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Many motorcycle owners check the weather reports in the morning and weigh the decision of taking their car to work, school, or a local destination, or hopping on their motorcycle for a more exhilarating ride. A ride in the open air can turn a dull daily commute into something that feels weekend-worthy and also saves gas costs—but that’s not where the differences end. The same unenclosed design that makes a motorcycle ride so invigorating also leaves the rider far more vulnerable in a traffic accident. With no seatbelts and no metal between rider and ground, motorcyclists often make direct bodily contact with the road during a crash, resulting in grave injuries. Not only that, but riders should also consider the significant differences they might encounter in the accident claim process after a motorcycle accident compared to a car accident.
Some startling statistics highlight key differences in car accident vs. motorcycle accident dangers:
Motorcycles are less stable than 4-wheeled vehicles, making them more prone to accidents when riders take sharp turns or make sudden stops. The slim profile of a motorcycle also makes it more difficult for motorists to see in traffic.
Helmets protect motorcycle riders from many types of head injuries, but because a motorcyclist’s body is largely unprotected in an accident they are far more likely to experience serious injuries with expensive medical costs. Damages in motorcycle accidents include higher amounts for the following, compared to those injured in car accidents:
Accident-related costs are greater in motorcycle accident claims because extensive injuries often require longer hospital stays, painful medical procedures, and ongoing physical therapy. Some injury victims may also need home health aides during their recovery period. Road-rash abrasions may cause painful, burn-like injuries that often leave disfiguring scars. Compared to car accidents, motorcycle accidents are more likely to leave injury victims with total or partial disabilities or significant impairment.
Motorcyclists have a less than favorable reputation with insurance companies, which can make it more difficult to recover full compensation for damages after an accident. This is especially true in comparative negligence insurance states where insurance companies can minimize the amount they pay out in damages by assigning an undue percentage of fault to the motorcyclist. Often, insurance companies deny claims completely or offer lowball settlements that don’t cover all of the injured victim’s damages.
It’s critical for injured motorcyclists to have experienced legal representation from an attorney who understands how to investigate the types of accidents unique to motorcycles, carefully calculate the often extensive damages, and aggressively pursue compensation for injured riders. You can speak to a New Haven car accident lawyer for more information regarding car or motorcycle accidents.