At Montlick and Associates, our Irondale motorcycle accident attorneys recognize that when the rider of a motorcycle collides with a passenger vehicle there is little doubt about who will experience the worst of that exchange. Despite the increasing popularity of motorcycles with people of all walks of life, there has been little improvement in motorcycle safety. The aspect of riding a motorcycle that is particularly problematic is that even if a skilled and experienced rider does everything perfectly, there is no way to prevent many collisions involving drivers of passenger vehicles who are too busy reading a text message or who are intoxicated behind the wheel. At Montlick and Associates, we recognize the inherent vulnerability of motorcyclists to drivers who through indifference or carelessness place motorcyclists at risk of being involved in a serious collision.
The inherent disadvantages of motorcycles affect the probability that riders will be involved in a motorcycle collision as well as the permanence of injuries from a motorcycle accident. Motorcycles cannot as easily engage in sharp changes in direction or sudden braking because they are prone to tipping when engaging in this type of extreme accident avoidance maneuver. Motorcycles also offer no protective body or safety devices like seat belts and air bags that function to keep occupants of passenger vehicles inside the protective shell of the vehicle during a collision. This lack of protection often results in life-threatening head injuries, particularly when riders do not wear motorcycle helmets.
While the overall motor vehicle accident fatality rate has been declining in recent years, the news is less positive for motorcyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident than drivers of passenger vehicles. While there is a substantial risk of suffering fatal injuries in a motorcycle collision, the most typical cause of fatalities in motorcycle crashes are head injuries. While all riders are required to wear a motorcycle helmet under Georgia law, some riders decide to disregard this safety requirement. Unfortunately, this can be a tragic mistake as NHTSA data reveals that motorcyclists are forty percent more likely to die of a fatal head injury when not wearing a motorcycle helmet than when they are wearing a helmet.
The Lurking Danger of Unsafe Drivers Can Mean Fatal Irondale Motorcycle Accidents
Although some drivers do not pay close attention to motorcyclists or respect the rights of riders to equally share the road, motorcyclists are entitled to the same caution and safe driving practices owed to other passenger vehicle occupants. Because a motorcyclist cannot safely stop his or her vehicle as readily as a car, truck or SUV, certain unsafe driving practices are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. When a driver makes a lane change without looking, passes another vehicle on a blind curve, or drifts into an adjacent lane when texting on a cell phone, the consequences can be tragic for occupants of the other vehicle.
The driver of a passenger car, tractor-trailer or other motor vehicle owes a duty of reasonable care to avoid causing an Irondale motorcycle accident. The process of proving fault in a motorcycle accident involves analyzing law enforcement accident reports, examining vehicle damage, interviewing witnesses to the collision, and assembling other relevant evidence. There are some motorcycle accidents in Irondale that involve causal factors beyond negligent motorists, such as unsafe streets and highways or defective motorcycles. When a motorcycle accident involves a defect in the roadway or motorcycle, other defendants, such as a public entity or motorcycle manufacturer may share culpability for a motorcycle crash victim’s injuries.
While there are many causes of motorcycle accidents that may give rise to civil liability in the form of a personal injury settlement or judgment, some common factors include:
- Failing to look when making a lane change
- Paying attention to a cell phone or other electronic device when driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Excessive speed, particularly when visibility or road traction is impaired by adverse weather
- Multi-tasking while driving (e.g. drinking, eating, applying makeup, reading, adjusting the radio)
- Roadways that promote water pooling
- Defective steering systems that result in front end wobble
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Roadway defects like potholes or drop-offs
- Drivers that crowd motorcyclists
Anyone that rides on a regular basis is well aware that this is anything but an exhaustive list of dangerous hazards and unsafe driving practices that expose motorcyclists to the risk of an Irondale motorcycle accident. The bottom line is that negligent drivers who do not exhibit enough alertness and courtesy to comply with Georgia traffic laws and safe driving habits pose an extremely high risk to motorcyclists.
Compensation for Serious Injuries in Irondale Motorcycle Accidents
When you suffer significant injuries in an Irondale motorcycle accident, you may suffer permanent injuries such as paralysis, impaired cognitive function, loss of sensation and other life-altering consequences. Injuries like broken bones, fractures, spinal injuries, head injuries, road rash and loss of limbs are far more common in motorcycle accidents because of the lack of protective barrier surrounding a rider. If you suffer these or other serious motorcycle collision injuries, our experienced Irondale motorcycle accident attorneys may be able to seek a broad range of damages both for your economic or pecuniary losses and for less tangible losses. Depending on the precise circumstances of your Irondale motorcycle crash, we may be able to seek some or all of the following types of damages:
- Compensation for diminished earnings and lost wages
- Virtually all costs of rehabilitative or medical care
- Property damage including vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Costs related to burial or funeral expenses
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished enjoyment of life experiences
- Punitive damages
Be aware of your legal rights! If you have been injured on the streets or highways of Irondale because of the failure of a driver to engage in prudent driving practices, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Call now for a FREE CONSULTATION with Montlick and Associates' experienced Irondale motorcycle accident attorneys. Our Irondale motorcycle accident attorneys are available to help you and may even visit you if needed. You can call us anytime 24/7 at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) for a FREE CONSULTATION. Alternatively, you can visit our website, www.montlick.com, to make use of our FREE CASE EVALUATION FORM or 24-hour live online chat service.