You drive a motorcycle because you love the feel of the open road, and appreciate the efficiency of your bike as compared to a larger car or truck. As a licensed motorcycle rider in Kentucky, you have the same rights and expectation of safety as any other motor vehicle driver. Unfortunately, drivers of four-wheeled vehicles sometimes fail to realize that they share the road with motorcyclists. This can cause them to take unsafe actions that put bikers and their passengers at risk.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are often far more severe than a crash between passenger or commercial vehicles. They can result in permanent paralysis and traumatic brain injury that forever impacts the injured person’s quality of life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, people driving or riding on a motorcycle die from their injuries approximately 35 times more than people involved in other types of accidents.
Although motorcyclists often get the blame in these accidents when other drivers accuse them of aggressive behavior, this usually isn’t the case. Instead, the top reason for crashes between two-wheeled and four-wheeled motorized vehicles is that the driver in the larger vehicle simply didn’t see the motorcyclist. Perhaps the motorcyclist was driving in a blind spot at the time of the accident or the driver of the car or truck didn’t seem him or her due to difficult weather conditions or limited light.
However, all drivers face these challenges. It’s incumbent on everyone to regularly check blind spots before turning or making a lane change and to look both ways and reduce speed when coming up on an intersection. The following are common causes of motorcycle accidents as well:
- Changing lanes: Accidents can occur when changing lanes if the vehicle driver fails to check his or her blind spot or signal their intent.
- Driver distraction: This can include talking on a cell phone, texting, reaching for the radio dial, and anything else that takes the driver’s attention off the road ahead.
- Impaired driving: When one or both drivers choose to drink or use drugs to excess, an accident is often inevitable.
- Left-hand turns: It’s more common for accidents to occur during left-hand turns than right-hand turns because drivers sometimes fail to allow themselves enough time to complete the turn before a motorcyclist approaches to make the same turn.
- Rear-end collision: A car or truck suddenly striking the back of a motorcycle can cause the driver, passenger, or both to fly off the bike and hit the pavement hard. This is true even when traveling at low speeds due to the size difference between the two types of vehicles.
- Striking a parked car: If a driver parks his or her car and opens the door without looking for motorcycle drivers, this could cause a serious accident. Accidents can also occur when drivers of cars and trucks park in a place where a motorcyclist wouldn’t expect to see them, such as a prohibited side of the street.
Typical Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
As mentioned above, these types of accidents cause death, paralysis, and traumatic brain injury more than other types of vehicle accidents. The head, skin, arms, and legs are among the most common body parts injured in a motorcycle accident. It only takes a slight jolt to the head to cause a concussion, which can be a much more significant injury than previously suspected. Severe trauma to the head can occur with very forceful blows against the pavement or other vehicle.
Skin and burn injuries can happen with motorcycle accidents when the force throws the driver or rider from the bike and drags him or her along the ground after the impact. This results in cuts, scrapes, bruises, serious burns, and severe rashes.
Arm and leg injuries typically occur because of how the driver or passenger sits on the bike or braces for the impact. Locking the arms and keeping them straight after an impact can cause serious injury to the nerves of the arm that may not recover. Unfortunately, placing the legs directly in front of themselves to lessen the impact of a fall can have the same effect.
How a Motorcycle Accident Might Impact You
A motorcycle crash can change your life in ways that you never would have anticipated. Besides the physical pain of your injuries and the reality that some may be permanent, you have significant financial stress as well. You would like to think that the person responsible for causing the accident would do the right thing and offer to pay your damages, but that doesn’t always occur. The driver, as well as his or her insurance company, may say that you share fault or are completely at fault for the accident instead.
Hiring an experienced personal injury law firm like Davis & Haymond, P.S.C. gives you the peace of mind of knowing that someone is looking out for your best interests. After all, you are likely going without pay for weeks or months as you recover on top of racking up thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Your injuries might be serious enough that you can never return to your former earning capacity. This is exactly the type of thing our attorneys can help you fight for, either in court or through an out-of-court settlement with the other party.
Schedule a Consultation to Learn How We Can Help You
Medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity are just some of the things that your personal injury attorney at Davis & Haymond can help you recover. You could also receive compensation for pain and suffering, property damage, punitive damages imposed on the other party, and several other categories.
Keep in mind that the Kentucky statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is just two years from the date of your injury. We encourage you to contact us in Richmond at 859-624-3380, Irvine at 606-726-9991, or McKee at 606-287-4890 for a free and confidential review of your personal injury case as soon as possible. We can meet wherever it is most convenient for you.