One of the stereotypes about bikers is that they are risk takers. However, there have been many circumstances in which bikers have driven defensively and safely and still been injured by a careless motorist.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the year 2007 was a record high for fatal motorcycle accident since the project began in 1975 with 5,154. This was relative to the overall number of 123,000 motorcycles accidents in the year 2007.
While some motorcycle riders do drive recklessly, statistical data from the Department of Transportation indicates that 75 percent of motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle. Furthermore, in 66 percent of the cases reported it was actually the driver of the other vehicle who was at fault. The most common reason for this type of collision was because other drivers were not heeding the motorcycle right-of-way laws.
In practically every state, motorcycle laws dictate that motorcycles are to be treated as regular cars, even in states where “splitting lanes” is allowed. Because of the delicate balance involved in riding a motorcycle the right of way is given to a motorcycle in most complex traffic situations; for example, 3-Way and 4-Way stop signs, T intersections, left turns, driveways and right turn on red.
What are some other reasons why a motorcyclist might have a motorcycle wreck at the hands of someone else? Another common reason why a motorcyclist might file a personal injury claim is because of unsafe road conditions created by the city or a business. If the bike has been improperly designed or has undergone faulty mechanic work, then there may be grounds to file a claim against a manufacturer or a fix it shop.
In an article posted on WhyBike.com, retired claims adjuster Dan Baldyga states that determining compensation during the claims process takes into account several criteria. These include:
- The Type of Motorcycle Accident Injury
- The Type of Person You Are
- The Type of Person the Other Motorist is
- Special Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Property Damage Expenses
- Your Age
Of course, you have to keep a balanced view in the midst of this very expensive situation. Baldyga is a claims adjuster, and claims adjusters are usually your opposition whenever a motorcycle accident is reported. The insurance company, if they agree to grant you money at all, wants you to settle out of court which means you will probably get substantially less than you deserve.
Before making any decisions regarding a settlement, contact a lawyer experienced in handling motorcycle crashes. Remember that motorcycle injuries are expensive-often critical and life-changing. If you have suffered brain injury, paralysis or broken limbs because of a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault then you must fight for your rights as a responsible biker.
Just because you are seen as a “risk-taker” doesn’t mean a motorcycle accident is necessarily your fault. Contact The Rasansky Law Firm and discuss your legal options with an experienced Dallas personal injury lawyer.