There is more inherent risk involved in riding a motorcycle compared to driving a car. Not only is your vehicle less stable due to balancing on two wheels, but you are also exposed on all sides. Compare this to the protection afforded to the occupants of a four-wheeled vehicle by the metal framework that surrounds them.
It is no wonder that over 4,600 motorcyclists lose their lives in the more than 88,000 motorcycle accidents that occur every year. Even if you survive a motorcycle crash, your injuries are more likely to be severe. If the other driver bears all or most of the responsibility for the accident, you may be able to recover compensation from his or her insurance company. However, there are factors that can hurt your case and cause you to recover less than you would otherwise. There are also factors that can help.
Due to their size, motorcycles can easily get lost in an automobile’s blind spots. Therefore, drivers frequently have trouble seeing them. The problem becomes even worse at night when visibility is decreased. You can help by wearing clothing that is reflective when riding your motorcycle, particularly when it is dark out. During the day, reflective clothing is not strictly required, but it may be a good idea to wear clothing that is easily visible while on the road.
If you are speeding at the time of the accident, you may receive a citation even if you are hurt. Speeding doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from recovering compensation, but it can reduce the amount you can collect in damages. The court may decide that, by not observing the speed limit, you were partially responsible for the accident.
It may be that your increased speed was an evasive tactic intended to avoid a collision. The court may take this into consideration when determining your responsibility for the accident, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.
The most critical piece of protective gear that you can wear on a motorcycle is a helmet. The laws of many states require helmets of all riders at all times. Most others have partial helmet laws requiring them of certain riders under particular circumstances. Failure to wear a helmet may decrease your amount of compensation, particularly for a head injury. However, this may depend upon the laws of your state.
A motorcycle accident lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer in Rochester, MN, can go over the facts of your case with you and help you to determine how much you can reasonably expect in compensation. Contact an office to schedule your consultation today.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into some of the factors that could help or hurt your motorcycle accident case.