Many residents of the Roswell, GA, area enjoy motorcycles as alternatives to passenger vehicles, for both transportation and leisure. While riding with the wind in your hair may be exhilarating and a fantastic way to spend a day on the road, it’s vital to understand the inherent dangers motorcycles pose. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of Americans die in motorcycle crashes each year. The fatality rate for motorcycle crashes is roughly six times the fatality rate for standard passenger vehicle crashes.
Major Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycle accidents happen for many reasons, many of which mirror the most common causes of typical car accidents. However, the design of motorcycles makes riders more susceptible to these causes. A motorcycle does not offer a rider any sort of protection from external forces. If a car strikes another car, the struck car’s frame and side panels aim to cushion the impact and protect the people inside the vehicle. A motorcyclist has no such protection; therefore, motorcycle accident injuries are often severe or fatal.
Driving under the influence is a major problem in the United States, and the NHTSA estimates that more than 25% of motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. Speeding, aggressive driving, failing to signal, and lane-splitting are also common causes. Lane-splitting describes two vehicles occupying the same lane at the same time. Some motorcyclists take advantage of their vehicles’ high acceleration, narrow frame, and maneuverability to slip between occupied lanes of traffic and pass other vehicles. While not expressly forbidden in some states, lane-splitting can be very dangerous.
Injuries and Damages in Motorcycle Crashes
Most motorcycle accidents involve injuries such as broken bones, crushing injuries, lacerations, friction burns from sliding on asphalt, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Georgia state law requires all motorcyclists to wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets while riding; these helmets help save lives. DOT-approved helmets reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injuries and fatal head injuries by up to 37%.
If a motorcycle gets in an accident with a larger vehicle, the motorcyclist will likely sustain serious injuries and the motorcycle will be in catastrophic shape, if not destroyed. When motorcycle accidents happen due to negligence, the injured party can seek compensation for damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver.
Damages in a motorcycle accident case will closely resemble those found in other personal injury claims, and can include:
- Medical expenses. An injured rider can sue for his or her hospital bills, prescription costs, rehabilitation expenses, and any other expenses for medical treatment resulting from the accident.
- Pain and suffering. The justice system acknowledges that the experience of an injury is worse than the economic damage for many victims. Pain and suffering compensation is usually several times more than a plaintiff’s medical expense compensation and seeks to compensate a victim for his or her physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish following an injury.
- Lost income. If an injury prevents a plaintiff from working, he or she can sue for the wages lost in that time.
- Property damage. An injured rider can sue for the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged motorcycle and any other personal property lost in the accident.
Motorcycle accident cases can quickly become complex legal battles with multiple possible defendants and extensive damages. Injured victims in the Roswell, GA, area can depend on the attorneys at Kaufman Law, P.C. to navigate their claims successfully. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience protecting the rights of our clients, so reach out to us today to schedule a free case evaluation for your motorcycle accident.