Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents likely represent one of the most difficult types of claims that our office handles as challenges arise in connection with who is at fault for the accident (liability) and how someone was injured (damages). Biases abound and culturally many people automatically assume the motorcyclist is at fault without even knowing the facts and circumstances of the accident. As a result, motorcyclists face many more challenges then automobile drivers. Here are some things to consider:

Automobile drivers do not notice or subconsciously drift into or crowd motorcyclists. Motorists instead of giving a motorcycle more room to maneuver actually make it harder to operate a motorcycle safely. As a result, reaction times often are compressed and motorcyclists have limited options when confronted with challenging traffic and road circumstances.

Automobile drivers, witnesses, and police officers generally are biased against a motorcyclist. Generally, they overestimate speed because the motorcycle is smaller than a car and their experience is instead based on how fast a car travels rather than a motorcycle. Motorcycles also have engines that generate a higher pitched sound when accelerating suggesting a greater speed then what it is actually traveling. Further, many drivers have experienced motorcycles moving quickly between lanes or passing between cars when traffic is heavy which is frustrating. These biases end up being memorialized on traffic accident reports and become difficult to overcome unless those same witnesses are fully interviewed to uncover their bias and what information or experiences they based their conclusions.

Injuries from a motorcycle accident tend to be more severe then an automobile accident because of the lack of protection provided by the motorcycle versus a car. As a result, medical expenses can rapidly accumulate. Be careful not to sign anything with any medical provider that obligates you to pay anything more than what is covered under your health insurance plan with co-pays. Also, protect yourself by making sure that you have bought as much uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage as you can afford. See our discussion about Understanding Insurance Coverage for more information. Coordinating insurance benefits generally is a key component of motorcycle claims.

Our office is here to help you sort through the complexities of a motorcycle accident. Feel free to call us at 602.424.5547 to review your accident or contact us online for more information.