Getting into a crash with a car is a daily concern for many bikers and their families. Even if you are a cautious rider and do everything correctly, you may still be hit by a careless driver.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics, 82,000 people were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2018.
- 45% of motorcycle accidents result in more than a minor injury;
- Only 3% of motorcycle crashes occur in inclement weather;
- In 2018, 8% of U.S. homes had at least one motorcycle; and
- Most fatal accidents occur in broad daylight between the hours of 3pm and 6pm.
With many people staying home through much of 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic, it is likely that cyclists have taken the opportunity to enjoy riding with fewer vehicles on the roads. Sadly, fewer vehicles have not resulted in fewer motorcycle accidents.
When to Hire an Injury Attorney After a Motorcycle Crash
If you experience no physical injury and little to no property damage, you may not need a motorcycle accident attorney. But if you have been injured even slightly, it is important to seek medical attention to assess the damage caused by the accident. Moderate or severe injuries could require extensive and expensive medical care.
There is no need to hire the first attorney you find online or see on a billboard. It is more important to find an experienced motorcycle injury attorney who is qualified to get you compensation and help with your injuries to get your life back on track.
A motorcycle accident attorney will be able to strengthen your claim for damages by gathering evidence of the incident and your injuries. They can negotiate with insurance companies who are quick to offer you a low settlement. After negotiations, an experienced attorney will know if the settlement offer is fair or if it is worth going to trial. The right legal help can navigate the court system on your behalf and help you seek the compensation you need.
Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents
Most states have a statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents that extends for two to four years after the date of the accident. Make sure you are certain about the statute of limitations in your particular state to ensure you file your claim on time. It is important to note that some injuries related to motorcycle accidents may not present themselves immediately. That being said, the sooner you seek compensation for damages, the stronger your case will be.
Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Motorcycle Accident
Though there is only so much you can do to avoid a careless driver, it is important to protect yourself.
- Familiarize yourself with the motorcycle laws in your state;
- Take a motorcycle training (or refresher) course;
- Always wear a helmet when riding;
- Be conscious of other drivers’ blind spots;
- Use hand or turn signals before changing lanes;
- Take up the entire lane;
- Don’t ride or pass on the shoulder of the road; and
- Never ride your motorcycle in an impaired state.
You can never be too careful when riding a motorcycle. Wearing reflective clothing is not required but is a good idea, especially when riding at night. Always make sure any passenger riding with you is comfortable on a motorcycle, and make sure your motorcycle insurance is current.
If you are one of the thousands of people who have already experienced property damage or injury from a motorcycle accident, know that you do have legal options for relief. Hiring a motorcycle accident attorney not only provides better odds of compensation for your injuries, but it also provides peace of mind.