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Motorcycle Accidents

For many people, motorcycling is fun. Loyal owners of Harleys, Hondas, Kawasakis, Suzukis and Yamahas say nothing equals the pleasure of a ride on the open highway. To motorcyclists, riding makes them feel alive, and free. But motorcycling also has dangers, and that can mean accidents and injuries.

According to the government, motorcycle accidents have increased eight years in a row. Motorcycle accidents can be serious and cyclists are at higher risk in an accident then people in cars or trucks. This is because in a car or truck accident, the vehicle absorbs more of the dangerous energy. A motorcycle offers much less protection for the rider. Also, motorcycles are smaller then cars and trucks, making them less visible to other drivers.

As a result, many motorcycle accidents result in broken bones, disfigurement, brain injuries and even death. In 2005, the last year for which data is available, more than 4,500 motorcycle riders died in accidents. This was worse than 2004. In a recent speech, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board noted that in the U.S., motorcycle accidents occur at a rate of over 12 per day. Making this data worse, a recognized survey found that helmets worn by many riders do not comply with safety standards. They do not cover enough of the head or are not thick enough.

What should people do who love motorcycling? It is not necessary to give up riding. But it is useful to know about causes of motorcycle accidents, follow some key safety tips, and know what to do if you are in an accident.

Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents are other drivers who fail to see the motorcycle in traffic; or drivers turning into the lane the motorcycle is in. Some crashes are due to the motorcyclist, like speeding or losing control by taking a turn too fast or trying stunts. Alcohol is involved in some motorcycle accidents. Another problem is equipment — defective tires, brakes, and other bike parts that cause loss of control. Hazardous road conditions like construction, slippery roads, dangerous turns and blind spots also contribute to accidents.

The message is obvious. Every biker can reduce the risk of accidents, and serious injuries, by taking a few simple steps. Ride carefully and cautiously. Stay alert. Ride at safe speeds. Never drink and ride. Try to make your bike conspicuous. Wear protective equipment. Keep the motorcycle and its parts in good physical condition. Government data indicates that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of brain injury and death in a motorcycle crash by 37%. (But note, helmets have no effect, good or bad, on neck injuries). Take a motorcycle safety course if you can.

Another important step to take is to have insurance. A recent case shows this. Norman L was badly injured when his Kawasaki was hit by a car. The damages Norman suffered were over $100,000 above the amount of the car driver’s insurance. Norman also had his own insurance, which included underinsured motorist coverage. Norman’s insurance company tried to deny his claim, but a court ruled that he could pursue his claim against his own insurance company.

In Case of A Motorcycle Accident
If you are in a motorcycle accident, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights and help make sure you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. After calling 911 to get medical help for anyone injured, obtain information from the other driver involved in the accident, including his or her name, address, home and work phone numbers, insurance company and policy number. Also get the names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses and write down details about the accident. And remember not to discuss the accident with the other driver or take any blame for the accident. Anything you say can be used against you and lower your financial recovery.

If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, call our law firm for a free, no obligation consultation. We can analyze whether someone else was fully or partly at fault. If someone else’s mistake was a cause of your accident, you may be able to recover money for many things, including your injuries, lost earnings, pain and suffering and damage to your motorcycle. Call us as soon after the accident as possible, as the time right after the accident can be vital to your claim.

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