Motorcyclists in Columbus, Ohio often enjoy the freedom of the open road. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents sometimes occur. And when they do, other drivers are often to blame.
After an accident, injured motorcyclists often have lots of questions. But where can they find accurate answers to their questions?
How likely am I to be involved in a motorcycle accident?
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 4,990 motorcyclists died in accidents in 2017 in the United States. This figure marks a 5.6 percent decrease from 2016. But such numbers are still staggering.
Currently, motorcycle deaths make up approximately 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. This represents a 5.7 percent increase from 1994. Additionally, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in traffic accidents per mile driven than passenger-vehicle drivers.
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Driver negligence remains the primary cause of most motorcycle accidents, according to motorcycle enthusiast site Ride Apart. More specifically, motorcycle crashes often occur due to the following reasons:
- Negligent left turns - An inattentive driver turns left and crashes into a motorcyclist who has the right of way.
- Changing lanes without looking - A motorist changes lanes on highway without checking mirrors/blind spots and hits a motorcyclist.
- Rear-end collisions - A distracted, drunk, or speeding driver crashes into a motorcyclist in front of them.
- Dooring accidents - A driver or passenger opens a roadside car door without regard for oncoming traffic. As a result, a motorcyclist may hit the door and sustain serious injuries.
What type of injury am I likely to sustain in a motorcycle accident?
Unlike passenger-vehicle drivers, motorcyclists do not have structural frames, seat belts or air bags to protect them. As a result, motorcyclists often sustain severe or life-threatening injuries.
Common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Sprains and tears
- Road rash
What can I do to stay safe on the road?
AAA offers some tips on how motorcyclists can avoid a crash or mitigate the severity of a crash.
- Keep your headlights, markers and taillights on at dusk, at night or during conditions of limited visibility.
- Stay three to four seconds behind vehicles in front of you. That way, you have time to stop if a vehicle in front of you suddenly stops.
- Check for oncoming traffic before turning, switching lanes, or passing.
- Wear a quality helmet and other protective gear.
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
After a motorcycle accident, the actions you take can have a profound impact on your claim. If you can do so, we recommend the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Even if your injuries seem minor, have a medical professional examine you.
- Call the police. An official accident report can support your claim.
- Take pictures of the crash scene. Accident photos can serve as valuable pieces of evidence.
- Exchange information with witnesses. Their statements can support your claim.
- Call a lawyer. An attorney can help you every step of the way after your crash.
How can an attorney help me?
In most cases, the other driver's insurance company will be responsible for compensating you after your crash. However, this process can be extremely complicated.
Insurance companies (even your own) are not your friends. They only care about reducing their own costs. As a result, they will take advantage of any opportunity to downplay or deny your claim. And if they do agree to compensate you, they will likely only offer you a “low ball” settlement that barely covers your losses. If you accept their offer, you may be forced to pay a large portion of your medical expenses out of your own pocket.
That's not right. That’s why you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who understands the process. The legal team at Michael D. Christensen Law Offices LLC fights for compensation for injured motorcyclists. We know how to hold negligent drivers, and their insurance companies, accountable. That way, you can focus on what matters most - your recovery.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.