Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are vulnerable to serious injuries in a crash. Sadly, many motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle wreck that was someone else’s fault, contact Malloy Law Offices, LLC today. Our compassionate motorcycle accident lawyers are tough advocates for injured riders.
Why Choose Malloy Law Offices, LLC?
- At Malloy Law Offices, LLC, we value relationships. We forge a close partnership with our clients, ensure that their rights are protected, and keep them informed of the status of their case.
- Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, allowing injured people access to the legal system and justice. We never charge a fee unless we win compensation for you.
- We believe that every person who suffers an accident through the negligence of another has a right to claim full and fair compensation. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients pursue the maximum recovery possible.
Why You Need a Lawyer after a Serious Motorcycle 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. Since a motorcycle offers much less protection than a car, more often than not, it is 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, heavily impacting your ability to work, spend time with family, and even enjoy the same mobility and lifestyle you did before your motorcycle accident. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you or your loved one recover the damages you deserve while you focus on your recovery.
What Makes Motorcyclists So Vulnerable to Injuries?
As stated by the Insurance Information Institute (III), by their very nature, motorcycles are less crashworthy 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.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
As reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA):
- 5,286 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roadways in a recent year, representing a 5.1% increase from the previous year.
- Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclist fatalities occurred 28 times more frequently than passenger vehicle fatalities.
- 76 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes in the state of Maryland.
- Riders over the age of 40 accounted for the greatest share of motorcyclist fatalities.
According to the Insurance Information Institute:
- The fatality rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles was 60.90 in the most recent year for which statistics are available.
- The injury rate was 1,028 per 100,000 registered motorcycles.
- Fatality rates per 100,000 registered vehicles in another recent year were 9.48 for passenger cars, 7.70 for light trucks, and 57.85 for motorcycles.
- 1,600 motorcyclists were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes, accounting for 30% of total motorcyclist fatalities, while 7,949 passenger vehicles occupants were killed in alcohol-impaired accidents, accounting for 32% of all passenger vehicle fatalities.
How Do Other Drivers Cause Motorcycle Crashes?
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:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Impaired driving
- Improper passing on a two-lane road
Losing control on a curve
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
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:
- Brain injuries and head injuries that can have a lifelong impact on emotions and moods, behavior and functioning
- Spinal cord damage resulting in paralysis
- Back and neck injuries that are painful and debilitating
- The loss of life of a motorcyclist
- Broken bones and injuries to joints
- Severe abrasions, contusions, and cuts (road rash or road burn)
- Accidental amputation
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 should the driver get into an accident. They have a thick interior lining, sturdy chin straps, and fastenings, weigh approximately three pounds, and have no protruding fixtures. 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 or TBIs, and even death should the person wearing the helmet crash.
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.
Recovering Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases
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.
The first thing someone should do is retain the services of a highly skilled motorcycle accident lawyer promptly after their accident. Other ways a person can help to prove they were not at fault in their motorcycle accident is to gather as much information about the accident as possible. Obtaining the official accident report, taking pictures of the scene, obtaining witness statements and contact information, making sure to get the contact and insurance information from the other driver, and seeking medical attention are all highly important. Additionally, once they have received medical treatment, if necessary, they should keep their medical records for further use in their case.
Non-Economic and Economic Damages
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:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of time with family
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent injury
Economic damages can be applied to medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and other costs. Keeping a diary of how the accident has made an impact on their life is one way for someone to prove non-economic and economic damages in their motorcycle accident case.
Contact Malloy Law Offices, LLC Today
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.