Motorcycle riders must exercise extreme caution while enjoying the freedom of zipping around town on two wheels. Aside from negligent and oblivious drivers, various other hazards trigger motorcycle accidents. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers wants to help you understand the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents. Once you understand the cause of your injuries, you may have a better notion of how to collect fair legal damages and which party bears responsibility for the harm you suffered.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Cars Turning Left
Motorists must execute careful left-hand turns around motorcycles and in neighborhoods where motorcyclists frequent. When drivers neglect to check their surroundings before turning left, an accident could kill a person on a motorcycle. Poor visibility, driving distracted and breaking the speed limit are a few reasons collisions happen during left-hand turns.
Because right-of-way rules for left-hand turns always require the person turning left to come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic, drivers almost always bear fault for such accidents. Even then, motorcyclists must make sure they do not blast through red lights, speed or ride in the incorrect lane around cars turning left.
Because of their size and lack of shielding, motorcycles put riders at severe risk of injury during collisions. One of the deadliest collisions for bikers is head-on impacts because of the difference in force between speeding motorcycles and speeding cars. A lack of airbags, seatbelts and similar safety features only increases a biker’s risk during a direct impact.
Rather than a head-on collision, a biker could become involved in an accident with a fence, tree, streetlight or another fixed object. Slamming into a fixed object could also kill a person on a motorcycle.
When motorcyclists engage in “lane splitting,” they zip through narrow spaces between braked cars and slow-moving traffic. While lane splitting helps bikers reach their destination faster, it also puts them at severe risk. Most drivers do not habitually check for motorcycles blasting between vehicles, so they may hit riders accidentally. Even if bikers notice cars about to hit them, they often do not have enough room to maneuver out the way. Motorcyclists usually bear the blame for collisions triggered by lane splitting.
While driving over potholes and uneven road surfaces may surprise motorists, such hazards rarely pose much of a safety risk. A small pothole could cause a person on a bike to lose control of the vehicle briefly or crash. Bikers must remain alert for other common road hazards, such as railway tracks and gravel.
No matter if a person gets around on four wheels or two, drinking alcohol and using illegal substances do not mix with operating a vehicle. Bikers risk their lives when they consume alcohol or drugs before riding.
Neglecting To Wear a Helmet
While not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle does not cause accidents, it can put a person’s life and physical health at risk during a collision. Helmets save lives, and state law could require motorcyclists to wear them. Bikers must ensure they purchase a comfortable helmet that fits and provides maximum protection.
Part of the thrill of motorcycles is the rush of adrenaline bikers get while riding at high speeds. While exciting, speeding comes with extreme risks. Riders have a harder time controlling their vehicles, stopping quickly and reacting to threats when they break posted speed limits.
Rather than a driver or rider, a motorcycle manufacturer could bear the blame for an accident. Sometimes, manufacturers design, build and sell bikes with defects, such as faulty brakes, defective tires and fuel tank and fuel system defects. When a defect causes an accident, harmed parties could have grounds for a lawsuit against the company that built the bike or manufactured the defective helmet.
Common Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
No matter the reason for a motorcycle accident, victims should prioritize letting a medical professional examine them as soon after the incident as possible. Some injuries are more common than others after motorcycle crashes.
If an accident impact throws a biker off the motorcycle, she or he could suffer a road rash injury. Rather than a minor bruise or scrape, road rash injuries may peel away several layers of skin, possibly even expose muscle. Equipment that protects bikers from such harm includes riding pants, helmets, leather riding jackets and riding boots.
Motorcycle accidents could damage a motorcyclist’s calves, knees, feet and ankles. Even though leg injuries do not put a biker’s life at risk, they may become disabling long-term injuries without proper and prompt medical attention.
When a collision impact sends a biker flying instantly, she or he could suffer biker’s arm. The instinctive reaction to brace oneself during a fall by throwing out an arm could cause nerve and bone damage to the arms and hands. Biker’s arm may damage nerves in the upper body and arms permanently.
Neck and Head
Skull fractures and concussions are some of the most common neck and head injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents. Bikers who hit their heads or suspect they could have a brain injury after an accident may undergo imaging tests or a 15-point test called the Glasgow Coma Scale.
Determining Fault in Motorcycle Accidents
Once you know what caused your accident, you likely want to know how to determine which party caused your injuries. In motorcycle accidents, motorists and truck drivers often become negligent parties. Harmed riders must show the four elements of negligence to build their case:
- The law requires defendants to exercise caution to keep others safe. In motorcycle accidents, bikers and drivers owe each other a duty of care to drive or ride safely and follow the rules of the road.
- The defendant did not exercise caution or respect the duty of care. To determine whether the defendant exercised care, judges and juries usually consider what a “reasonable” person would do in the same situation.
- The defendant’s actions triggered the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered injuries or losses because of the other party’s negligence. That means that even if the defendant behaved in a negligent way, if the plaintiff did not sustain injuries or cannot prove damages, she or he cannot recover legal compensation.
Our experienced legal representatives know Massachusetts’s motorcycle laws and have the resources to help you determine which party caused your losses and harm.
Once you know what caused your motorcycle accident, speak with an experienced, trusted legal professional to explore your legal case and protect your right to hold the at-fault party responsible. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers takes a client-focused approach for every case, which means your goals become our goals.
We also offer the Stone Cold Guarantee, which means we do not charge upfront fees, nor do we get paid until you get paid. There’s No Obligation, Just Information (R). Once you call us, we make sure we start on your case within 24 hours. To learn more about our Stone Cold Guarantee, or if you received injuries in a motorcycle accident recently and want to pursue legal action against the at-fault party, call one of our experienced representatives 24/7 at 800-577-5188. If you prefer, fill out and submit an online form.