Motorcycle riders are put at greater risk than their counterparts who drive automobiles. When a motorcycle accident occurs, the person on the motorcycle is likely to suffer far more than someone in a car. Still, simply being on a motorcycle does not eliminate you from being placed at fault in a motorcycle accident.
Aside from physical and operational safety, you should also protect yourself against the insurer if an accident occurs. The need for representation of an experienced injury lawyer is important to ensure you are being treated fairly by insurers. Insurance companies are indeed businesses.
As we know, most businesses have their bottom lines in their best interest. They are looking to protect themselves. You should do the same by contacting Gatti, Keltner, Bievenu & Montesi PLC.
Are Motorcyclists at a Greater Risk for Serious Injury Accidents than Motorists?
According to statistics, they are. Motorcycle accidents have a 60% greater injury or death rate than car accidents. Motorcyclists aged 40 and over are greater than twenty times more likely to sustain severe injuries during an accident than their motorist peers.
Unlike car accidents, motorcycle accidents commonly end in seriously severe injury or fatalities. Due to there being fewer motorcycles on the roadways than cars, it may seem as though motorcycles are involved in fewer fatal crashes. However, that is a misconception.
In fact, the numbers speak for themselves. There is a 13 out of 100,000 ratio for fatal car crashes ending in fatalities, while the ratio for motorcycle crashes resulting in fatalities is 72 out of 100,000.
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What Factors Commonly Lead to Motorcycle Accidents?
It is no secret that motorcyclists may be unfairly judged. Common stereotypes plaguing motorcyclists include the need for speed types that do not obey the rules of the road and often go well over the speed limit. There are also young and careless riders in the same category.
Those who party and drive drunk with the mentality of invincibility are also included. Though, these are stereotypes and shouldn’t be viewed as facts. It has been found that the average motorcyclists are middle-aged males rather than younger people.
While Alcohol contributes to more than half of traffic fatalities, it was not found to be specific to motorcyclists. The following were found to be common factors leading to motorcycle accidents:
- Regarding Motorcyclist’s
- Diverted attention while driving
- Breaking in a panic unnecessarily
- Failure to wear reflective or high visibility gear
- Poor road conditions (gravel, oil, debris)
- Failing to significantly lower speed when taking corners
- Regarding Motorist’s
- Rear-ending motorcyclist’s
- Unawareness of motorcyclist’s presence
- Improperly merging in front of motorcyclists
- Improper left turns in front of motorcyclists
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What Should You Do After Being Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
Much like an auto accident, there are specific steps that should be taken after being involved in a motorcycle accident. You will want to ensure you cover all your bases. Some things are dependent on your condition and who is at fault.
However, there are some key things that should happen immediately after you have been involved in a motorcycle accident regardless of other factors:
- Call 911 to report the accident and request emergency assistance if anyone has sustained injuries.
- Take note of the specifics of the accident so that you can give details to the police, your insurance company, and your injury lawyer if attaining one.
- Contact your insurance company to alert them of the accident.
- Contact a reputable law firm to seek legal counsel.
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How Will Fault Be Determined in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Determining fault in motorcycle accidents is a lot like that determining the same for automobile accidents. Similar to automobile accidents, with motorcycle accidents, insurance companies use evidence to identify who’s at fault. The insurance company will take many factors into account when attempting to determine fault, such as:
- Was speeding involved
- Did someone fail to yield
- Was tailgating a factor
- Were road conditions ignored
- Was the driver distracted
The unfortunate reality for motorcyclists is they may be blamed for the accident by the insurer. Motorcycle accidents may often result in high-cost damages. These damages could be the result of severe bodily injuries such as neck injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, and even disfigurement.
These injuries lead to the need for emergency services which incur medical expenses, hospitalizations, and even rehabilitation. A motorcyclist who is said to be at fault for the accident is at risk of not being able to collect all or any compensation for their injuries.
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Should You Speak to Someone Else’s Insurance After an Accident?
The insurance company always has its own best interest as a top priority. Their best interest is to retain as much of their money as they can. This leaves you subjected to being targeted and possibly led to say things that could hurt your case.
You should refrain from speaking to the insurance company yourself. It may seem like a completely viable thing to explain the accident as you recall, right? No, the insurance company may use your words as evidence strategically against you to benefit themselves.
They may even coerce you into settling prematurely or without consulting legal representation. Doing this may result in you not receiving what is rightfully due to you as a result of the accident. No matter how harmless or helpful they may seem, they are their own top priority.
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How do I Protect Myself as a Motorcyclist?
If you are a motorcyclist, the first step to protecting yourself is to be aware of the risks involved with operating your motorcycle on the road. Of course, the awareness alone will not be much use. You must combine that awareness with action.
Wear a helmet at all times when operating your motorcycle. This seems like the most obvious and easiest step in protecting yourself. However, unlike seat belt laws that protect motorists, there is no law requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet.
This is solely a personal decision. The percentage of motorcyclists who wear helmets for their own protection is far below 100%, at just over 60%. Aside from wearing helmets for protection, be sure that you are wearing other protective gear such as long sleeves, pants, boots, gloves, jacket, and protective eyewear.
Speak to Experienced Legal Counsel About Your Case
You do not want to get trapped into saying something that gives the insurance companies the leverage they need to claim that you were at fault in an accident. To protect yourself and your right to compensation, collaborate with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will help you determine fault and prove that you were minimally responsible for the accident.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in your area, contact Gatti, Keltner, Bievenu & Montesi PLC.