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Motorcycle Accident Due to Road Hazards Lawyer

Even minor motorcycle accidents can result in severe physical injuries. Riders are not protected by the metal frame of a vehicle, making it easy to sustain severe injuries in minor accidents. Some victims have injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, while others cannot work for an extended period. Road hazards like debris or uneven road surfaces are common in motorcycle collisions.

You may want to seek financial compensation to cover medical bills and lost wages if you’ve suffered a motorcycle accident injury. Pursuing a car accident claim is complex, and most people work with a lawyer to increase their chances of receiving the compensation they need. Here’s everything you need to know about common road hazards for motorcycles and what to do after a collision.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Unfortunately, many fatal traffic accidents involve motorcycle riders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 84,000 riders suffered injuries in motorcycle accidents in 2019. Further, motorcyclists account for almost 15% of traffic deaths in the U.S., while motorcycles account for less than 5% of registered vehicles.

There are many risks when it comes to riding a motorcycle. However, taking certain precautions can reduce your risk of suffering a severe injury. Always wearing a helmet and investing in high-quality protective clothing such as a leather jacket can help reduce the risk of injury.

Common Road Hazards for Motorcycles

Road hazards are more dangerous for motorcyclists than for those who drive automobiles. Riders should not assume they are safe on the road, even if they have years of experience operating bikes. Learning the most common road hazards can help you avoid these dangers. The following risks contribute to many motorcycle collisions:

  • Rough roads: Ongoing construction work is typical in most major cities. Construction projects are consistent with uneven surfaces, general disrepair, and large equipment trucks, all of which can cause motorcycle accidents.
  • Gravel: Most motorcyclists know how dangerous it is to ride on loose gravel. Gravel on the pavement is typical on winding roads, increasing the potential danger for motorcyclists. Riders who crash on loose gravel often travel at fast speeds and may not have the proper experience to ride a motorcycle on these types of roads.  
  • Railroad crossings: It is common for motorcycle tires to get stuck on the train tracks surrounding railroad crossings. Railroad tracks are tough for bikes to traverse when wet or slippery safely. Even worse, you may need to quickly abandon your bike if a train or another car is crossing the track.
  • Edge breaks between traffic lanes: An edge break occurs when a traffic lane is built on surfaces of different heights. These breaks are particularly dangerous when traveling at high speeds. Edge breaks are not hazardous for passenger vehicles, but they are problematic for motorcyclists.
  • Wet surfaces: While hydroplaning is dangerous in a car, it can be fatal for motorcyclists. Hydroplaning is common on slick surfaces, and most bikes are light enough to spin out of control quickly. Even worse, motorcycles only have two wheels to grip the road.
  • Roadway debris: Roadway debris such as tree branches, tires, sticks, and leaves are standard on most U.S. highways. Hitting an object can cause a motorcyclist to spin out of control, potentially causing severe injuries. Motorcyclists are also at risk of being hit by items that fall from nearby cars or trucks.
  • Animals: Animals such as dogs, cats, deer, and squirrels commonly wander onto highways and city streets, making it difficult for motorcyclists to avoid the animal without hitting another object. Further, severe injuries can occur if a rider collides with a sizeable animal such as a cow or horse.
  • Expansion joints: Expansion joints are used to attach a section of a bridge to a road or join two road sections. These joints are commonly used to expand or contract a roadway during construction projects. Expansion joints often result in uneven surfaces, causing riders to crash if traveling too fast.
  • Snow and ice: Ice and snow are more dangerous for motorcycles than for passenger vehicles. Motorcycles are lighter than cars, making it harder for riders to regain control after hitting snow or a patch of ice.   

Open bridge joints can also cause motorcycle accidents. While these joints are necessary to join two sections of a bridge, motorcycles often have difficulty crossing them safely.

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Your first priority after a motorcycle accident is to seek medical attention if you’re injured. Call emergency personnel immediately after the accident, even if you do not think you are injured. You will want an officer to examine the scene, file a police report, and speak to witnesses. You may need a police report if you choose to seek compensation.

You should collect some pieces of information at the accident scene if you are not immediately transported to the hospital. Do not make any promises to the other drivers and avoid admitting guilt, even if you played a part in the accident. The insurance company could use these statements against you in the future. You should gather the following information before leaving the scene:

  • Contact information for all other motorists
  • Insurance information from all other motorists, including policy numbers
  • Location and time of the accident
  • Information on weather elements
  • Witness statements

It is good to take pictures of the crash scene before leaving. These photos could serve as evidence if you decide to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Filing a Motorcycle Collision Claim

The person who caused the crash must pay for your medical expenses in most U.S. states. It is challenging to prove liability in motorcycle cases, especially because some insurance adjusters have negative stereotypes about motorcyclists. An adjuster may assume you were driving recklessly, even if you did not cause the accident. It may also be difficult to prove liability if a road hazard contributed to the accident.

Many injury victims hire a lawyer to help them gather enough evidence to prove liability. Depending on the nature of the crash, you may file a claim against one or more of the following:

  • Other motorists involved in the accident
  • Other motorcyclists involved in the collision 
  • A construction company that failed to finish a roadway construction project properly
  • A government agency responsible for road maintenance
  • A pedestrian who illegally crossed a road

A lawyer can help you decide the proper individuals or entities to file a claim against if road hazards contributed to the collision. For example, you may choose to sue a local government agency that failed to maintain highways properly.

Most motorcycle accident claims end before the case goes to trial. However, you may decide to pursue legal action if the insurance company’s settlement is not enough to cover your medical bills. Before accepting a settlement offer, you should carefully consider any future medical expenses associated with your injuries.

Work With Fielding Law

Have you suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident? Fielding Law focuses on personal injury cases, including motorcycle accidents. We understand the financial stress that often accompanies motorcycle injuries. We will examine the circumstances of your case and outline the best course of action to seek compensation. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury lawyers.