Motorcycle riders face a much higher risk of personal injury, even death, more than drivers of cars, trucks, or other four-wheeled vehicles. While some of this risk can be attributed to motorcycles’ smaller size and lack of safety gear, many motorcycle accidents in Indiana and across the country are the fault of other drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,668 motorcyclists lost their lives and about 88,000 sustained injuries in traffic collisions during a single recent year. Approximately 2,182 of the fatal motorcycle accidents involved a car, truck or other motor vehicle. In an average of 40 percent of these accidents, the fatal collision took place when the other vehicle turned left in front of the motorcycle while it was going straight, attempting to pass or trying to overtake the vehicle. An additional 21 percent of the two-vehicle motorcycle fatalities involved head-on collisions.
At Sevenish Law Firm, we've represented Indiana motorcycle riders injured in accidents for years. Our professional motorcycle accident attorneys know how to best document and pursue the facts of a motorcycle accident case and how to use Indiana law and case precedent to the advantage of our clients. Contact us today so you can seek the compensation to which you’re entitled under the law.
Other Drivers Are Often to Blame for Motorcycle Accidents
Although wearing a helmet and proper safety gear, as well as taking other precautions, can do a lot to lower the risk of accidents for bikes, simple driver distraction, negligence or inattention remains as one of the core causes of the majority of motorcycle accidents.
Cell phones, texting while driving, and other driver distractions create a hazard that dramatically affects the safety of motorcyclists. Once a motorist's attention is taken off the task of driving, he or she loses focus and can more easily fail to observe motorcyclists in a blind spot—something that often leads to tragic injury and loss of life.
Some of the main reasons other drivers are often to blame in motorcycle accidents include:
- Failing to watch out for motorcyclists. Drivers have a responsibility to keep an eye out for motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vehicles. Since motorcycles have a lower profile and are less visible, extra caution and care must be taken to be on alert for motorcyclists. Drivers are much more likely to cause an accident if they fail to look over their shoulder before changing lanes, fail to check all around them when making a turn, or fail to exercise diligence when backing out of a driveway or parking spot.
- Distracted driving. The result can be disastrous when a driver takes his or her attention off the road to read or answer a text, make a phone call, look for an item in the vehicle, or engage in any other distracting activity, even if only for a few seconds. Distracted drivers can prove particularly deadly for motorcyclists, since motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to sustain fatal injuries in a traffic collision than the occupants of the motor vehicle, according to NHTSA.
- Making left turns into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Drivers must exercise caution when making a left turn to see whether a motorcycle is approaching. Erring on the side of caution and yielding right-of-way can help prevent fatal left-turn accidents between vehicles and motorcycles.
- Following too closely behind a motorcycle. Motorcycles are often able to stop in a shorter distance than heavier vehicles like cars and trucks. Although NHTSA attributes only 6 percent of the fatal, two-vehicle motorcycle accidents to rear-end collisions, motorcyclists face the risk of severe injury or death when hit from behind.
- Failing to signal before making a lane change or lane drifting. Drivers must let motorcyclists know their intentions by signaling before making a lane change. Drivers who fail to signal, who lane drift, or whose inattention causes them to unintentionally move out of a lane put motorcyclists at risk.
- Aggressive driving. Aggressive driving or road rage is dangerous and illegal. In some instances, drivers are unwilling to share the road and do not consider motorcyclists to have the same rights as other drivers. When a driver starts racing to catch up with a motorcyclist, tailgating or opts to cut a motorcyclist off as a way to seek revenge, the outcome can be deadly. In some instances, drivers can get so angry that they may actually lose the ability to “see” the road and other vehicles around them.
- Drunk or drug-impaired driving. Drivers who get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having consumed alcohol or taken drugs are putting countless lives at risk. Numerous accidents involving motorcycles are caused by people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Disproving the Myth of the Reckless Rider
It's not uncommon for insurance companies and lawyers to attempt to shift the blame for a motorcycle accident to the rider. Many bear anti-motorcyclist prejudices and strongly believe reckless riders are largely at fault when an accident involving a motorcycle and another vehicle has occurred. Others are trying to take advantage of these prejudices to lay blame where it does not belong.
Our lawyers fight hard to help disprove such myths. We don’t believe motorcyclists should be stuck with such an outdated and false stigma, particularly when most riders are all too aware of the risks and exercise extra caution to follow the rules of the road and avoid accidents.
At Sevenish Law Firm, we seek to give responsible motorcyclists the voice they need when going up against insurance companies and lawyers who are intent on trying to defend an at-fault motorist for negligent driving actions. As a key element in an Indiana motorcycle accident injury case is whether a driver acted carelessly or without regard for the safety of others on the road. We are committed to conducting thorough investigations into the cause of the accident.
Our lawyers are unrelenting in the pursuit of evidence to establish negligence and prove fault, and we'll do everything we can to help our clients seek justice. Our goal is to provide aggressive representation so the truth prevails and our clients can pursue the compensation they deserve.
How Our Lawyers Help Motorcyclists Hurt by Other Motorists
Over the years, our motorcycle accident lawyers have represented countless Indiana motorcyclists who have sustained injury, harm, or loss in motorcycle accidents caused by other motorists. Our professional lawyers know how to accurately document and establish the facts in a motorcycle accident. We are well-versed in Indiana law, and use our knowledge and experience to help give motorcycle accident victims and their families an edge in an injury or wrongful death case.
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident that you believe was caused by a negligent driver, contact our firm to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers. We will take the time to review your case, advise you of your legal rights and assist you in seeking all financial damages you may be entitled to under the law.