Motorcycle Accident Attorney

7 Things You Need to Know About Motorcycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle is fun, attractive, and spiked with high adrenaline. Especially in the late spring and summer days, riding a two-wheel speed machine is an urge many find hard to resist. As anything, when enjoyed responsibly, the motorcycle can be a hobby you can enjoy for many years. But unfortunately, the statistics show the opposite side of this phenomenon, as the number of fatal motorcycle accidents constantly rises each year.

Even though the perils of this activity are obvious, this doesn’t seem to affect the constant number of riders that show no respect for safety regulations. First of all, riding a two-wheel vehicle is by itself dangerous, as such vehicles can never be stable and safe as four-wheel cars. By default, motorcycle riders are fully exposed to falls that result in a rider directly hitting the road at a high velocity, protected only by a helmet (hopefully) and maybe a motorcycle jacket.

When those risk factors are combined with extreme speed, alcohol, recklessness, and nighttime or other weather conditions (rain, slippery roads), the accidents are only waiting to happen.

You should, therefore, always endeavor to ride as safely as possible to prevent tragic outcomes. Hopefully, this article will help raise awareness of the dangers of motorcycling and provide guidance on how to protect your rights when such an accident is survived.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Here we will lay down the most relevant motorcycle accident statistics from the National Highway Transport Safety Administration for the year 2019, that are based on the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and non-fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes from the National Automotive Sampling System, General Estimates System, and Crash Report Sampling System.

We hope that the statistics laid down below will help you to better understand how and when the accidents occur, and what causes them the most. This way, you can better adapt your driving and avoid the key risk factors.

There were 5,014 motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities and 17% of all occupant (driver and passenger) fatalities. Of the 5,014 motorcyclists killed in traffic, 94% were riders and 6% were passengers. When compared with the year 2018, there was an increase of 2% in injuries, rising from 82,000 (2018) to 84,000 (2019). Regarding the most frequent locations of the accidents, 61 % of the motorcycle fatalities occurred in urban areas, while 39% occurred in rural areas. Out of the total number of fatalities, 66% occurred at locations that were not intersections compared to 34% at intersections.

The weather conditions are also a large indicator of the occurrence of accidents: 97% occurred in clear/cloudy conditions, 2% in rain conditions, and only 1% in snow/sleet, fog, or other conditions. Furthermore, 57% occurred during daylight and 38% percent in the dark.

As motorcycles are known to be high-speed vehicles, speed is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. NHTSA considers a crash to be speeding-related if the driver was charged with a speeding-related offense. 33% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were speeding.

Also, it is interesting to compare the age factor against the speed factor, as the contributors to the occurrence of accidents.  The statistical data shows that motorcycle riders aged 21-to-24 years old involved in fatal crashes had the highest speeding involvement at 49 percent.

Finally, one of the most common risk factors is driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2019, 29% of riders were alcohol-impaired, and 7% of riders killed had lower alcohol levels. Motorcycle riders involved (killed or survived) in fatal crashes in 2019 had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver (29% for motorcycle riders, 20% for passenger car drivers, 19% for light-truck drivers, and 2% for large truck drivers). 

Driving safely and avoiding the risk factors is always the best approach to make sure you never experience a motorcycle accident. If unfortunately, you experience one, here is what you should do.

The first and most important part is to take care of your safety and the safety of others. If you are seriously but still conscious and able to react, make sure you call the police and the emergency. If you are fortunate and have avoided serious injuries and the need to go to the hospital, you should stay calm and gather information as this can prove to be vital in the future.

You should gather the initial information, such as license plate numbers, and maybe draw a map of what happened. Taking photographs of the scene is a good decision and can be very helpful. Try to take photographs that are clear and that show the entire location.  Also, keep a note of the exterior conditions of the accident scene: what was the weather like, what was the condition of the road, and was the road slippery. Also, you should take photos of the traffic signs indicating the speed limit, direction, etc.

As one of the very important pieces of evidence, you can gather, you should observe if there were any witnesses to the accident. You can go talk to them, ask them what they saw, and would they be open to testifying before the court if needed. Don't forget to ask them for their contact information, at least the phone number.

Keep in mind that if not gathered immediately, much of the evidence can go unnoticed and disappear, making it impossible to use them later.

Also, this is the perfect and timely moment to call your lawyer.

The answer is simple – NO.

You don't have to do any of that, especially not at the time when you are still under stress and subject to fear and anxiety after the accident. This particularly concerns the admission of guilt or signing medical or insurance releases.

The statements you make in that condition could result in severe problems in the future, and you should not do or sign anything before you are properly advised by your lawyer.

If you participated in a motorcycle accident and are considering filing a personal injury claim, you should know that, motorcycle riders must be less than 49 percent at-fault for causing the concerned accident in order to be eligible to seek compensation. This is also known as the „51% rule“. This means that if a court would determine that you are 50% fault or responsible for the accident, you will not be able to successfully collect compensation.

But if your case is eligible for compensation, this is what you can recover.

Motorcycle accidents can cause many problems. As a starting point, your vehicle will most likely be destroyed and in need of repair. Maybe your motorcycle is your only mean of transport, so you won't be able to use it and will be forced to pay the public transportation or car rental. Furthermore, if you are injured, you will need medical assistance and maybe even rehabilitation and occasional medical care. All this will create costs and bills that have to be paid. 

Also, during your time of recovery, there is a great chance that you won't be able to work or perform your everyday activities. This could result in a loss of income, and damage to your general quality of life resulting in fear, anxiety, pain, and other forms of suffering.

All of the consequences of accidents that are mentioned above can be recovered with financial compensation, and this is why it is very important to make your claim comprehensive and detailed. In the first instance, you will negotiate with insurance adjusters. In the vast majority of cases, you will not receive an offer for full compensation.  This is why you should never allow being pressured to agree to the first offer, as it will most likely be a low ball. This shouldn't worry you as this is a standard strategy of insurance companies as they always aim to pay as less as possible.

If you are not satisfied with your offer for settlement, you can consider going to trial. Having a strong and experienced lawyer by your side is of paramount importance.

If you are guilty of a motorcycle accident, the worst thing you can do is to run away from the accident scene. This is popularly known as the „hit and run“. 

Leaving the scene of the accident is punishable by law, and depending on the circumstances of the case, the hitters-and-runners could be facing prison time even up to 5 years and fines ranging up to USD 5.000.

Also, if you are guilty, you can expect a personal injury claim from the injured side. Admitting guilt too soon is never recommendable as you have the right to remain silent. If you jump ahead with obliging statements, there is a risk you might admit more than you've actually committed. This is also applicable in personal injury claim procedures, you should not pay more than you are obliged by the law.

Keep in mind that the opposing party will go the extra mile to collect as much as possible from you. This is why the first thing you should do is to call your lawyer, as your lawyer will be the first pillar of your defense making sure that you receive fair treatment and trial.

If you are not satisfied with the offer for the compensation you've received from the insurance company and believe you deserve more, maybe it is the right time to contact your lawyer and start preparing for the trial. These are the key takeaways you need to know about going to court to seek personal injury compensation.

The most important matter that will be discussed before the court is the level of liability for the accident. Make sure you hire an experienced lawyer who will assess your case properly and avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. This is the point when all the actions you've taken to gather evidence post-accident, actually come to life.

After your lawyer prepares the case, he will submit a lawsuit before the competent court and present your case. When the motions are served to all parties, and the process has begun, during the pre-trial process, the evidence and witness information will be gathered in a process stage that is called the "discovery." This point can last for several months, it is not uncommon for the parties to submit themselves to arbitration, mediation, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. If such attempts would fail, your case will go to trial and the trial date will be set.

During the trial, all of the evidence and witness statements will be presented to the judge who will decide if your claim is valid or not.

You need to know that winning the trial will most likely result in you receiving much higher compensation than the one offered by the insurance company. That is of course if your case has a strong ground and if the collection of evidence is done properly.

In Utah, you can represent yourself without the assistance of a lawyer. However, if you decide to do so, there is a great chance that your case will not take the desired direction, as there are many mistakes you can make, such as:

  • failing to react in time and falling under the statute of limitations,
  • accidentally admitting guilt or assuming more guilt than needed,
  • accepting a first low-ball offer under pressure,
  • not gathering evidence to support your claim, or
  • not understanding all aspects of your pain that is compensable,

Hiring an experienced and reliable lawyer makes those risks go away. A properly trained lawyer has spent years practicing personal injury law and fully understands how courts and insurance companies work and think. With their assistance, you will be able to seek compensation for the full extent of your injuries, possibly even the aspects you yourself didn't even consider or were aware of their existence.

Also, when you represent yourself you will most likely be emotionally engaged in the case. This can be detrimental to your capacity to think objectively and to deal with pressure. A reliable lawyer is operating under a code of professionalism, ensuring that you are safe and well protected at any time.

It is not without reason why it is said that the man who represents himself, has a fool for a client.

Make Your Best Claim With The Representatives
If you want to reach your best settlements, contact us now and we will make sure it happens. Our long line of satisfied clients for which we have collected millions of dollars in compensation is the firm and solid evidence we offer to deserve your trust. W have a strict no-surprise policy for our clients, meaning that you will always and without exceptions be offered a fair deal for our services, in advance, and in writing.  Our Law Firm is strongly focused on personal injury cases, and we possess all the experience required to win. If you contact us, you will get free consultations and be designated with our team member that has the most experience in cases similar to yours. Winning your case will be our primary focus. The Representative is a personal injury law firm. Our team of expert attorneys have years of experience representing clients and getting fair compensation. Avail of a free consultation now.


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