There is an undeniable appeal to motorcycles. Whether you hear one from a distance or see one up close, it’s hard to ignore how cool they seem. This impression of motorcycles has lasted for generations.
Though they do seem cool, motorcycles are incredibly dangerous. There are high rates of accidents, and those accidents often involve serious injuries or fatalities. This is because motorcycles lack the safety equipment of cars and trucks. They are also much smaller than other vehicles on the road, putting them at an incredible disadvantage.
When looking at the facts and figures, it becomes clear that the risks of motorcycle riding are many, and they are often not worth the thrill. Accident and death rates are only rising, and fewer and fewer riders are donning proper protective gear when they head out on the open road.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
California has over 800,000 registered motorcycles on its roads, leading the country in the amount of motorcyclists. There are likely even more motorcycles on California’s roads, however, as many riders do not become properly licensed before getting on their bikes. In fact, 25% of all motorcycle accidents involve an unlicensed driver.
In 2017, roughly 16,500 of California’s motorcyclists got into an accident. What’s even more haunting is that 15,500 of those resulted in an injury, and another 541 resulted in death. As you can see, very few motorcyclists walk away from accidents unscathed. Roughly 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. You are 26 times more likely to die from an accident when on a motorcycle than when riding in a car.
60% of motorcycle accidents occur after dark, showing that light does not always help riders to stay safe. Unfortunately, 23% of motorcycle accidents occur because of drug or alcohol use.
If these statistics feel jarring, it is because they are. Motorcycles are not safe modes of transportation, and it is easy to get hurt on them.
Potential Injuries Following A Motorcycle Accident
Individual motorcycle accident injuries depend entirely upon the circumstances. However, there are a handful of common injuries that occur to individuals who get into collisions on a motorcycle. These include:
- Spinal cord injuries and/or paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Broken and fractured bones
All of these injuries are very serious and require medical attention.
In some cases, however, the motorcyclist is not at fault. In fact, many car drivers do not properly double-check for motorcyclists and cause the accidents because of negligence. In these situations, you may be able to get compensation if you were injured on your motorcycle.
What Is A Motorcycle Accident Worth?
If you are in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries. Drivers have a responsibility to stay diligent on the road. When a car driver is neglecting to drive properly and hurts someone, they should be held financially responsible.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to say how much any given motorcycle accident is worth. The sum you can expect will depend on the circumstances, the severity of your injuries, and the legal battle that ensues. Some considerations when determining a settlement sum include:
- The cost of all medical bills associated with the accident
- Wages lost from time off of work to recover
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent loss of ability to do your job
- Damage to your vehicle
In some cases, this adds up to a significant sum. In the end, it depends upon your evidence against the other driver and your attorney’s ability to fight your case.
Insurance Companies and Motorcycle Accidents
One of the best things you can do for your settlement is to avoid speaking with insurance companies following your accident. Once you are medically safe, the first person you should call is your attorney. Insurance companies often try to coerce victims into giving up their right to a settlement. They do this by having “friendly” conversations where they spin your words into an admission of guilt, intimidation, harassment, and more. Their tactics vary, and you can easily waive your right to compensation without realizing it.
When you call your attorney first, you can allow us to communicate on your behalf. With our extensive experience in the field, we know the insurance company tactics, as well as what we legally do and do not have to say. If your insurance provider or the other driver’s insurance provider calls you, simply give them your attorney’s contact information.
What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident
After you call your attorney, there are a few things you can do to help your case. Again, the first step is always to seek medical attention. The second step is to contact your lawyer. After that, follow these steps:
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses, including passersby, the other drivers, and any passengers.
- If the police are there, get their names and badge numbers.
- Take photos of the damage and any injuries incurred by anyone involved.
- Take note of any traffic signs and signals and take photos of them.
All of this information can help your attorney to build your case and increase your settlement. The more information we have, the stronger your argument can be. When in doubt, take a picture or write down the information. It is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
Contact Guenard & Bozarth
Here at Guenard & Bozarth, we have decades of combined, direct experience with motorcycle accident claims. We understand the amount of damage that is incurred in these cases and how serious the injuries often are. Because of these factors, there is a lot at stake with your settlement. You want an attorney who understands the severity of your situation and can act in accordance with specific local laws surrounding motorcyclists. We are experts in this field and have helped hundreds of motorcyclists to get the compensation they deserve after an accident. We would be thrilled to do the same for you.
Time is of the essence in these cases. Don’t wait, contact us today.