Motorcycle accidents are very unique because they most often result in injuries that are much more severe than those caused by car accidents or truck accidents. Unlike car or truck drivers, motorcyclists are not protected by the structure of the vehicle, which often results in severe injuries to the rider and in the most tragic cases death.
According to U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2012, motorcyclists accounted for 15% of all traffic fatalities, 18% of all occupant (driver and passenger) fatalities, and 4% of all occupants injured. Of the 4,958 motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents, 93% (4,625) were riders and 7% (332) were passengers.
The number of motorcyclists seems to be increasing every year, however the number of motorcyclists injured increases as well, but at a greater rate. From 2005 to 2015, the amount of people riding motorcycles went up over 60%, but the amount of deaths caused by motorcycle accidents for the same period of time doubled. Moreover, according to U.S. Department of Transportation, “in 2012, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed – a 7-percent increase from the 4,630 motorcyclists killed in 2011.” In 2011 alone, motorcycle accidents caused 4,612 deaths and 81,000 injuries, which is over 1,000 more deaths from the previous 2010. However, from 2011 to 2012 there was a 15 percent increase from 81,000 to 93,000 of motorcyclists injured. Majority of these fatalities were caused by motorcycle accident with another vehicle and not another motorcycle, or a motorcyclist engaging in an accident by himself. This certainly explains the great number of fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents.
COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
Despite the protective gear motorcyclists wear they are still susceptible to many serious injuries and in most cases more serious than those suffered by car drivers or truck drivers. Although it seems at first glance that motorcyclists are to blame for the accidents, statistics show that’s rarely true. Motorcyclists have the same rights as any other motorist, even though these rights are sometimes overlooked or ignored. Everyone on the road needs to take extra precautions when surrounded by motorcyclists as one moment of inattentiveness can cause serious injuries and even death to motorcyclists and their passengers. Some of the most common causes of Motorcycle Injuries and Deaths are the following:
Rear End Collision – Most of the time entirely beyond the control of the motorcyclist, a rear end collision is one of the main causes for motorcycle accidents. While most rear end accidents involving other motorists are usually “fender benders,” when motorcyclists are involved, such small impact collisions can result of serious injuries and even deaths.
Improper Lane Change By Another Vehicle – Given the fact that motorcycles are harder to spot because of their size, motorcycle accidents are often caused when another vehicle, due to their own negligence, fails to see a motorcyclist and changes a lane into a motorcycle.
Aggressive Braking by Other Drivers – To avoid rear ending another vehicle in front of you, it is always a good idea to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. In Woodland Hills, many drivers drive aggressively due to heavy traffic we all face on daily basis. That is why it is extremely important to keep a safe distance in Woodland Hills and avoid getting into a motorcycle collision.
A Left Turn in Front of You – One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is when another vehicle misjudges your speed or their ability to make a left turn in time before you approach them. Best way to avoid a collision under this scenario is to be a defensive driver and to see this coming. Remember, you must not only pay attention to your driving but also the driving of other motorists, since one mistake of someone else can cost you your life.
Someone Opens Their Car Door – Car drivers can sometimes fail to see you coming and open their car door, causing a motorcycle collision. To avoid this keep a proper look out and scan your surroundings. In addition, do not ride between active traffic lane and parked cars.
Bad Road and Weather Conditions – Bad weather conditions are one of the major causes for all motorcycle accidents. Rain makes the roads slippery while the sun makes the riders sleepy, both of which can cause motorcycle accidents and serious injuries and death. To avoid these conditions, simply take a break and wait for the road conditions to improve before continuing on your trip.
OTHER CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
Aside from the above mentioned causes for motorcycle accidents which are usually caused by other motorists on the road, there are some accidents that are caused by the motorcyclists themselves. With a little bit of caution we can all avoid these accidents, by simply trying to avoid the following:
Don’t Drink and Ride and Don’t Use Drugs and Ride – According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 among motorcyclists killed in fatal crashes in 2013, 27% had BACs of 0.08% or greater. Simply put, Do Not Ride Under the Influence!
Avoid Riding In Poor Weather Conditions – Whether it is raining outside or if it is too hot, an experienced rider will take a break and wait for the riding weather to improve before continuing on his journey. Rain makes the roads slippery while the sun makes the riders sleepy, both of which increase the chances of a motorcycle accident.
Avoid Lane Splitting When You Can – Lane splitting allows motorcyclists to reach their desired destination in less time. Lane splitting is one of the reasons why some motorcyclists ride in Woodland Hills as the traffic in our city can sometimes waste lots of our precious time. However, if you choose to split lanes, you must be cautious, as many drivers cannot see you, which can cause a serious motorcycle accident.
Be a Defensive Driver – We all want to reach our destination in the least amount of time possible. But is it worth getting into a serious motorcycle accident? Drive defensively, it will give you more time to react and avoid a motorcycle accident.
Stay Out Of People’s Blind Spots – “You may see them, but they cannot see you” is something my dad used to always say. On a motorcycle it is even more important to stay out of people’s blind spots, as motorcycles are smaller and motorcyclists ride quick.
Watch Your Own Blind Spots – Always scan your surroundings before making a lane change. Knowing what’s around you in crucial in avoiding motorcycle accidents while making a lane change.
Do a Regular Check Up and Inspection Of Your Motorcycle – Many motorcycle accidents are caused by defects on motorcycles, which range anywhere from defective engines to defective tires. Doing a regular check up of your motorcycle can save you from a potential motorcycle accident and subsequently serious injuries or death.
Do Not Get Distracted – Remember, you are on two wheels. A small distraction which would not cause a driver of a motor vehicle to get into an accident, can cause you your life. Keep your eyes on the road and stay focused.
COMMON TYPES OF INJURIES FROM MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
Motorcyclists suffer some of the most severe injuries as a result of an accident, which is due to their vulnerability by not being protected by a structure of a vehicle. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most common injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident are those of the lower extremities, such as:
- Pelvis, and
Although less frequent than lower body injuries, upper body and head injuries are often more serious, leading to traumatic brain injuries and death. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is very different from a broken bone, as it affects our personalities and mental abilities. The severity of a TBI can range anywhere from a mild concussion, memory loss, amnesia, change in mood and frequent headaches to severe brain injury such as seizures and even mental retardation. Aside from TBIs, other more common upper body injuries are the following:
- Neck Injuries,
- Back Injuries,
- Broken Ribs,
- Facial Disfigurement,
- Upper Body Skin Burns,
- Arm Fractures, and
Motorcyclists who suffer any of these injuries will need the best medical treatment available. This is why it is imperative that you retain a competent Woodland Hills Personal Injury Attorney, who will fight for you and unable you to receive the best medical treatment and legal representation.
PROVING DAMAGES IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Damages suffered by motorcycles accident can be economic or non-economic in nature. As noted above, in majority of motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclist is not at fault, and thus in those situations getting compensated for the damages suffered is rarely a difficult task for a Woodland Hills Personal Injury Lawyer.
Economic damages suffered in a motorcycle accident includes objectively verifiable monetary losses such as past and future medical expenses, loss of past and future earnings, the economic value of domestic services, cost of repair or replacement, loss of use of property, and loss of employment or business opportunities.
Non-economic damages a usually more difficult to prove as they are not objectively verifiable monetary losses but subjective losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life and inconvenience.
Making sure that all of these damages are obtained on behalf of their client takes a knowledgeable Woodland Hills Personal Injury Lawyer who will personally fight for his clients during every step of the way.
HOW WOODLAND HILLS ACCIDENT LAWYER CAN HELP
When involved in a traffic accident, it is crucial that you act on time and take legal action as soon as you can. The sooner your contact the Woodland Hills Accident Lawyer, the better. Each minute that passes by diminishes your ability to obtain the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to. Given the nature of a motorcycle accident and the severity of injuries caused by them, riders are often unable to work or in the most tragic cases lose their lives. This can cause tremendous financial difficulties for the riders and their families. Thus it is extremely important to act on time. Do not wait.