Motorcyclists go out on the roads every day knowing they are more vulnerable to accidents than other drivers. The sad fact is the effects of a collision will harm a motorcyclist much more severely than the drivers and passengers in other motor vehicles. That’s because occupants of other vehicles have the protection of the strong frames, seatbelts, airbags and other safety features found in modern cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Because of the risks motorcyclists face, most bikers are very cautious in traffic. However, drivers of other vehicles are not always so conscientious. Since motorcycles are not as visible to drivers as other vehicles, all it may take is a moment of distraction or carelessness to cause a serious motorcycle accident.
In the worst cases, those involved in high-speed accidents may suffer fatal motorcycle injuries. National statistics show that motorcyclists suffer many more fatalities than car or truck drivers do.
Facts About Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
The number of fatalities suffered by motorcyclists per miles traveled is more than 26 times the number of fatalities in cars and other vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
A total of 4,381 motorcyclists lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in a single recent year, accounting for 13 percent of all crash fatalities. Multi-vehicle collisions were the reason for 2,549 (58 percent) motorcycle deaths, and 1,832 (42 percent) motorcycle fatalities occurred in single-vehicle collisions.
Additional motorcycle accident fatality statistics show:
- An estimated 34 percent of fatally injured motorcyclists are 50 years of age or older.
- Close to 91 percent of fatally injured motorcyclists are males.
- Of females killed in motorcycle accidents, 61 percent were passengers.
- While helmets are often considered to be an essential piece of safety gear and have been shown to be effective in preventing brain injuries among motorcyclists, the IIHS says helmets are effective in preventing only around 37 percent of fatalities.
- The majority of fatal motorcycle accidents happen between May and September.
- An estimated 49 percent of motorcycle fatalities occur on weekends, with the majority taking place between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- More motorcycle fatalities happen on non-interstate major roads, in both urban and rural settings, than on interstates and freeways.
In Indiana, crash statistics indicate 113 fatal motorcycle accidents occurred during one recent year, resulting in 118 deaths. Of those fatally injured:
- 81 were operating a motorcycle, and 12 were motorcycle passengers
- 23 were operating a moped, and the other two were moped passengers
As with the nationwide statistics, more males suffer fatal motorcycle accident injuries than females in Indiana. The two age groups that had the most fatal motorcycle injuries were the ones between the ages of 35 and 44 and between the ages of 55 and 64.
Indiana's Wrongful Death Laws
The period after a fatal motorcycle accident is a trying time for families. It can be difficult to work through the pain and emotions from the loss of a loved one while trying to handle all of the various legal and financial concerns.
In fatal motorcycle cases, a wrongful death claim can apply if unsafe conditions or actions by other drivers contributed to the accident. However, without some tenacity and determination, these issues can end up swept under the rug. That’s why many families rely on experienced, professional wrongful death lawyers like those at Sevenish Law Firm to help investigate wrongful death motorcycle accident cases. Helping people is the foundation of our firm, and we’re here to protect your rights while you and your family grieve.
If you are considering a wrongful death lawsuit following the death of a loved one in a motorcycle accident, it is important to understand Indiana’s wrongful death laws. Not all relatives may be eligible to file or benefit from a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to Indiana’s wrongful death statutes:
- If the victim was an adult, only a spouse, dependent child, or dependent next-of-kin has the legal right to file a wrongful death claim.
- If the victim was a minor or an unmarried person under the age of 20 (or under the age of 23 if still attending school) without dependents, the only people eligible to bring a claim are married parents filing jointly, an unmarried custodial parent, or the child’s legal guardian.
Damages that can be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Medical and hospital expenses incurred following the victim’s accident
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and future financial support
- Loss of consortium, loss of love and companionship
- Mental health counseling
- Legal services
Punitive damages cannot be sought in wrongful death claims in Indiana.
Help From an Indiana Motorcycle Accident Attorney
At Sevenish Law Firm, we offer dedicated help to the families of fatal motorcycle accident victims. With both skilled investigators and experienced bikers on staff, we're in a position to help determine what caused a tragic road accident. As a client of ours, you will have direct contact with a skilled attorney, not a paralegal.
Speak to an Indiana motorcycle accident attorney at Sevenish Law Firm to get compassionate, caring legal assistance when someone in your family has been a victim in a deadly motorcycle crash. We have been helping Indiana residents deal with the costs and repercussions of motorcycle accidents for years. Contact us today, so we can schedule a consultation to discuss your case.