How Is a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Different from a Car Accident Claim?
All accidents on the road have the potential to cause serious injuries. Motorcycle crashes, though, are different from accidents that involve two passenger vehicles. Motorcyclists have far less protection than other motorists, and they face additional obstacles, such as loose gravel and small debris, that would not affect passenger cars. For this reason, motorcyclists typically exercise great caution when out for a ride. Still, they face bias from other drivers and insurance companies.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you should not try to handle a claim on your own. These types of cases can be complex, and aggressive insurance will do everything possible to minimize or deny your claim. Talk to a dedicated motorcycle accident lawyer at Serious Injury Law Group today. We can explain your legal rights in a free consultation.
Why Motorcycle Accidents Are Different
Here is a closer look at the elements that make a motorcycle accident different from other auto accidents:
- Less protection: Drivers of passenger vehicles have much more protection than bikers. The strong steel frame of the vehicle surrounds them, they have seatbelts, and several safety features within the car protect them. Bikers do not have this protection. Even when bikers wear a helmet, which is required for all bikers under Alabama law, it is not enough to protect them from serious injuries in the event of a crash.
- Injuries are more severe: Not all car accidents result in serious injury. In a minor crash, drivers of passenger vehicles may not sustain any injuries at all. This is not the case for a motorcyclist. Even in a minor accident, a biker can fall to the ground, sustaining serious injuries and perhaps even getting hit by another vehicle. Overall, the injuries bikers suffer in crashes tend to be more catastrophic. They often require long-term treatment and may have a lifelong effect on the victim.
- Different hazards on the road: When a driver in a passenger car, truck, or SUV travels over a pothole, oil slick, puddle, debris, uneven pavement, or railroad tracks, it has little impact on those inside the vehicle. For motorcyclists, however, these small obstacles are major hazards. After hitting these hazards, the front of a bike can become unstable, and a rider may even lose control.
- Perception of riders: The truth is that bikers are perceived differently by many drivers. Some believe that motorcyclists are more likely to be reckless and dangerous on the road. This is not true. Motorcyclists understand that they are at much greater risk than other motorists when they are out on the road. As such, they are typically extremely careful when they are out on their bike and are more likely to refrain from engaging in dangerous driving practices than other drivers. However, in the event of a crash, insurance companies and the drivers they represent often rely on these unfair stereotypes to try to pin the blame on bikers.
- Liability issues: In most cases, when two passenger vehicles are involved in an accident, the liable party is one of the drivers. In a motorcycle crash, proving liability may not be as simple. During a crash, bikers may be thrown from their bikes and fall into the road. This can cause a secondary crash if another vehicle hits the biker on the road, making it more difficult to determine which party was at fault for the serious injuries sustained by the biker.
- Aggressive insurance companies: Insurance companies are always aggressive and aim to offer accident victims the least amount possible for a settlement because they want to hold onto their profits. This is true for all motorists, but insurance companies are particularly biased against motorcyclists. As such, they are much less likely to offer a fair settlement, so bikers need to have an aggressive attorney on their side to fight for the full compensation they need and deserve.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are most likely to sustain serious injuries during a crash with another vehicle. The most common injuries seen after these accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries: Even when a biker wears a motorcycle helmet, this is often not enough to protect the head and brain from injury if the head hits the ground.
- Broken bones: Being thrown to the pavement, and even having their bike fall on top of them after an accident, can cause bikers to sustain multiple broken bones in a crash.
- Road rash: This injury refers to a series of scrapes and cuts along a biker’s arms, legs, or other areas of the body. Although cuts and scrapes may sound minor, road rash is very serious. The open wounds of this injury can become infected and cause a secondary injury.
- Spinal cord and neck injuries: The bones and ligaments in the spinal column and neck are fragile and can easily become injured during a crash, resulting in whiplash and spinal cord damage. In the worst cases, a victim may be paralyzed.
- Lower-extremity injuries: Injuries to the legs are the most common type of injury sustained by bikers during an accident. These injuries typically involve broken bones, although soft-tissue injuries are also common.
- Internal injuries: Motorcycle crashes can result in blunt force trauma or penetration injuries, both of which can cause internal injuries. These injuries are not always easy to detect, so it is of particular importance that bikers see a doctor as soon as possible after a crash.
Get Legal Help from Our Alabama Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
Motorcycle accidents vastly differ from other crashes on the road. If you have been hurt, it is important that you seek medical help and call our Birmingham motorcycle accident lawyers at Serious Injury Law Group. Our attorneys have the necessary experience to investigate your case, identify all potentially liable parties, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Call us today or contact us online to meet with one of our skilled lawyers and to learn more about how we can help.