Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are vulnerable to serious injuries in a crash. Every year, around seventy motorcyclists are killed in a traffic accident in the state of Maryland, and an additional 1,400 riders and passengers are injured. Over half of the accidents that occur also involve another motor vehicle, such as a car or a truck, with those drivers more likely to be the at-fault party than the person operating the motorcycle. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle wreck that was someone else’s fault, contact Malloy Law Offices, LLC today. Our motorcycle accident lawyers are tough advocates for injured riders.
As stated by the Insurance Information Institute (III), by their very nature, motorcycles are more dangerous than closed passenger vehicles. Riders lack the protection of seatbelts, airbags, and the structure of a surrounding vehicle. Motorcycles are smaller, less stable, and less visible than four-wheeled vehicles. Motorcyclists and their passengers are far more vulnerable to road hazards and weather conditions than passenger vehicle occupants.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that approximately one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents are caused by another driver turning into the path of the motorcycle, violating the rider’s right-of-way. Drivers are watching for other cars. As motorcycles are smaller and less visible, drivers turning left at an intersection, focused on negotiating the turn, may fail to register an oncoming motorcycle in the roadway. Turning vehicles may also strike a motorcycle when it is passing or attempting to overtake the car.
In most crashes involving motorcycles and other vehicles, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front. A head-on collision between a motorcycle and a car is often fatal for the motorcyclist. These accidents can occur when a driver veers into the oncoming lane of traffic or drives the wrong way on a one-way road. Factors that contribute to this type of crash include:
In many motorcycle accidents, the collision is an unfair conflict, pitting a car or truck against a person on a bike — a person with no airbag and no protection except for a helmet. Serious injuries can result:
The law requires that all motorcyclists and passengers wear a DOT-approved helmet when on a motorcycle. These helmets have been specially designed to absorb as much impact as possible in the event of an accident. In addition, a DOT sticker, Snell or ANSI label, and manufacturer’s label are also often included. This ensures that they have been made to DOT specifications, and will help to prevent traumatic brain injuries and death.
However, although it is the law, sometimes helmets are not worn when the motorcycle is being operated. Law provides that failure to wear a helmet is not to be considered in determining negligence, limit the liability of a party or insurer, or reduce the damages paid in any way.
Motorcycle accidents are based on a fault system, which means that the at-fault driver is the one who must pay damages to the affected party or parties. However, this can be difficult to prove. Liability must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence in accident cases. Contributory negligence means that if the motorcycle driver is found to be even one percent liable in causing their accident, they are completely barred from recovering damages that could have been put to use paying their medical bills, physical therapy, and lost wages.
When dealing with damages, someone can receive several types. The first is called property damage, and deals with the at-fault party paying the injured cyclist the amount required to cover repairs, or if the motorcycle was a total loss, the equivalent of the motorcycle’s value prior to the accident so that it can be replaced. In addition to that, they must also pay for a rental vehicle until the motorcycle has been repaired or replaced.
The other is called personal injury damages, which cover both non-economic, or non-quantifiable, and economic, or quantifiable, damages incurred by the accident. Non-economic damages are the following:
Since a motorcycle offers much less protection than a car, it is often the motorcyclist who bears the brunt of the injuries from the accident. If you or your family member was the motorcyclist involved in an accident, the injuries you have sustained can be long-lasting. This can have a serious impact on your ability to work, spend time with family, and even enjoy the same mobility and lifestyle you did before your accident. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you or your loved one recover the damages you deserve while you focus on your recovery. At Malloy Law Offices, LLC, we fully understand how difficult navigating the complicated waters of personal injury and insurance claims can be after suffering in a motorcycle accident. That is why we do everything we can to help alleviate some of the stress you feel when we take your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery instead. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney today for your free consultation.