common examples of motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury occurs when something suddenly impacts the head, injuring the brain. TBIs range from minor concussions to penetrating injuries, but any variation of a TBI can be deadly.
- Organ damage and internal bleeding. These injuries are among the most dangerous because they can go unnoticed until they cause significant internal damage.
- Broken or fractured bones. Given the vulnerability of a motorcyclist, suffering multiple broken bones in all areas of the body is very common.
- Crushing injuries. Because motorcycles are smaller than other types of vehicles, they can quickly become trapped under a car or between multiple vehicles.
- Whiplash. Even a minor accident can cause whiplash. It occurs when the abrupt impact of a crash causes the person’s head to move forward and backward forcefully, resulting in micro-tears of the soft tissue of the neck. It causes swelling, stiffness, and sometimes severe pain that can reoccur.
- Bruises and lacerations. Again, because motorcyclists are so vulnerable, they are more likely to suffer bruising and lacerations, sometimes life-threatening, in an accident.
- Back and spinal injuries. Back injuries can include broken vertebrae, sprained or strained muscles, and damage to the spinal cord. Injuries involving the spinal cord can result in paralysis or death.
Most of these injuries require considerable medical intervention. Many need multiple surgeries and long-term rehabilitative care for the patient to recover, and some will never result in a full recovery. All those medical costs are part of the claim for compensatory damages.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
Compensatory damages refer to the loss you incurred as a result of your accident. The economic losses include the cost of medical treatment, lost income from missed work, lost earning capacity, the cost of replacing damaged property, and any other expenses you covered out of your own pocket. For example, if you needed to make structural adjustments to your home to accommodate a wheelchair or other medical device, you could include those in your claim. Likewise, if you were the primary childcare provider in your home and had to pay for childcare, you could also claim that.
Additionally, you can claim non-economic damages. Without legal experience handling personal injury cases, you may not be aware that you can seek compensation for the psychological damage the accident and your injuries inflicted. For example, you can request payment for the pain and suffering you felt while healing. Any emotional repercussions, such as loss of the enjoyment of life, development of anxiety or depression, or mental anguish, are all potentially recoverable.
Your attorney will help you prove these losses. Acceptable evidence for economic damages includes medical bills, pay stubs, receipts for necessary property repairs, and tax returns. For non-economic losses, your attorney may ask you to provide a written statement detailing how your injuries negatively affected your life. They may also ask your friends and family to give testimonies regarding changes they have noticed in you since the accident.
Why Should You Schedule a Consultation With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Suppose you are facing substantial damages as a result of injuries from a motorcycle accident. In that case, a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to start redirecting your life. At Mike Morse Law Firm, our legal team values our clients and commits to providing them with unmatched support and service. During your free consultation, we will discuss some of the tasks we handle for you, including:
- Filing all your paperwork
- Collecting evidence for your claim by investigating your accident
- Conducting depositions and interviews during the discovery phase
- Advising you of your legal rights throughout the lawsuit process
- Providing a professional, objective perspective to your case
- Enlisting the help of experts in fields related to your case
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company
- Accurately valuing your claim
Our job is to answer your questions and provide aggressive representation. If you have questions about your case, our skilled and compassionate attorneys are here to listen. Contact Mike Morse Law Firm today by calling 800-MIKE-WINS. You can also start a live chat or complete our online case evaluation form. We will get back to you right away about your free consultation.