According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, motorcycles made up only about three percent of road users in Washington State, but accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities and 19 percent of all serious injuries in collisions between 2013 and 2017. About one in five motorcycle cases results in serious injury or death. As a result, an average of 75 motorcyclists lose their lives every year in collisions on Washington roads. These statistics have remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade.
The reality is that motorcycle riding is a risky form of transportation, especially when combined with dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, riding while intoxicated, riding without a motorcycle endorsement, or failing to wear a helmet.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle crash due to the negligence of a driver, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer for a free consultation.
How Are Motorcycle Cases Different from Car Accident Cases?
Motorcycle cases are different from car accident cases in several ways, mainly due to the unique risks associated with motorcycles. Because motorcyclists are so exposed when riding, they simply don’t have the same protection during a crash as a person in a car or truck. In many cases, the motorcyclist suffers severe injuries from the impact of the other vehicle and also from falling and sliding on the pavement. By comparison, most people involved in a car versus car or car versus truck accident remain within their vehicle upon impact.
Another major difference between car accident cases and motorcycle accident cases is the fact that there is unfair prejudice and biases against motorcyclists. Insurance companies and juries tend to see bikers as risk-takers or reckless drivers, which can impact how they evaluate and compensate cases. Because of this perception, it is very important to have a lawyer with plenty of experience with motorcycle accident claims on your team who can educate jurors about how motorcycles operate so they can understand how the accident happened.
Here are some other important differences:
- Insurance coverage. Insurance policies for motorcycles and cars differ, and motorcyclists may have limited or different coverage compared to car drivers. It is important for motorcyclists to have appropriate insurance coverage that includes bodily injury and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. In Washington State, all motorcycle drivers are required to carry liability coverage and proof they have insurance
- Laws and regulations. Laws and regulations for motorcycles may vary from those related to cars. For example, there may be specific helmet laws or requirements for motorcycles that do not apply to cars. These variations can impact liability, fault determination, and the legal process.
- Accident reconstruction. Motorcycle accident reconstruction can be more complex than car accident reconstruction due to the different dynamics and physics involved. Factors such as rider skill, road conditions, and motorcycle-specific issues (e.g., lane splitting) need to be considered during the investigation.
- Specialized expertise. Motorcycle accident cases often require specialized expertise to assess liability, determine the extent of injuries, and calculate damages accurately. It is crucial to consult with legal professionals experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases.
Given these differences, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident case, it is a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience with motorcycle accident cases to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Seek the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced motorcycle accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!