Motorcycle accidents can cause devastating injuries. Unlike a car, motorcycle riders are not offered structural protection from possible injuries. Rather they only have protective clothing and a helmet to protect them from any injuries suffered. This lack of protection can lead to serious injuries. Drivers are often forced to deal with life-long pain and head injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle injuries are common in California. According to a report published by the NHTSA it is reported that almost 80% of motorcycle accidents result in death or a serious injury. Most common amongst these injuries are serious brain injuries or traumatic head injuries, discussed below.
The report also indicated that most of these injuries can be prevented had the driver been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Other notable findings include the following:
- Most injuries occurred because the motorcycle riders’ right of way was violated;
- Common accidents were caused because of improper u-turns or left turns made by other vehicles;
- Intersections are the common places where injuries take place;
- Motorcycle riders have little time to react when anticipating accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Liability for Injuries – Compensation for your Motorcycle Injury Claim
Who is liable for my injuries? This is a common question. The answer depends on whether you had the right of way, or whether that right of way was ignored. More clear-cut instances of liability can exist when you were rear-ended by another driver. In either case liability will depend on who had the right of way.
When dealing with left turn accidents, the question is generally who had the right of way? In general, the car attempting to make the left turn must yield until oncoming traffic is no longer a hazard. In such cases, the oncoming traffic will essentially have the right of way. This is particularly important when dealing with motorcycle accidents, because most accidents occur when a car makes an improper left turn or u-turn causing the motorcycle to collide with the vehicle.
If the motorcycle was involved in a collision while the other vehicle was making a u-turn or improper left turn, then they will not be at fault. In such cases the vehicle making the turn would be responsible and the motorcyclist will be entitled to compensation.
In cases where the driver of the vehicle was making a u-turn, they must abide by the same rules and yield to on-coming traffic. It is important that you diagram the place and way in which the injury took place. This is necessary in determining who is at fault.
Traumatic Brain Injuries after Motorcycle Accident
Head injuries are the most common types of injuries after a motorcycle accident. Head injuries are not merely prevented because a helmet was worn. In fact, data shows that head injuries still occur -although minimized- even though a helmet was worn.
These types of injuries are different than most other injuries. Head injuries can occur in a number of ways and do not require that you show any physical signs of damage. Rather head injuries can be either close head injuries or open head injuries, such as skull fractures.
Closed head injuries occur when the brain crashes against the inside of the skull. This occurs when there is rapid acceleration or deceleration. This rapid change in speed followed by sudden impact against another vehicle or the pavement can lead to serious head injuries. Generally those suffering from traumatic brain injuries may not even understand the extent of their injuries. It is not un-common for doctors to frequently misdiagnose head injuries. In such cases, it is important to seek proper medical treatment. Your attorney can speak with your physician and work with them on what is known as a “medical lien”. This allows for you to seek medical treatment without any out of pocket cost and your medical bills will be paid from any settlement received.
Open head injuries are those that are apparent from the injury. Fractured skulls or exposed wounds can be signs of serious head injuries. While symptoms may not manifest themselves immediately, they can occur at a later time. Generally a neurologist can offer you a better understanding of the types of injuries you have suffered.
If I wasn’t wearing a helmet can I still recover?
Without taking into consideration all the factors, you will still will be able to recover even-though your injuries could have been reduced had a helmet been worn. Courts will likely consider the degree in which the helmet could have reduced your injuries, off-set by the other vehicles liability. This type of comparative fault model will apply under certain circumstances and may not be applicable at all depending on the facts of the case.
What to do after my injuries?
The steps you take after your injuries are important. Speak with your attorney to determine the best course of treatment. It is recommended that you do not speak with any insurance companies about the accident or make any statements until you better understand your injuries. Even if the insurance company attempts to take responsibility or offers you a settlement you should consult with an attorney to better understand you rights.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Our motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles can help you with your case. If you have found the information helpful contact us today for a free case evaluation.