When it comes to getting around, motorcycles have several advantages over cars. They are more fuel-efficient, less expensive to repair, and easier to park. But motorcycles are not just a mode of transportation. For millions of Americans, motorcycle-riding is also a fun leisure activity; for some, it is a lifestyle.
Motorcycles do have some inherent risks, however. They offer very little protection in an accident. Appropriate riding gear like helmets, jackets, and gloves can minimize a rider’s injuries, but it should come as no surprise that in a collision between a motorcycle and a car, the motorcycle usually loses.
How Common Are Motorcycle Injuries?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there are 5,000 motorcycle-related fatalities each year and 103,000 injuries. Although motorcyclists are often perceived as being reckless, many, if not most, of these accidents are not the motorcyclist’s fault.
Even an experienced motorcyclist taking all possible precautions can’t prevent accidents caused by drunk, distracted, or overly aggressive drivers.
Additionally, while most drivers are very familiar with how cars handle, they know next to nothing about a motorcycle’s stopping distance, maneuverability, and ability to avoid road hazards.
Drivers are used to looking out for car-sized obstacles, not motorcycle-sized ones. It’s easy for a motorcyclist to slip into a driver’s blind spot, especially if the driver is using a cell phone, changing the radio station, or talking to a passenger. Even if a driver does see a motorcycle, he might fail to notice it or might misjudge its speed.
Damages in Motorcycle Injury Cases
Motorcycle accident victims can face lengthy hospital stays and weeks or months of physical therapy. Motorcycles are often totaled in accidents and can be costly to replace. If you can show that someone caused your accident because of their negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Poorly maintained roads and mechanical failures are two other possible causes of motorcycle collisions that are beyond a rider’s control. Cities or counties can be held liable for roads that are unsafe due to potholes or inadequate signage. Your motorcycle’s manufacturer may be responsible for product defects, or the garage that serviced your motorcycle could be held accountable for faulty repairs.
Don’t talk to the insurance adjuster without first consulting with an experienced Vancouver motorcycle injury lawyer. The things you say could be used against you later, and your eagerness to settle can result in you receiving less than your case is worth.