Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation for many individuals because of their fuel efficiency. In addition, many motorcyclists enjoy the freedom of riding a motorcycle, especially along California’s beautiful coastline and mountains. For many reasons, California has the highest number of registered motorcycles with nearly one million motorcycles registered with the state. The state with the second highest number of registered motorcycles is Florida with just under 600,000 registered motorcycles.
Unfortunately, motorcycles do not provide the same protection in a traffic accident for the rider as a car provides for passengers. The lack of protection during a crash is one of the factors that result in a high risk of catastrophic and life-threatening injuries in a motorcycle crash.
The California motorcycle accident attorneys of The Thompson Law Office represent victims who have been injured in motorcycle accidents throughout California. We assist motorcyclists as they seek a fair and just settlement for their motorcycle accident claim. Call 1-650-513-6111 for a free consultation with an attorney. Get the facts about your legal rights from a trusted advocate for motorcycle accident victims.
In this article, our California motorcycle accident attorney discusses:
- Why Do Motorcycle Crashes Kill and Cause Traumatic Injuries?
- Head and Brain Injuries Are Common In Motorcycle Injuries
- Hidden Dangers of Motorcycle Head Injuries
- Why Does a Motorcyclist Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Help with an Insurance Claim?
Why Do Motorcycle Crashes Kill and Cause Traumatic Injuries?
First, let’s look at some statistics about motorcycle accidents:
- There was a 5.1 percent increase in motorcycle accident fatalities nationwide from 2015 (5,029 fatalities) to 2016 (5,286 fatalities).
- Deaths from motorcycle accidents increased by 11 percent in California from 2015 (494 deaths) to 2016 (548 deaths).
- Even though motorcycles account for only 3% of the registered vehicle in the United States, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of the traffic fatalities in 2017.
- Roughly 90,000 individuals are injured each year in motorcycle crashes.
- Motorcycle crashes result in five times as many fatalities as car accidents, according to a Canadian Medical Association Journal article. The crashes also cause three times as many injuries as car accidents.
- According to the IIHS, per mile driving in 2016, the number of deaths related to motorcycle accidents was 28 times higher than the number of deaths related to car accidents.
Why are motorcycles more deadly than a car? The main reason why riders may be at a higher risk of death and serious injury is that they lack the protection occupants have by being inside a vehicle. An enclosed vehicle has seatbelts, airbags, and metal frames to protect the occupants in a crash. Some vehicles have advanced frames in crumple zones to help prevent injuries.
Motorcycle helmets, gloves, boots, and other protective gear can reduce the risk of injury in a motorcycle accident, but they are not as effective in most instances as having a metal frame around the person to absorb the impact during a collision. A motorcyclist can be crushed between vehicles or run over by another vehicle. Riders are often thrown from their motorcycles which can cause additional injuries when the rider lands on the pavement or slams into another object. In a collision, the rider’s body often receives the full force of the impact resulting in catastrophic injuries and death.
Head and Brain Injuries Are Common In Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of brain injuries and death from head injuries in a motorcycle crash. It is estimated that motorcycle helmets saved 1,859 lives in 2016 and could have saved more lives if more individuals wore motorcycle helmets while riding. Some studies state that motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of a head injury by sixty-nine percent. Helmets also reduce the risk of death by thirty-seven percent. However, they do not prevent all injuries.
Broken bones, lacerations, road rash, neck, and back injuries are common injuries sustained by motorcyclists. However, head and brain injuries are also extremely common motorcycle accident injuries. Brain injuries can occur from a minor blow to the head. However, brain injuries may also occur without a direct blow to the head during a motorcycle crash.
If a motorcyclist’s head is whipped backward and forward, much like a whiplash victim in a rear-end car crash, the brain may “bounce” around in the skull striking hard skeletal bones. Damage is caused when the soft tissues of the brain strike the hard surfaces of the skull. The damage from a closed head injury can result in a mild or moderate concussion, but it could also result in traumatic brain injury (TBI). The rider could suffer a brain hemorrhage, brain swelling, or fluid buildup between the brain and the skull.
Some head and brain injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash may heal with time and rest. However, the long-term consequences for a brain injury patient could be severe.
Hidden Dangers of Motorcycle Head Injuries
Head and brain injuries can be deceiving. The symptoms of a brain injury may not always be immediately recognizable after a motorcycle accident. Many people mistakenly believe that a person must lose consciousness to experience severe brain trauma or TBI.
A person can suffer a severe brain injury without losing consciousness. All that may be noticed is some confusion or disorientation. Furthermore, a victim may assume that his or her altered state is because of the shock of the crash. Individuals may also believe other TBI symptoms are being caused by another condition, especially if the brain injury occurred without a significant blow to the head or any blow to the head. If you ride a motorcycle, it is wise to review information about TBIs and other head injuries, including learning the signs of brain injuries.
It is always best to be examined by a physician after a motorcycle crash to rule out a brain or head injury. A physician will perform various diagnostic tests to determine if an injury occurred and, if so, the severity of the brain injury. Early detection and treatment of TBI can reduce the risk of life-threatening conditions and other complications from a brain injury.
Long-term complications and disabilities that may develop after a TBI or other brain injury include:
- Blood Vessel Damage
- Chronic Headaches
- Coma or Vegetative State
- Brain Death
- Hydrocephalus (fluid in the brain)
A brain injury may also increase your risk for certain diseases or neurologic complications including:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Other Cognitive and Behavior Disorders
The potential for life-altering conditions and impairments is substantial for some motorcycle accident victims. In addition to the physical and emotional toll on a victim, the financial burden caused by a motorcycle accident can be significant. Therefore, you may want to consult with a California motorcycle accident attorney if you have been injured in a motorcycle crash.
Why Does a Motorcyclist Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Help with an Insurance Claim?
Tragically, other motorists cause many of the motorcycle accidents that occur each day. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, when a motorcyclist collides with another vehicle, it is usually the other driver who violated the motorcyclists’ right of way. Some of the factors cited as reasons why drivers may overlook motorcycles include:
- Motorcycles are smaller vehicles making them more difficult to see with other larger vehicles.
- Most drivers do not look for motorcyclists because they don’t anticipate encountering riders.
- Motorcycles may be obscured from a motorists view because of their size.
- Vehicles have blind spots that can make it difficult to see a rider.
- Roadside objects and environmental factors could impact a driver’s view.
- Driver distractions may also contribute to the reason why a driver did not yield the right of way to the motorcyclist.
Regardless of the reason why another driver did not “see” a motorcyclist, the driver should be held liable for damages if the driver caused the motorcycle accident. However, proving fault in a motorcycle accident case can be difficult. The other driver may blame the motorcyclist for the crash. An insurance company may try to use negative and untrue stereotypes about motorcycle riders being careless and reckless to substantiate its insured’s claim that the rider caused the crash.
Our California motorcycle accident attorneys understand the various ways insurance providers try to limit their liability for a motorcycle accident claim. We have the skills, resources, and experience necessary to fight large insurance companies for full compensation of all damages. We are also prepared to take a case to court if that step is in the best interest of our clients.
A team of professionals protects the insurance company’s best interest. They want to ensure you receive the smallest amount to settle your claim, if they pay any money at all to settle your claim.
Let the legal team with The Thompson Law office protect your best interest by:
- Conducting a thorough accident investigation to document evidence from the accident scene
- Reviewing accident and police reports
- Working with you to document your damages, losses, and injuries
- Taking statements from eyewitnesses
- Obtaining and reviewing medical records with your physicians
- Consulting expert witnesses to determine the cause of the accident and provide proof of fault
- Researching applicable state laws and traffic laws related to the accident and your claim
- Protecting you from unfair practices by the insurance company
- Negotiating a fair settlement for your claim
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary
Your damages and losses may be substantial, especially if you sustained a permanent impairment or disability. We fight to recover the maximum compensation available for your motorcycle accident claim. You deserve compensation for injuries caused by a negligent party. Let us fight that battle for you while you focus on your recovery.
The Lawyers of The Thompson Law Office Believe in Your Right to Full Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you are injured in a motorcycle crash, seek immediate medical care to prevent further injuries and life-threatening conditions. After your physical condition is stable, contact our office for a free consultation with a California motorcycle accident lawyer.
Call 1-650-513-6111 to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney in California to discuss the details of your case.