Motorcyclists in Montana have the same rights as anybody else on the roadway, but they certainly have far less physical protection. They’re not surrounded by a steel body and frame, and they have no air bags or seat restraint systems. They’re on two wheels rather than four, and the only types of crumple zones that motorcyclists have aren’t on their bikes. They’re the rider’s own bones and joints. In the event of an accident this lack of protection makes motorcyclists exposed and highly vulnerable to serious injuries or death. On top of that, the financial consequences of serious injuries or a fatality are likely to profoundly affect motorcycle crash victims’ families.
Some Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles present low and narrow profiles on roadways. After causing an accident, drivers of other vehicles often say that they didn’t see the motorcycle until it was too late, or they didn’t see it at all. As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42% of all fatal motorcycle crashes that involved another vehicle involved a vehicle turning left while the motorcyclist was traveling straight ahead. The Traffic Safety Center from the University of Southern California found that in one way or another, the driver of another vehicle violated the right-of-way of a motorcyclist about two-thirds of the time. Glare or vision being obstructed by other vehicles on the roadway was a factor in about half of all crashes. In a typical scenario, motorcyclists had only 2 seconds to take any collision avoidance action. Median pre-crash speed was 29.8 mph, while the median impact speed was 21.5 mph. Here are some other common causes of motorcycle crashes when another vehicle is involved:
- Vehicles making right turns onto roadways from private drives, alleys or secondary streets.
- Lane changes when a motorist fails to check his or her blind spots.
- Car doors when a person exiting a vehicle opens their door in front of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Rear-end crashes when gearing down rather than braking. Brake lights don’t illuminate to tell motorists behind a motorcycle that it’s slowing down rather than gearing down.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The NHTSA has noted that most severe, catastrophic or fatal motorcycle accident injuries are suffered when the motorcycle is hit head-on. Here are a few examples of common motorcycle accident injuries that our lawyers have seen over the years:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Even helmeted motorcyclists suffer traumatic brain injuries in crashes. Of course, these injuries are statistically more frequent when the rider isn’t wearing a helmet. Traumatic brain injuries are the most frequent cause of fatalities in motorcycle crashes.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord damage as a result of a neck injury from a motorcycle crash can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Fractures of the Lower Extremities: The study from the USC Traffic Safety Center found that about 50% of all motorcycle accident injuries were fractures to the ankle, lower leg, thigh or hip. NHTSA studies have confirmed this fact.
- Damage to Internal Organs: Vital organs can bleed from blunt force trauma from a motorcycle crash or penetration from bones or foreign objects. Without proper and immediate medical care, victims can literally bleed to death.
Don’t Give the Opposing Insurance Company a Statement
If your motorcycle crash injuries were caused as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, get to an emergency room right away. You may need immediate surgery. If you’re contacted by an opposing insurance company, don’t give any type of a written or recorded statement, no matter how the insurer’s representative might try to intimidate you. Montana law doesn’t require you to give that insurance company any type of statement.
Rather than giving a statement, you or a family member can contact us here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC instead for a free and confidential consultation and case review with the Missoula motorcycle accident lawyer from our law firm. We’re going to listen to you carefully, and we’ll answer your questions too. After that, we can talk about how your situation should be properly approached. Upon being retained to represent you, we’re going to pursue the maximum settlement or award that you deserve. No up-front money is required to hire us to represent you, and no legal fees are even due unless we obtain a settlement or award for you.
Contact Us Right Away
After you leave the hospital, contact us here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC, and we’ll be pleased to provide you with a free consultation and case review. Upon retaining us, our objective will be to obtain the maximum settlement or award that you deserve.
Speak confidentially with Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC. We want to help you. Remember that it’s our objective to maximize any proceeds that we obtain for you whether by settlement or an award.