While the stereotype of a motorcyclist is a rugged, bearded man dressed in head-to-toe leather, we know that motorcyclists come in all shapes and sizes. Some are thrill-seekers, while others are simply looking for a way to save some money on gas. Either way, responsible motorcycle riders know how to operate their vehicles, wear helmets, and are cautious of the cars and trucks around them. Even when a rider does everything they’re supposed to, an accident can still happen—and serious injuries can be the result. If you’ve been harmed in a crash, you need a motorcycle accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices.
At Thomas Law Offices, our attorneys are fully-versed in motorcycle accident claims, and we’re prepared to take your case on next. We believe that injury victims should take advantage of their legal rights to file a personal injury claim. Doing so can not only provide compensation to manage injuries and losses, but it can also hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As with any accident, there are a number of factors that go into determining the cause of a motorcycle crash. Some of the most common causes of wrecks we see include speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving, unsafe lane changes, and dangerous road conditions.
When any vehicle speeds, the driver is at risk of losing control. If a car is out of control and strikes a motorcycle, the rider is likely to be thrown from their vehicle. The point of contact and force involved will affect how severe the injuries are.
Driving under the influence, whether it be drugs or alcohol, is illegal. Doing so is dangerous, as it involves impaired judgment and an inability to control the vehicle properly. Just like with speeding, a motorcyclist’s injuries will be based on what the other vehicle was doing at the moment of impact.
Both motorcyclists and drivers are guilty of unsafe lane changes. Motorcycle riders who weave in and out of traffic are at risk of colliding with vehicles, and drivers who fail to check their blind spots or recklessly change lanes may run a motorcyclist over.
Because of motorcycle only has two wheels, it’s easier to throw the vehicle off-balance. Unsafe road conditions can quickly cause a rider to lose control and get injured. Poor weather conditions involving rain, snow, sleet, ice, or fog can be dangerous, as well as poorly maintained roads with potholes and debris.
No matter the situation that caused your motorcycle accident, we’re here to provide you with solid legal representation. We will fight for you to obtain full compensation for your losses so you can put the accident behind you and move forward confidently.
Motorcycle Accidents and Severe Injuries
According to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2018. The injuries associated with motorcycle crashes are so fatal because of how exposed the rider is. Even when they are wearing the proper safety gear and a helmet, they are still severely exposed to their surroundings—especially when struck by a vehicle.
When injury victims or their family members come to us after a crash, the injuries they’re dealing with often include the following:
- Broken Bones. When a motorcyclist loses control, it’s likely the vehicle will tip over. When that happens, the arms or legs can get stuck under the bike in an unnatural position or crushed. As a result, the bones can break. While some broken bones can heal with just the use of setting and a cast, more severe breaks can require surgery and physical therapy.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. When the impact of a collision affects the spinal cord, a motorcyclist could become paralyzed. Paraplegia and quadriplegia are often permanent and can affect a person’s ability to work or retain independence.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries. Both helmeted and unhelmeted riders run the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an accident. Those who are helmeted, however, are more likely to survive.
- Internal Damage. The blunt-force trauma of a crash can cause damage to a person’s internal organs or internal bleeding. There’s also the risk of penetration injuries from broken glass or metal debris.
- Lower-extremity Injuries. Motorcyclists are more likely to sustain leg injuries than any other type of injury. Bone fractures and soft tissue injuries are possible. When an injury is beyond repair, amputation may be necessary.
Motorcycle Wrecks and Road Rash
While the injuries listed above are also likely to happen to a car accident victim, road rash is an injury that is more unique to motorcycle wrecks. When a portion of a motorcyclist’s skin is exposed and comes into contact with the pavement, gravel, or other road surfaces at a high speed, the area of the body may be scraped off.
There are three different degrees of road rash. First-degree road rash results in tender, red skin. The affected area can usually be cleaned and bandaged for it to heal properly. Second-degree road rash will involve more bleeding and broken skin, but it can usually be treated similarly to first-degree trauma. Third-degree road rash happens when each layer of skin has been penetrated, and the fat layers under the skin are affected. Medical attention is required immediately, as infection can set in quickly. Surgery or skin grafts may be needed to repair the area and scarring or disfigurement are likely.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims
As we mentioned earlier, accident victims have the right to file a claim to seek monetary recovery for their injuries and other losses. The claims process can be complex, and the other party may look for ways to blame you, especially since you were on a motorcycle. Our attorneys, however, understand what needs to be done to prove liability so we can value your claim and get you the money you need.
Determining Liability After a Wreck
It’s not always easy to figure out why a crash happened. Fortunately, our motorcycle accident attorneys have extensive experience investigating wrecks, as well as the resources to consult experts if needed.
When we start investigating your claim, we’ll look at what was happening in the moments leading up to your crash, during the incident, and after. Your lawyer will collect your medical records and hospital bills, the police report from the accident, and any witness statements to gather a clear picture of what happened and why.
To prove liability on the basis of negligence, we will establish you were owed a duty of care, that duty was breached, that breached caused your accident, and the accident resulted in your injuries and losses. If we can prove the opposing party was responsible for your crash, we can proceed with seeking compensation for your losses.
Compensation Eligibility for Injured Motorcyclists
Personal injury claims often separate compensation in terms of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that you can calculate, like medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages, which are for losses like pain and suffering, are harder to calculate because they are more subjective. Still, your attorney will be able to determine what is a fair evaluation.
Once you’ve been awarded compensation, you will be able to manage your accident-related losses and look toward the future, knowing you have what you need to recover as fully as possible based on the extent of your injuries.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash and believe someone else is to blame, you deserve the best chance at recovery. A motorcycle accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help. We understand the stigma that motorcyclists face, especially after an accident, which is why it’s best to have an experienced attorney by your side.
While we will fight for your right to full and fair compensation through means of negotiations and settlement, we recognize that doesn’t always happen. If you are in a situation where the opposing party is maintaining their innocence and does not wish to settle the matter, we will take your case to court as a lawsuit and work to get a favorable verdict from a judge or jury.
The sooner you get in touch with our law firm, the better your chances are of a successful claim. You can start by scheduling a free case evaluation. We’ll start by reviewing what you’ve been through and determining if you have grounds for an injury claim. If you do and you decide to move forward, we’ll walk you through what’s next and get an investigation going. Contact us today for more information.