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Monday, January 29, 2018
Motorcycles, unlike motor vehicles, are unprotected from their surroundings. That means when a rider is involved in an accident, they could be hit by debris, asphalt, and even vehicles. Being so vulnerable puts a rider at high risk for catastrophic injuries – some of which could be fatal.
Therefore, it is no surprise that motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injury claims and higher settlements than average motor vehicle accidents.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, it is in your best interest to speak with an accident attorney. An attorney can assess the circumstances of your accident and not only determine if you have a valid claim, but aggressively fight for your right to compensation.
Motorcycles are not as stable and lack the visibility of your average passenger car, but they still have high performance capacity. Therefore, they can move quicker and zoom in and out of traffic with ease. While they have that mobility, the mobility is often what hurts the rider. After all, to provide such performance capacity, the rider must be fully exposed to the elements. They do not have the protections of a passenger vehicle, including airbags, crash absorption systems, and so forth.
The full force of the impact is placed on the rider’s body. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute, the government estimates that for every one mile traveled in 2015, the number of deaths for riders was 29 times higher than the number for passenger vehicles.
Here are just some of the statistics the IIHS found in their 2016 study:
One of the most common and devastating injuries in a motorcycle accident is head trauma. When a traumatic brain injury occurs, it can be devastating and lead to long-term complications. For some, it could lead to death.
You can see that a clear majority of riders still died from their injuries despite wearing a helmet. However, not wearing a helmet increases the risk of death in a minor motorcycle accident substantially. Therefore, all riders and passengers on motorcycles should still wear the proper helmet to increase their chances of surviving a crash.
While lower extremity injuries are also common, the most common fatal injuries occur to the head, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A catastrophic injury does not have to be fatal. In fact, many devastating injuries are not fatal, but leave the victim with long-term disabilities. Lower extremity injuries are the most common seen by Level I and Level II trauma centers nationwide.
An estimated 97 percent of those injuries were AIS 2 or higher, and a vast majority involved bone fractures and soft tissue damage. Luckily, an estimated 81 percent of patients who sustained lower extremity injuries were eventually discharged from the hospital, but the cost of those injuries ranged anywhere from $20,745 in hospital charges to as high as $56,288 per patient. These charges only reflect the immediate care after the accident, and do not even address the long-term care or other financial losses that victims sustain.
Motorcycle accidents are highly complex and involve the interaction of a motorcycle, environmental factors, vehicles, and the person riding the bike. There is no such thing as a “typical” motorcycle accident. In most cases, these accidents are violent events that result in death or disability. An ejection from the motorcycle is a common pathway to injury or fatality, because when the bike comes to a sudden stop, there is nothing affixing the rider to the bike. Also, the rider can forcibly strike any objects within the pathway of the ejection – as well as the ground.
Think of your passenger vehicle, then consider a motorcycle. A motorcycle does not have the same protection or crashworthiness. Vehicles weigh considerably more and have more bulk. They also contain door beams, roofs, airbags, and seatbelts – things that a motorcycle does not have. They are stable, because they have four wheels on the ground, while a bike has two.
When a motorcycle sacrifices weight and bulk, it receives agility and maneuverability. A skilled rider can also swerve quickly, when necessary. However, in an accident situation that they cannot escape, those protections that bikes lack are glaringly obvious.
Motorcycle accidents occur for a variety of reasons, but one of the more common is a lack of control or understanding. A rider may not be able to appreciate the characteristics or limitations of their motorcycle; thus, causing their own accident.
Other times, multi-vehicle crashes are the cause. For example, a common reason for motorcycle versus passenger vehicle accidents is that a motorcycle is caught by a vehicle turning into its path during a left hand turn.
Also, a good majority of motorcycle accidents involve alcohol, whether the rider, or the driver of the other vehicle was intoxicated. Riding a motorcycle while impaired is especially dangerous, because it affects a rider’s reaction times and ability to stay balanced.
While head and chest injuries are the most common reason for motorcycle fatalities, you must realize that helmets are still the single most important safety device. A helmet has a large, durable outer shell that can distribute the force of an accident away from the skull and protects it from being pierced. The inner liner is crushable and limits force by absorbing a portion of that impact. When a helmet works, it can save a victim from a lifetime of traumatic brain injury consequences.
Federal safety standards are in place for motorcycle riders and the helmets they wear. Therefore, riders should only purchase motorcycle helmets that have been federally approved. Older models often do not meet these safety standards, and they can even obstruct a rider’s view – thereby actually causing an accident.
Crashes that involve a motorcycle and passenger vehicle striking from the front are often deadlier than any other type of vehicle incident. That is because it forces the motorcycle to come to a sudden stop, which ejects the rider into the other vehicle, over the vehicle, or into standing objects. At high speeds, rarely will a rider survive a head-on collision with another motor vehicle.
Lane splitting is when a rider rides in between the two lanes of traffic, such as in a traffic jam situation. Lane splitting can lead to a catastrophic accident because:
Sometimes in a lane splitting accident the rider is at-fault, while other times the motorist could be at fault. It depends on the cause of the accident, and the laws of the state – whether lane splitting is allowed in that state or not.
In a serious motorcycle accident, the at-fault party will typically pay for damages. Sadly, there are incidents where the passenger vehicle takes off or does not even realize they caused an accident. For example, when it is dark, and a motorcycle is attempting to pass a vehicle. The driver of the vehicle tries to change lanes, but doesn’t check their blind spot before doing so. The rider sees the vehicle and tries to swerve out of the way to avoid the collision, but crashes on the side of the road as a result.
The driver never noticed the rider; therefore, does not realize they ran them off the road. In this case, the motorist continues to drive away.
In instances where the driver leaves the scene, the rider’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may pay for the injuries until the driver of the at-fault vehicle can be found.
Regardless, catastrophic injuries may exceed a person’s insurance coverage, especially if that motorist has the minimum liability insurance coverage. While insurance is only obligated to pay up to the policy maximum, there are other ways that a victim can recover fully.
If you have suffered a serious accident because of a careless motorist, you have the right to compensation for your injuries. To explore your options, you need to speak with an attorney that has experience handling the complexity of a motorcycle accident case.
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I’ve been knowing about this Law firm for many years through friends, referrals & advertisements , never I thought I would need their services , because I believed things & situations don’t happen to me like this , long story short I was in situation that I needed help & advice!!! The right direction , I connected with the Firm & a very patient , understanding professional woman by the name of Margie assisted me in what I needed 🙂 Thank you I will refer as I was as referred as well This firm really does care !
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I was rear-ended by a semi-truck on my way to work. I was transported to the hospital and my car was totaled. In the aftermath, Dan Petrich and Anna Schmidt from Malman Law helped me get set up with physical therapy and negotiated with the insurance companies to make sure the resulting settlement would cover my medical bills and a rental car until I could get a new car. I would highly recommend their services.
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Attorney Greg Lamorena was my lawyer when I slipped and fell. He kept me updated throughout the case and was always available to talk when I had questions. He is a great lawyer and could not be happier about my settlement!
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Alexis was the attorney on my case! She kept me in the loop about everything with my case. If I had any concerns I was able to contact her and she’ll answer my questions right away. If your interested in working with Malman Law I would highly recommend Alexis she was GREAT. I would highly recommend Malman Law if you’re ever in need!
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I have had an amazing experiences with Malman law so far. From the start Dan was super easy to work with, got me the medical attention I needed and fast. Couldn’t ask for better communication. Neil Kilcoyne has been nothing but the best I could not recommend a better attorney. Malman Law is a 10 out of 10 law firm.
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Hi I just want to acknowledge Jay McCarron, Kelly & the Firm at Malman Law for representing me as they continue to work on my case. Thanks for keeping me updated & responding quickly to any of my questions or concerns. I would Highly recommend you and your firm to friends & family. E. P.
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Adam Meadow acted as the attorney for a family member who was in a car accident. He was highly personable and actively listened to our issues throughout the litigation process. He was able to get us a settlement for the repairations of the accident. We would recommend their services!
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Helped me out of a big jam when my auto was hit twice when and the other drivers had no insurance. Adam Meadow is the only Lawyer I will call for helping me an my daughter.
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I cannot give enough praise to the team at Malman Law, for helping with my case . My children were involved in a auto collision and the attorney Adam along with his paralegal Michelle worked diligently until the matter was resolved and my entire family was happy. I would definitely recommend Malman Law for anybody going through legal troubles.
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A close friend recommended me to Malman Law. I currently have a case with them due to a car accident I had and ever since the accident they have been taking care of everything for me without me having to worry about anything. They took care of the medical bills & helped me get physical therapy right away. I highly recommend them.
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Bella Feinstein, Jason Kellerman, and Terry Davey, have been instrumental in helping me though many difficult situations. Not only did they work to get my mom a settlement, they have continued to help me through the legal process of relocating my mom to a different state. I’m very grateful for their hard work and good advice.
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Mr. Kellerman of Malman Law shows compassion for his clients. Returns calls and emails promptly, takes time to listens to his clients and gather facts accordingly.
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Everyone at Malman Law made me feel welcomed and heard. My lawyer, Adam Meadow, as well as staff kept me up to date and were more than happy to do so! I would highly recommend their services. Also- a plus is many employees are fluent in Spanish. My experience was easy and worthwhile.
- Adrianna Gomez
Dan Petrich was the best man for my case of falling through my porch of a apartment I rented. He made sure I got what I deserved not only $ wise but medical wise and that my hospital bills and Dr bills were left at a $0 balance before closing my case. I was definitely happy and glad I choose him. Thank you. 5 stars
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My experience with Malman Law was great. I worked with Attorney Tiffany Alberty and her assistant Margie. Both communicated what was going on with my case, explained next steps and got my case to resolved early. I would highly recommend Malman Law.
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2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet
NOAH TAFFELPersonal Injury Victim