General Health

A Layman’s Guide to Motorcycle Accidents

Most of us consider motorcycle accidents to be similar to any other type of car accident. However, there are several inherent factors related to motorcycles that make these accidents different from the rest. This is true for the injuries that result from these accidents, the causes of the accidents, and the liability issues related to the accidents.

In this brief discussion, we will try to figure out how motorcycle accidents are different, how to determine liability in such accidents, and what should be done in the motorcycle accident aftermath.

Dangers Associated with Motorcycle Riding:

As well all know, motorcycles run on just two wheels, are much lighter and smaller compared to cars, and the riders are not enclosed within a metal enclosure. Along with several others, these factors make motorcycle riding a riskier business compared to riding a car. According to available statistics, in comparison to car accidents, motorcycle accidents are much more likely to cause serious injuries of fatality.

Some of the unique risk factors encountered while driving a motorbike are mentioned below.

  • As a result of their significantly smaller size, motorcycles tend to get hidden very easily by both on and off the road objects. As a result, the other vehicles traveling on the road are less likely to spot them, particularly at the intersection points.
  • Factors such as wet pavement, small objects, uneven road surfaces, and debris has little or no impact on driving a car. However, these factors can very easily trigger a motorcycle crash.
  • While riding a motorcycle, there is no barrier between the road and the rider. Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t have seatbelts, and airbags are also found rarely. The only defense for motorcycle riders against a possible crash is a helmet. Unfortunately, some riders even avoid using helmets and are extremely likely to be involved in a serious accident.
  • As the motorcycles have only two wheels, their stability is less compared to any vehicle with four wheels. Motorcycles are particularly unstable while swerving and applying emergency brakes.
  • Owing to so many additional risk factors, driving a motorcycle demands a higher level of skill and mental focus. However, many motorcycle riders don’t spend enough time to master this skill and are often too casual while driving.
  • More powerful and lighter motorcycles such as sport and supersport bikes often encourage high-risk behaviors such as excessive speeding, accelerating in crowded areas, etc.   

Motorcycle Accident Liability:

In most motorcycle accidents, liability is determined by the law of negligence. In legal terms, a person is considered to be negligent when he or she behaves in a careless or thoughtless manner that causes injury to someone else. Drivers of other trucks and cars are frequently found to be negligent in a very high percentage of motorcycle accidents. However, the rider may also be the negligent one if he swerves or sways in front of another vehicle or speeds up in a crowded place.

Elements of a Negligence Claim:

A negligence claim comprises of four key elements. The person making the claim must be able to establish the following points.

  • According to the law, the defendant is or was required to exercise reasonable care to avoid the accident.
  • The next point to establish is that the defendant was not able to exercise reasonable care to avoid the accident, as required by the law. In order to determine whether he or she was careful enough, the law compares the conduct of the driver to a reasonable person’s conduct.
  • The careless conduct of the defendant caused injury to the plaintiff.
  • The plaintiff suffered physical injury and/or financial losses as a result of the accident.

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