The primary purpose of traffic laws is to keep drivers and their passengers safe. These laws also help to protect motorcyclists and bicyclists on the road.
In an accident scenario, cyclists are at a significant disadvantage. Unlike car and truck operators, cyclists do not have the benefit of a thick metal shell surrounding them in a crash. Rather, they suffer direct exposure to their surrounding environment, and if they fall off their bike in a collision, they may sustain serious and debilitating injuries.
Motorcycle crashes usually happen when drivers violate traffic laws and rules of the road. When a driver commits a road rule violation and a motorcycle crash results, the at-fault driver and their insurance company may be liable for the resulting injuries and damages.
In addition to seeking immediate medical treatment after a motorcycle accident, you should contact a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney in your area as soon as possible. Your lawyer can meet with you to discuss the circumstances leading up to your accident and how it occurred. Moreover, your lawyer can advise whether you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit seeking monetary damages. If so, your attorney can assist you throughout the process and help you maximize the damages you recover in your case.
Common Traffic Laws that Other Drivers Violate
Motorcycle accidents typically result from driver negligence. When drivers violate traffic laws, they significantly increase their chances of causing a motorcycle accident.
Some of the most common traffic violations that lead to motorcycle accidents include:
- Speeding: When a driver exceeds the posted speed limit, they might inadvertently cause their vehicle to strike a motorcycle in their path. Moreover, the faster a driver speeds, the more likely they will be unable to stop if an emergency arises on the road such as an abrupt traffic back-up on a busy highway.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way at the proper time: Drivers must follow all right-of-way laws and yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists at the appropriate times such as at traffic intersections. When drivers run red lights, stop signs, or yield signs, they may negligently cause their vehicle to hit a motorcycle, dislodging the cyclist from their bike and causing them to fall on the ground.
- Tailgating other vehicles: Other motorcycle accidents happen when drivers tailgate motorcyclists. These drivers are usually in a hurry and drive as close as possible to the vehicle in front of them. However, if a sudden traffic back-up occurs, the rear driver may not stop their vehicle in time, negligently crashing with the motorcycle in front of them.
- Failing to use turn signals at the proper times: When a driver wishes to make a turn or switch lanes in traffic, they need to execute the appropriate turn signal. If they fail to do so, they might cut off a cyclist in an adjacent travel lane, knocking them to the ground and causing them to suffer serious injuries.
- Road rage: Road rage is a driver’s overreaction to a situation on the road. For example, one driver may become frustrated if a motorcyclist fails to go fast enough. As a result, the enraged driver might tailgate the cyclist or attempt to get around them quickly, inadvertently causing a serious crash.
- Failing to watch the road attentively: Drivers have a duty to watch the road in front of them attentively at all times. Moreover, they must use their rearview and side view mirrors and be aware of all traffic surrounding them. Electronic devices, like cell phones, tablets, and GPS, distract drivers from their primary duty of watching the road attentively. Drivers may also become distracted when they listen to loud music in their vehicle or roughhouse with vehicle passengers. When a driver turns their head away from the road, even for a short time, they might fail to observe a motorcycle rider in the vicinity, negligently causing a crash and injuries.
- Intoxicated driving: A passenger vehicle driver is legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. Commercial drivers, including those who operate big rigs and tractor-trailers along with minors under 21 years old must follow much stricter standards. If a police officer arrests a driver for DUI, the driver may face serious criminal penalties upon conviction. Moreover, if they cause a motorcycle accident that leaves someone else injured, they should be liable for the resulting injuries and damages. Alcohol severely impairs a driver’s central nervous system. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the nervous system, limiting a driver’s concentration and delaying their reaction time. Consequently, an intoxicated or impaired driver might not stop their car in time to avoid a motorcycle crash. Intoxicated driving may also cause a driver’s vision to become blurry or unfocused, preventing the driver from even seeing a cyclist in the first place.
Although traffic law violations are the most common cause of motorcycle accidents, some crashes happen because of inadequate repair work or defective motorcycle parts.
Suppose you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash resulting from a traffic law violation or another form of negligence. In that case, you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in your area to represent you throughout your case. Your lawyer can help you throughout the claims-filing process and pursue a favorable settlement from the insurance company adjuster.
If the insurance company does not take your case seriously, your lawyer can prepare a lawsuit and file it in the court system on your behalf. Your attorney can then assist you throughout the litigation process and work to get you the full monetary damages you deserve.
Types of Motorcycle Crashes that Cause Injuries
When car and truck drivers violate traffic laws, they are more likely to cause a serious motorcycle accident.
Some of the most common motorcycle crashes that occur include:
- Broadside collisions, or T-bone accidents, where the front of a car or truck hits the side of a motorcycle traveling on an adjacent roadway
- Rear-end accidents, where the front of a car or truck hits the back of a motorcycle
- Sideswipe collisions, where the side of a car or truck hits the side of a motorcycle, often pushing the motorcycle into another travel lane or knocking them off the road altogether
- Head-on collisions, where the front of a car or truck hits the front of a motorcycle, often causing permanent injuries and fatalities.
If you suffered injuries in one of these motorcycle crashes resulting from traffic law violations, a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney in your area can help you immediately. If necessary, your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine your eligibility for filing a claim. Your lawyer can then assist throughout the entire process and work to maximize your monetary recovery.
Potential Monetary Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases
When traffic violations lead to motorcycle accidents and injuries, accident victims may be eligible to recover various damages. Every motorcycle accident case is different. Therefore, not all accident victims will be eligible to recover the same types and amounts of monetary damages.
The damages that a motorcycle crash victim may recover typically depend on the severity of their injuries, the cost of their medical care, the specific medical treatment that they underwent, and whether they missed work time due to their injuries.
Common types of monetary damages that motorcycle crash victims can recover include compensation for:
- Related medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity, if they needed to switch jobs and take a pay cut due to their injuries
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of life enjoyment
If you suffered any of these injuries in a motorcycle crash that someone else caused, your lawyer can help you maximize the monetary recovery you receive. First, your attorney can highlight the strengths of your personal injury case and downplay any weaknesses. Next, your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the insurance company adjuster handling your claim and work to maximize the damages you recover for your injuries.
It is challenging to demonstrate the extent of pain and suffering your motorcycle accident injuries caused, but your lawyer knows how to calculate the value of your intangible losses and present your case to the insurance company. If the insurer tries to shortchange you, always have a motorcycle accident attorney ready to fight for your rights.
Speak With an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer about Your Legal Matter Today
If you suffered injuries in a recent motorcycle crash, time is of the essence. Motor vehicle accident victims only have three years from their accident date to file a claim or lawsuit for damages. This statute of limitations begins running on the accident date and ends exactly three years later.
If you file your lawsuit in the court system even one day late, the court will prevent you from recovering any damages, and it will dismiss your lawsuit. Therefore, it is vitally important that you retain a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney to represent you in your case as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer can file a lawsuit to prevent the statute of limitations from running out, thereby safeguarding your right to recover damages. Your lawyer can then assist you throughout the claims-filing, negotiation, and litigation processes and help you achieve the monetary recovery you deserve for your accident-related injuries.