Every year, more than 5,000 motorcycle riders suffer injuries in accidents, many of them due to another party’s negligence. As a motorcycle rider, you know that you must pay careful attention to the road to avoid injury. Many drivers of larger vehicles fail to pay proper attention to motorcycles on the road: pattern recognition leaves them looking for larger vehicles, rather than seeking out the smaller profile of a motorcycle. Not only that, motorcycles often fit tidily into larger vehicles’ blind spots, making it very difficult for those drivers to recognize the presence of a motorcycle.
Unfortunately, motorcycles also do not provide significant protection for their riders, which means that motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries to the rider of the motorcycle. If you suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyer at Flora Templeton Stuart as soon as possible.
Motorcycle accidents can occur very quickly, and even the safest rider cannot always prevent those accidents. In many cases, even when motorcycle riders attempt to respond to threats on the road, the bike may spin out of control, its lighter weight making it difficult to keep it under control during tight maneuvers.
Many drivers look for cars and other large vehicles before making a left turn, but fail to adequately check the area for smaller vehicles, including motorcycles or pedestrians, before completing a turn. Drivers can strike motorcycles as they make a left-hand turn in an intersection or as they move across the road to make a turn.
Sideswipe collisions occur between vehicles and motorcycles most frequently when another driver attempts to change lanes without properly checking for the motorcycle. Motorcycles often fall into the vehicle’s blind spot, making it difficult for the driver to see them. Sideswipe collisions can cause the motorcycle driver to lay over the bike or clip the bike, spinning it out of the biker’s control.
In a head-on collision, the other driver often strikes the motorcycle driver from the front, combining the speed and force of both vehicles. Most of the time, head-on collisions result in the motorcycle rider’s death. Even if the rider survives, he may have serious, long-term injuries that change the path of the rest of his life.
In addition to other drivers, road hazards can pose a significant danger to motorcycle riders. Because of their smaller size, motorcycles may respond more violently to hazards in the road, including potholes and objects in the road, than larger passenger vehicles. When a motorcycle rider loses control of his bike, it can make it very difficult to pull it back.
While appropriate protective gear, including both wearing a helmet and wearing gloves and a suit, can substantially decrease the risk of some types of injuries for motorcycle riders, it does not erase them entirely.
While the protective gear you use can have a big impact on some of the injuries you suffer, you deserve the same compensation for your injuries even if you opt not to wear full protective gear.
Wearing a motorcycle helmet can reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident by as much as 67 percent. Helmet use can also significantly decrease the severity of traumatic brain injury. Even minor traumatic brain injury, however, can cause severe, long-term complications in the life of the victim.
Complications from a traumatic brain injury may include:
After a minor traumatic brain injury, some symptoms may still linger for more than a year after the accident. Victims with more severe traumatic brain injury may have lifelong challenges as a result of their injuries. Following traumatic brain injury, motorcycle accident victims may need to relearn how to perform common activities.
In some cases, emotional disturbance, the loss of focus, or problems with creative thought may make it impossible for a traumatic brain injury victim to return to their former profession. Many people also note personality changes in victims of traumatic brain injury, which can result in a sense of social isolation.
Motorcycle accident victims who suffer spinal cord injuries may lose the ability to ride their motorcycles, since they may lose motor function below the site of the injury. For many victims of spinal cord injury, this loss of freedom, including the loss of activities that they once enjoyed, can cause significant emotional difficulty. In the case of incomplete spinal cord injury, victims may simply lose some motor function and mobility. Complete spinal cord injury, in which the spinal cord is completely severed, usually results in paralysis below the site of the injury. As a result, many victims face long-term changes to their lives.
Because of the lack of protection offered by a motorcycle in a serious accident, amputation can occur quickly. In some cases, motorcycle riders may suffer amputation during the accident, the limb severed or ripped away from the force of the accident. In others, the victim may have the limb removed due to crushing damage long after the accident.
Victims of amputations must often relearn how to perform common activities independently. Between two and six months after the amputation, victims may start the process of fitting and adapting to a prosthesis. While the prosthesis can improve independence and function, allowing the victim to enjoy many more activities, the amputation may still substantially limit the activities the victim can enjoy, including the profession he can take.
Victims of amputation may need to replace their original prosthesis within the first year after the accident. After that, many victims replace their prosthetic devices every 3-5 years, depending on wear and tear.
Road rash occurs when flesh gets dragged across the pavement during an accident. Mild road rash can take off the top few layers of skin, which, in some cases, leaves scarring behind. More severe road rash, on the other hand, goes through deeper layers of skin and even into deeper tissue. Severe road rash often results in more serious scarring, including scarring that may decrease mobility around joints.
When road rash occurs around the face, it may also leave the victim with considerable disfigurement, requiring plastic surgery to return normal appearance. When infection occurs following road rash, it can leave victims with even more serious complications. The more surface of the body road rash covers, the greater the likelihood of complications. Wearing a protective suit and gloves can significantly decrease the risk of road rash in a motorcycle accident, but may not eliminate it completely.
Many motorcycle accident victims suffer broken bones during the accident. Getting crushed beneath the motorcycle, between the motorcycle and a stationary object, or beneath the other vehicle can leave motorcycle accident victims with multiple broken bones. Even a single broken bone can cause significant complications that make it impossible for the victim of a motorcycle accident to complete work responsibilities or engage in his preferred leisure activities.
Broken bones can also leave victims with long-term pain following the accident, especially around bad weather. Multiple broken bones can also complicate the recovery and leave victims dependent on others to care for them during the recovery process.
When you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim that will help you receive financial compensation for your injuries. The compensation you can receive varies. In an accident with a driver who carries only minimum liability coverage, for example, you may receive a maximum of $25,000 of bodily injury coverage after an accident, even if the cost of your injuries exceeds that amount. Commercial drivers, including truck drivers, may carry higher-coverage insurance policies, which may increase the compensation you receive. Many motorcycle accident victims choose to claim:
Medical expenses. Medical expenses can mount fast after an accident. When considering your medical expenses, consult with an attorney to make sure you do not miss any important medical bills, including:
Keep in mind that you may have multiple medical bills that trickle in slowly after your accident and throughout your treatment. Keep track of those medical bills so that you can include them as part of your personal injury claim.
Lost wages. Many motorcycle accident injuries prevent you from working for a period of time after the accident. You may suffer limitations that prevent you from completing your job duties, from difficulty focusing and concentrating caused by traumatic brain injury or the brain fog caused by pain medications to the ongoing pain caused by serious injuries. Other injuries may prevent you from completing daily job tasks, especially highly physical job tasks. You may miss work:
Those lost wages can add up quickly, especially since you may already face significantly increased bills during your recovery. By including them as part of your personal injury claim, you can receive some compensation for those lost wages.
Pain and suffering. Not only do many motorcycle accidents cause substantial physical pain and suffering, you may deal with a great deal of mental and emotional anguish throughout your recovery. Your injuries may limit you significantly, leaving you reliant on others for your care. Not only that, your injuries may cause you to miss out on many of the activities you normally enjoy or had looked forward to before your accident. Talking with an attorney can help you better quantify the cost of your pain and suffering for inclusion in your motorcycle accident claim.
Lost earning potential. Due to the severity of motorcycle accidents, the injuries resulting from those accidents often prevent victims from returning to their former professions. Traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage, for example, may permanently prevent victims of motorcycle accidents from going back to work. Often, individuals with these injuries need training that will allow them to pursue employment in a new field. In other cases, they may need funds to help them pay bills while recovering. Filing for lost earning potential can help provide the compensation you need to pursue employment in a new field or to support yourself during your recovery.
To file a motorcycle accident claim, you may need to determine who caused your motorcycle accident. In many cases, the other driver bears primary responsibility for the accident. Sometimes, however, other factors contribute to the accident, including:
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in Kentucky, our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact Flora Templeton Stuart at (888) 782-9090 as soon after your accident as possible to start seeking the compensation you deserve.
Flora Templeton Stuart
607 E 10Th AVE
Bowling Green, KY 42101