Motorcycle riding can be enjoyable, but it can also be dangerous. Motorcycle riding is the riskiest mode of transportation in the United States. Motorcycle riders and passengers are vulnerable to serious and catastrophic injuries or death every time they are on the road. Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
When a motorcycle accident involves other vehicles, more than one-half take place at intersections, and more than two-thirds of at-fault drivers say that they did not see the motorcycle, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Motorcycle riders and passengers are at a higher risk for injury than passenger vehicle occupants.
Motorcycle riders can wear safety equipment, such as helmets and leg protection, to help lessen the impact of accidents. However, even with safety measures, a motorcyclist can sustain mild to severe injuries because they are not fully protected.
The following examples are the most common types of motorcycle accident-related injuries.
Head, Neck, and Brain Injuries
Even with a helmet on, motorcycle riders and passenger will often sustain injuries to their head, neck, and spine, resulting in:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Skull fractures
- Broken facial bones
- Facial disfigurement
- Mouth, jaw, and teeth trauma
- Broken neck
Spinal Cord Injuries
Motorcyclists who run into a stationary object or are violently thrown from the bike run a significant risk of injuring their spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or other conditions.
Leg and Pelvis Injuries
Broken bones in the legs, knees, ankles, feet, and pelvis are common in a motorcycle accident from the sheer impact of force. These injuries can cause work interruptions or the inability to work.
Arm and Shoulder Injuries
When a motorcyclist falls or is thrown from the bike, their arms and shoulder often bear the brunt of the impact. Broken bones and soft tissue/nerve damage often result in the need for surgery and rehabilitation.
Muscle and Soft Tissue Injuries
A motorcyclist is vulnerable to torn muscles, ligaments, nerve damage, and other injuries because they have no restraining mechanism or bodily protection in an accident.
Blunt force trauma in a motorcycle can injure or puncture any number of internal organs, causing bleeding and the need for surgery or removal.
This is the term used to describe the severe disfigurement of skin that has made sustained contact with the road. The result is much more severe than a rash, scrape, or bruise. Sometimes, skin can be peeled back to the muscle, requiring months of recovery.
What are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Sometimes, the motorcyclist is at fault in an accident due to various reasons. However, when another vehicle is involved, the fault in many cases lies with an inattentive or reckless vehicle driver.
The following are common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Head-on collisions. A car driver might lose control of their vehicle or veer from their lane, striking a motorcycle head-on.
- Rear-end collisions. Motorists traveling too fast or who are distracted may not stop in time, running into the back of the motorcycle.
- Speeding and changing lanes unsafely. Vehicle drivers who do not obey the rules of the road increase the chance of an accident with a nearby motorcyclist.
- Cars turning at an intersection. A motorcycle may be less visible than a car or truck, but a motorist must still be attentive and careful.
- When a car sideswipes a motorcycle, a motorcycle rider does not have the protection of a vehicle and can be severely injured.
- Drunk driver. A motorcyclist who is hit by a drink car driver is susceptible to grave injuries.
- Vehicle drivers may be talking, texting, eating, or otherwise distracted enough not to see a motorcycle rider.
- Road conditions. Negligence in maintaining a road or highway can cause injury to a motorcycle driver.
Can I Sue if a Car Driver Caused My Motorcycle Accident?
It is possible to sue after a motorcycle accident, depending on the circumstances. First, consult with a local lawyer, and do not accept an offer from an insurance company without doing so first. Insurers will almost never offer the total compensation a victim is due.
A lawyer will manage the legal process to help an injured motorcyclist recover costs for the following:
- Medical care bills
- Costs for motorcycle
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
The motorcycle driver or passenger can be of great help after an accident if they can do any of the following:
- Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damages, road conditions, and the position of vehicles after the accident.
- Talk to bystanders who saw what happened. Get their statements, names, and contact information.
- Make notes as soon as possible after the accident while details are still fresh.
- Always seek medical attention on the scene and after. Injuries may not always be visible or apparent at first. Many times, the body is in shock at first and may not display all symptoms.
- Keep records of medical visits, including plans of care and anything else related to the diagnosis and prognosis.
Keep every medical receipt and report, including:
- Ambulance costs
- Intensive care stays
- Hospital stays
- Visits to medical providers and specialists
- Medical equipment
- Home care
- Nursing home stays
- Physical therapy
- Psychiatric care
Keep copies of all communications with an employer regarding lost wages, benefits, and related issues.
In New Jersey, an accident victim cannot recover any compensation if the defense can prove they were even one percent at fault in the accident, so an experienced lawyer is often needed.
New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Victims of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can cause physical, emotional, and financial devastation for victims. Many times, a distracted or reckless driver is at fault. Let the New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr fight on your behalf. Call us at 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.