Mississippi can be a great place for motorcyclists. In fact, motorcycling has become more and more popular in the state, despite the increased risk of using a two-wheeled vehicle. Motorcycling is statistically more dangerous than any other motorized form of transport, not just because of the greater inherent instability on a motorcycle but because the rider is more exposed to any form of impact. Motorcyclists are more likely to be seriously injured or killed while riding a motorcycle than in an automobile, even if they are careful riders who wear sensible safety gear, including a helmet. Most, but not all, motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers. Motorcycle injuries are often horrific and injured victims of careless driving may need to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.
Not all motorcycle accidents are caused by other road users
More than 4,500 motorcyclists are killed every year on U.S. roads, out of over 100,000 accidents, but not all accidents are caused by other road users. A small number of accidents are caused by riders taking unnecessary risks, weaving in and out of lines of traffic, or using machines that are inherently unsafe or too powerful for the rider’s competence. Some accidents are also caused by poor maintenance. Compensation is unlikely in these circumstances unless they are only contributing factors and there are other reasons for the accident which were beyond the control of the rider.
Some accidents may be caused by the use of defective parts or components, inherent defects in the machine, or poor road surface maintenance. If any of these are contributing or sole reasons for the accident, then compensation should be sought from the manufacturer of the defective parts, the manufacturer of the motorcycle, or the agency responsible for road maintenance.
Most serious motorcycle accidents are caused by direct impact with a moving vehicle
The more typical motorcycle accident is caused by a direct impact between a rider and another larger vehicle. Riders are easily thrown from their machines when a vehicle passes too closely and side-swipes the motorcyclist. Rear-end accidents happen when a vehicle comes up behind the rider in an attempt to pass it, then misjudges the distance and hits the rider from the rear. The opposite can happen when a motorist fails to notice the motorcyclist coming up behind and stops or turns without giving a warning. Accidents are also common in heavy traffic when a motorcyclist is sandwiched between two lanes of traffic and is hit by one of the vehicles while turning.
Compensation sought by a motorcyclist after an accident
It can often be hard to obtain insurance to cover personal injury for potential motorcycle accidents. An injured rider who was not to blame for the accident may be forced to claim compensation through a personal injury claim against the party at fault’s own insurance policy. If there is more than one contributing factor (e.g. another driver was negligent, but the rider’s brakes were also found to be defective) then separate claims may have to be made. Any claim made against another party needs to be backed up by evidence as insurers will reject claims that cannot be substantiated.
The main components of a motorcycle accident claim are as follows:
- Compensation for repair or replacement of the machine. Because motorcycle accidents often involve the machine toppling over on its side quite violently, they are usually badly damaged and may be so badly damaged that the cost of repair is greater than replacement.
- Compensation for the full cost of medical treatment, including long-term medical treatment if there are permanent injuries. Head injuries are common motorcycle injuries and these may cause long-term or permanent damage.
- Compensation for lost wages or any other income caused by the injuries. This should also be carefully calculated if the injuries are long-term or permanent. Serious spinal injuries may mean the rider becomes paralyzed to a lesser or greater extent. This could mean a permanent inability to return to work.
- Compensation for non-economic damages, such as the pain and suffering experienced, loss of consortium if the injuries affect the ability to maintain a relationship, and punitive damages if the other party was particularly negligent e.g. drunk when the accident happened.
Always use an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you with a claim
The best advice after any motorcycle accident for which you were not to blame is to talk to a motorcycle accident attorney about your accident and discuss your legal options and how the attorney can help. In Jackson, contact the Diaz Law Firm for expert advice and representation. You can call the office to make an appointment at 601-607-3456.