There are few things more appealing to the American imagination than a motorcycle – the freedom of the open road, the sound of the engine, the places you can go, and the people you meet. But talk to any motorcyclist, and you quickly realize that they are exposed to more danger than those of us who travel by car. Ironically, most of those dangers are presented by people negligently driving their cars.
Because they do not have the protection of an enclosed vehicle, motorcyclists are far more likely to be injured or killed in an accident. The CDC reports that motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to be killed in an accident than people who are driving cars. The statistics show that even though car deaths are declining, motorcycle accidents remain about the same, and in recent years, have even shown a slight increase.
These are certainly sobering statistics. However, it’s important to remember that many accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident as the result of the other driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other expenses.
Common Causes of Motorcycling Accidents
Because motorcycles are smaller, they are more difficult for other motorists to see them. As a result, most drivers who hit a motorcycle report that they “just didn’t see them.” Here are some common accidents caused by the driver’s failure to see the motorcyclist:
- Lane changing accidents: the car moves into the motorcycle’s lane and causes an accident.
- Left turns: the car turns in front of a motorcycle coming from the opposite direction, or in front of a passing motorcycle.
- Following too closely: motorcycles can stop much more abruptly than a car. If following too closely, it will be impossible for the car to stop in time in order to avoid hitting the motorcycle.
- Head-on collisions: these occur when a car moves into an oncoming lane in order to pass another vehicle and didn’t “see” the on-coming vehicle.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Again, motorcycles do not offer as much protection as a car. As a result, motorcycle accidents can result in severe injuries and even death. Helmets and other safety gear definitely help prevent injuries, but you still face serious risks such as the following:
- Head injuries – concussions, brain damage, and other severe head trauma
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Broken bones, torn tendons and ligaments
- Severe lacerations and “road rash”
Keep in mind that even if your accident was minor and you don’t think you’re injured, some injuries may manifest themselves over the next few days. Don’t ignore symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, headaches, or other pains – they may signal serious injuries that could get much worse if you don’t seek immediate medical treatment.
Contact an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, the other driver may be sincerely sorry for causing the accident. His or her insurance company may be very easy to work with and seem like they really want to get this resolved. However, you need to understand that they are not on your side, and want to settle your claim for as little money as possible. You need someone on your side who will fight for fair compensation. The lawyers at Slappey & Sadd have been helping motorcyclists in Georgia get the compensation they deserve since 1992. If you’d like a free consultation, just call us at 404-255-6677 or send us an email via our online contact form.