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Motorcycle Accidents

Posted by attorney John Zinda

In a recent news story, in Pennsylvania, five motorcyclists died and one was critically injured after the three motorcycles they were riding struck a van. Officers said this was the worst accident they had seen in 20 years. In another story, in Arizona, a garbage truck driver who was high on meth crashed into several motorcyclists and three of them died at the scene. One motorcyclist died a day later.

On a message board for motorcyclists, one man shared that he was hit by a Subaru after it crashed right into him. He flew through the car’s windshield and sustained three cracked ribs, a concussion, massive bruising and multiple lacerations and abrasions. His bike was also run over by a van.

Because motorcycles are built with much less protection than motor vehicles, they are more dangerous on the road. The reality is that motorcycles are less stable and much less visible. One rider shared these thoughts, “When I was commuting daily on my bike, I got cut off about 4-5 times a day, people don’t pay attention and they don’t give a **** about you on the road." Some statistics say motorcyclists are 32 times more likely to die and six times more likely to suffer injuries in a crash compared to the occupants of a passenger vehicle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2001 and 2008, more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed and an estimated 1,222,000 persons were treated in a U.S. emergency room for motorcycle-related injuries. Most of the time, a motorcycle accident occurs because of the carelessness of a motor vehicle operator or because of the negligence of another third party (a manufacturer, the city, etc.)

One father filed a $7 million lawsuit against the driver of a car after that driver crashed into his motorcycle-riding son and killed him. The driver had failed to yield and this was the preliminary contributing factor behind the accident. The lawsuit claimed $5 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

A settlement was recently achieved for a couple who was riding their motorcycle when a rear tire deflated “suddenly and without warning." The motorcycle then flipped over and ejected both passengers. The lawsuit alleged that a defect in the tire was to blame for the sudden deflation and subsequent crash.

The mother of a motorcyclist who died in an accident this year, sued the city of Chicago claiming that the city was negligent in its placement of a traffic-control device. According to the lawsuit, a sign that was erected to warn motorists of up-ahead construction work did not provide adequate notice.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident where another party was at fault, you should file a lawsuit and seek damages to cover medical bills, property damage, lost wages and pain and suffering. After an accident, important steps you should take to improve your chances of successfully reaching a settlement include: take pictures of the scene, get written reports from witnesses as well as their contact information, get copies of your medical bills, and set aside any evidence that shows you had to take work off because of your injuries and how much money you lost because of this.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to hire a personal injury attorney on your side so that you can focus on healing and he/she can focus on fighting for the compensation you deserve. Don’t go up against a big insurance company alone and ill-prepared.

Additional resources provided by the author

Zinda & Davis, PLLC is a personal injury firm based in Austin, Texas. The firm has experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases including bike accidents, boat accidents, car accidents and motorcycle accidents. If the negligence of another party has harmed you in any way, contact the firm today!

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