Although motorcycle enthusiasts often declare their love of riding, the reality is that riding a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than passenger car occupants. The following are some frequently asked questions our personal injury lawyers hear from clients and their families.
What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?
While there are a number of factors that can result in a motorcycle crash, the most common causes include:
- Driver inattention or distraction
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Poor road conditions
- Vehicle defects or malfunctions
- Impaired driving (alcohol or drugs)
What is the most common type of motorcycle crash?
The most common type of motorcycle accident is a collision with another vehicle, typically a passenger car, attempting to take a left turn, but failing to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist who is traveling in the other direction.
When do most motorcycle accidents occur?
Crashes are more likely to occur at night, particularly between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Factors such as reduced visibility, impaired driving, and fatigue can increase the risk of accidents during these hours.
What types of injuries are sustained in motorcycle accidents?
The most common types of injuries motorcycle accident victims suffer include:
- Head injuries (traumatic brain injury)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Road rash (skin abrasions from contact with the road)
- Soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains, and contusions)
How can motorcycle riders prevent motorcycle accidents and injuries?
There are a number of safety steps riders can take:
- Wearing protective gear, including a helmet, gloves, boots, and a jacket
- Following traffic laws and signals
- Avoiding distracted driving (e.g., texting, talking on the phone)
- Maintaining a safe speed and following at a safe distance
- Checking and maintaining their motorcycle regularly
- Avoiding riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs
What should I do if I am involved in a motorcycle accident?
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not think you are injured
- Contact the police to report the accident
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s)
- Gather evidence at the scene (e.g., take photos, get witness statements)
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident
- Consider speaking with a personal injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options
What legal rights do motorcycle accident victims have?
Victims have the right to:
- Seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident
- Hold negligent parties accountable for their actions
- Pursue legal action if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence or misconduct
What should I look for in a personal injury attorney for a motorcycle accident case?
When looking for a personal injury attorney for a motorcycle accident case, you should consider:
- Experience handling motorcycle accident cases
- Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations
- Willingness to take your case to trial, if necessary
- Communication skills and responsiveness
- Success rate in obtaining favorable outcomes for clients
- Ability to work on a contingency fee basis (meaning they only get paid if you win your case)
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit varies by state. In Virginia, the time limit is two years, but in North Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years. There are certain factors that could have an impact on the statute of limitations in your case. This is why it is important to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney right away.