Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the road. Whether you were hurt riding your motorcycle or by someone else riding theirs, the law holds everyone on the road equally accountable. Often times, the same factors contributing to car accidents contribute to motorcycle crashes as well.
Unfortunately for injured riders, the similarities between motorcycle and car accidents often end there. Motorcyclists are far more likely to be killed or severely injured in a crash than a car or truck. Factors like speed, alcohol, and nature of the machine may put riders at an increased risk of fatality or catastrophic injury.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 5,000 riders died in 2007 and over 100,000 were injured during the same year. The death toll amounts to over 40 per 100 million miles traveled. Eighty percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death and about half of all accidents involved rider over the age of 40 years old.
The NHTSA estimates motorcyclists are about 35 times more likely to die in traffic collisions than passenger vehicles and eight times more likely to be injured. In 2007, over 500 riders were killed in the state of Florida alone. About half of the deceased riders wore helmets and alcohol played a factor in almost a third of those estimated 500 casualties.
Causes of motorcycle accidents
The NHTSA estimates half of motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Over three fourths were struck the front of the bike and around five percent were struck from the rear. One-quarter of motorcycle fatalities involved striking a fixed object.
Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include hit and runs, stop sign violations, and intoxication. 40 percent of motorcycle crashes involved instances where the other vehicle’s driver attempted to turn left while the motorcycle was driving straight.
Federal investigators estimate speed plays a part in 36 percent of motorcycle accidents, that is about 50 percent more than for passenger vehicles. Tragically, the death toll for auto accidents involving motorcycles has increased every year since 1997 and may continue to do so.
Motorcycle accident lawsuits
Whatever the circumstances of a motorcycle accident, if negligence was involved, victims may be able to recover compensation for the damages they suffered. Motorcycle riders injured by another driver’s carelessness or reckless driving are eligible to receive compensation for property damage, hospital bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
Often times, settling a motorcycle accident lawsuit involves dealing with insurance companies. Auto insurers are notorious for attempting to pay claimants as little as possible for their damages, despite the law requiring victims to be made whole again for their injuries.
For these reasons, you will need an experienced Orlando motorcycle accident attorney to help negotiate your case with insurers. Motorcycle accidents may require long term care, rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy to aid in the recovery process. Do not leave your future up the air, contact an experienced Orlando motorcycle attorney about your case and see if you have an actionable claim.