According to a federal study, there were 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents in 2006. The reason for such disparity is due to several factors involving the nature of motorcycle riding: (1) motorcycles are much smaller and lighter than cars; (2) they are on only two wheels and; (3) they do not protect the rider with a metal enclosure, all factors which pose inherent risks when on the road with trucks and cars that travel at top speeds.
Motorcycles offer less stability, less visibility, no barrier between the driver and the road and require a higher level of skill to operate. Because of this, many accident cases involving motorcycle riding result in the death or critical injury of the rider. Typically, in these cases, negligence is the legal theory under which liability is determined in motorcycle accident cases. When a driver fails to maintain reasonable care, they may be held responsible for resulting injuries and damage.
Typically, when a motorcycle is involved in an accident, the driver of a car or truck is responsible. However, in many such cases, the driver of the motorcycle is found to be partially responsible, which reduces the percentage of the damages they are able to recover (see our post on comparative negligence). And, of course, reckless behavior and/or driving while intoxicated on the part of the plaintiff also contribute to the reduction (if not the elimination) of damages for motorcycle riders in these cases.
Winning damages in motorcycle accident cases is not a simple pursuit. Plaintiffs must demonstrate negligence on the part of the "at-fault" driver and obtaining witness testimony and expert opinion in some cases are a must to meet a preponderance of the evidence, required by law in these cases.
If you have questions about filing a personal injury motorcycle accident claim, please contact Panio Law Office attorneys at (708) 928-8680. We have ample experience fighting for clients in these cases. We understand the burden of proof and wide range of damages to which our clients are entitled. We fight hard to recover the highest awards. Call us today. We can help.