During the summer months, there is no shortage of motorcycles that take to the road to enjoy the beautiful weather. But not everyone who gets on the road is careful, and as a result, motorcycle accidents are more likely to happen in the summer months. Sometimes, the results can be devastating — and even fatal. Let’s take a look at a few of the things you need to do if you’ve been involved in a fatal motorcycle accident.
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents: The Facts
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcyclists are twenty-seven times more likely to die in a crash than automobile drivers or other pedestrians. According to this same report, “motorcyclist deaths had been declining since the early 1980s but began to increase in 1998 and continued to increase through 2008. A fatal motorcycle accident accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2016 and were more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997.”
Whether or not the accident was the fault of the motorcyclist, if you’re one of the surviving relatives of a victim of a fatal motorcycle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit against the other party in the crash.
Different Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Just as not all car accidents are the same, no two motorcycle accidents are the same. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents.
- Rear-end collision. The rear-end collision is the most common type of motorcycle accident, and also the most common cause of whiplash (a painful neck injury whose effects can be devastating).
- Head-on collision. While these types of accidents aren’t as common as rear-end collisions, head-on collisions involving motorcycles are more likely to be fatal than rear-end collisions. Head-on collisions only account for about 2% of car accident fatalities, but 10% of fatal motorcycle accidents.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Approximately 10% of all accidents that occur on the roads in Louisiana involve a motorcycle, according to Louisiana State University. But there are a number of factors that can cause motorcycle accidents.
- Distracted driving. One of the most common types of distracted driving, today, involves either talking on the phone while driving or texting while driving. But other types of “distracted driving” can also cause a fatal motorcycle accident. Turning your head to deal with children, shaving, applying makeup, looking down to change the radio station, and even eating can all case the driver to get distracted, and a split second decision can lead to devastating consequences.
- Speeding. When someone is driving way too fast, they don’t have enough time to make a split second decision to stop. Driving too fast can not only lead to an accident, but it can lead to a fatal-on-impact accident.
- Inability to recognize motorcycles. Sometimes, when the weather is bad, it’s difficult to see the road. This difficulty in seeing the road can lead to a driver causing an accident, especially when looking for a motorcycle (which, simply put, is much smaller than even the smallest car). Sometimes, too, a driver doesn’t recognize a motorcyclist’s right of way. And that failure to either see the motorcycle or recognize a motorcyclist’s right of way can lead to devastating consequences.
- Irregular traffic patterns. Finally, but certainly, no less important, when there are dense or otherwise irregular traffic patterns, it can be all-too-easy for a driver to rear-end a motorcyclist, or worse yet, engage in a head-on collision with him/her. Depending on how fast the driver of the car goes, the end result can be fatal for the motorcyclist.
What Are Some Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Thankfully, not all motorcycle accidents are fatal. But even the most minor of motorcycle accidents can lead to a number of devastating injuries. Let’s take a look at some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries.
- Broken bones. This, obviously, is one of the most common injuries that a motorcyclist will experience in an accident. The worst case scenario, of course, is that the motorcyclist will break his/her back, and that will lead to paralysis.
- Hemorrhaging and loss of consciousness. This injury is a common injury for those motorcyclists who don’t wear their helmets. When a motorcyclist is thrown from his/her bike and lands on his head, internal bleeding, swelling, and “passing out” will all occur.
- Severe brain damage. To that end, too, any motorcyclist who lands on his/her head as a result of being thrown from the bike can suffer from severe brain damage, depending on where on the head the victim landing, and how quick she/he got treatment after it was determined that she/he was suffering from a head injury.
- Soft tissue injuries. Finally, but certainly, no less important, if a motorcyclist lands on a part of the body that houses a lot of “soft tissue” (such as a stomach or a liver), those types of injuries can be not only painful but can cause long-term damage if left untreated.
The Smiley Law Firm is here to help you, whether you’ve been the victim in a motorcycle accident, or you’re the surviving relative of a victim of a fatal motorcycle accident. Smiley Law Firm is concerned about results, and we’re also concerned about you. We appreciate our clients, and we appreciate the challenges they face every day.
The personal injury law field is full of legal hurdles. Smiley Law Firm makes it a priority to be there for each of our clients, to answer their questions, to help avoid legal missteps, and to deal with legal complications as they arise.
And that’s why the Smiley Law Firm is here for you.
For more information about us and our services, contact us today to schedule your free, no obligation consultation. You’ll be glad you did!