(Contributed post for our North American readers)
Everyone who decides to operate a motorcycle understands that there are significant differences between this type of transportation method and that of a car, truck, or another passenger vehicle. In fact, a motorcycle license is a different class of driver’s license than for a passenger vehicle, much like you are required to carry a Commercial Driver License (CDL) to operate an 18-wheeler or other large commercial vehicle. There are many reasons that make a motorcycle different from a car, and these reasons are part of why motorcycle accident claims and lawsuits are different than car accident insurance claims.
Below are just a few different reasons why these types of accident claims and lawsuits are different, but the reality is that the differences are much more complex than pointing out the difference in wheels between a motorcycle and a car. To get a comprehensive idea of what makes YOUR accident different, contact motorcycle accident lawyer Richard Morse for a free consultation today. Your case is unique and deserves the care and attention that a proven accident attorney will give you.
Motorcycle Accidents Have Higher Fatality Rates
Everyone who operates a motorcycle, or rides on the back of one, must be aware of the fact that motorcycles are significantly more dangerous than cars. They have higher rates of collisions per capita—for a variety of reasons, most not the fault of the motorcyclist—and a higher fatality rate per accident, meaning that the risks are significant on both accounts. In 2001, the NHTSA showed that motorcyclists were about 26 times as likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a passenger car, and are 5 times as likely to be injured.
Proving Liability Can Be More Complicated With a Motorcycle
Because of the additional complexity of operating a motorcycle safely, insurance companies often try to put the additional fault on the motorcycle driver, whether or not there are clear grounds for this. Insurance companies focus on limiting the amount of money that they pay for any injury claim against their policyholders, and they will use the fact that you were operating a motorcycle instead of a vehicle as a possible grounds for placing some degree of negligence on you.
Helmet Laws May Complicate Injury Claims
If you are in an accident and you are not wearing a helmet in California, then you will have serious issues trying to collect on damages that are related to your head. However, there are states where motorcycle drivers over a certain age are allowed to operate or ride without a helmet, and although this theoretically should not impact their ability to collect on damages, it will likely play a role in your negotiations.
Trying To Fight For What You Deserve Is Harder When You Are Seriously Injured
As mentioned above, motorcycle accidents are 5 times more likely to lead to injury, meaning that there is also an increased risk that you will suffer from serious, life-changing injuries. After you are hurt in an accident, the last thing that you want to be doing is to fight with an insurance company about money that you are rightfully owed. In fact, taking on additional stress will have a serious impact on your recovery process, which is another reason why you need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.