Motorcycles are an efficient means of transportation as well as a relaxing hobby for many people throughout the state. Although there are numerous benefits to owning a motorcycle, riders are at greater risk of collisions and injuries. Per mile traveled, it is 35 times more likely that a motorcycle accident will result in fatality than a car accident.
Motorcycle riders are more likely to be involved in accidents and seriously injured because of the following factors:
- Less protection. Cars and trucks offer a great deal of protection, as passengers are essentially encased inside of metal boxes. Motorcycles, however, provide their riders with no such protection and lack safety features like seatbelts and airbags. Motorcyclists can wear protective gear and helmets to help keep themselves safe, but they are still very vulnerable to serious harm in the event of a collision.
- Less visible to other vehicles. While it should be easy for a driver to spot another car or truck in an adjoining lane, this is often not the case with motorcycles. Motorcycle riders are smaller and can be hidden by objects on or off the road, which can make it difficult for them to be seen by other drivers, especially at intersections.
- Less stability. Because motorcycles have only two wheels, it is much more difficult for riders to maintain stability when they must suddenly brake or swerve. The lack of stability can cause motorcyclists to wipe out or be thrown from their vehicles.
- Road hazards.Although debris, small objects, wet pavement, and uneven surfaces typically have little impact upon passenger vehicles, these hazards can put motorcyclists in serious risk and lead to crashes.
Hurt in a motorcycle accident? Call The Robert Pahlke Law Group for help – 308-633-4444.
COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS IN NEBRASKA
If you were harmed in a motorcycle accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. One of our firm’s experienced and effective Nebraska personal injury attorneys can analyze your case to determine what options are available to enable you to seek a fair settlement from the liable party.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
Cars making left turns: 42% of motorcycle accidents are caused by drivers making a left turn. Although these types of accidents are also common between passenger vehicles, they are especially dangerous for motorcyclists because of their small size and vulnerability. Cars making left-hand turns most often collide with motorcycles when the rider is:
- Going straight through an intersection
- Passing the turning car
- Trying to overtake the car
Sudden-stop collisions: Motorcycles can stop more quickly than passenger vehicles, which means that if traffic suddenly stops and a car is following too closely, a rear end collision is likely to occur. Rear end accidents are often minor when they involve two cars, but these collisions can be deadly when they involve a motorcycle. The impact can cause the motorcycle to flip end-over-end, and the rider can be thrown to the ground or into the vehicle in front of them.
Head-on collisions: Head-on crashes are the cause of more than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents, which nearly always involve passenger vehicles. These accidents are usually the fault of the car, and often because the driver did not see the motorcyclist.
Failure to yield: Similar to left turn accidents, failure to yield collisions often occur because a driver does not notice the motorcyclist. These accidents can result if the driver of a passenger vehicle does not yield to a motorcyclist when:
- Changing lanes
- Merging onto a highway
- Making a right turn onto a street
- Crossing an intersection controlled by a stop sign or traffic light
- Leaving or entering a parking lot or garage
Open door accidents: These accidents are common in urban areas when a driver in a car parked on the side of the street throws their door open, directly into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. Open door accidents are usually caused the driver’s failure to notice a motorcycle traveling in their direction.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES
Motorcycles offer their riders little protection, which is why the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are often extensive and severe. Depending upon the circumstances of the collision and the protective gear worn at the time of the accident, motorcycle riders can suffer such devastating and painful injuries as:
- Soft tissue damage: Also called road rash, this type of injury to the skin and muscles is caused by the body sliding across the surface of the road.
- Broken bones: The impact of the collision or the force at which the rider hits the ground can lead to factures in various bones of the body.
- Breakage of joints: Joints can be damaged when a motorcyclist hits the ground, and though the most common breakages sustained by riders are to the pelvis and shoulder, elbows, the hips, knees, and wrists can also be broken in collisions.
- Facial disfigurement: If the rider was not wearing a full-face helmet, they may suffer injury to the soft tissues if the unprotected area of their face smashes into an object during the collision or slides across the surface of the road.
- Brain damage: If the rider’s head violently connects with an object or the ground, they can suffer minor injury, such as a concussion, or traumatic brain injury, which can lead to a variety of devastating side effects. Wearing an approved helmet can reduce a motorcyclist’s risk of fatality by 37%, although brain injuries can sometimes occur even if the rider was wearing a helmet.
- Spinal cord injury: The force of contact with a vehicle or object and the impact of landing on the ground can severely injure the back and spinal cord. If the spinal cord is severed or seriously damaged, the rider could be left partially or fully paralyzed.
- Biker’s arm: This is a condition often suffered by motorcyclists when a fall damages the nerves in the upper arm, leading permanent paralysis of arm movement.
DO YOU HAVE GROUNDS TO SEEK COMPENSATION FOR YOUR MOTORCYCLE INJURIES?
The injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes usually require emergency medical care, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medication, and rehabilitative treatment. The necessary care is often very expensive, and during recovery the victim may also miss out on wages, which can compound their financial difficulties even more. If your accident and subsequent injuries were caused by the reckless or careless actions of another person, you may have grounds to seek compensation for the other person’s negligence.
There are four basic elements that must be proved in a negligence claim, and you must be able to show the following:
- The defendant was required by law to be reasonably careful, which is a given in cases involving motorists.
- The defendant did not act carefully. To determine whether the defendant was reasonably careful, the law will measure their actions against those of a reasonable person.
- The defendant’s actions caused you to be injured.
- You sustained quantifiable injuries and losses. If you weren’t harmed or can’t prove that you suffered losses, you can’t recover compensation, regardless of the defendant’s actions.
If you believe you are entitled to seek compensation for injuries you sustained in a motorcycle accident, it is important to obtain knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as possible. Our team at The Robert Pahlke Law Group has represented the people of Nebraska in personal injury cases for more than 30 years, and we can provide the caring and effective legal guidance and advocacy you deserve. Contact a Nebraska motorcycle accident attorney from our team today to discuss your options to pursue justice!