What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
There are many possible causes of motorcycle accidents, including those that entitle victims to compensation under Missouri and Illinois law. Read on to learn more, and to find out whether you have a claim, call our office today to speak with a St. Louis personal injury attorney.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motor vehicles pose the greatest threat to motorcyclists. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 16 times more likely to die in an accident than a motor vehicle driver who strikes them.
Motorists, therefore, have a great responsibility to avoid striking motorcyclists. Motor vehicle drivers may breach their responsibility by:
Engaging in Distracting Behaviors
Distractions are ever-present on the streets of St. Louis. Motorists have the greatest ability to distract themselves, though, and may do so by:
- Taking or observing photographs or videos
- Posting on social media
- Eating or drinking
- Engaging in conversations, whether with others in the vehicle or on a telephone
- Engaging with other drivers, perhaps out of frustration or anger
- Adjusting their vehicle’s entertainment system
Distracted drivers are negligent drivers. If a driver causes a motorcycle accident while distracted, they’re generally liable for resulting damages.
Reckless drivers put others at a clear risk of harm. Because motorcyclists are at a significantly elevated risk of injury during an accident, reckless drivers constitute an even greater threat to motorcyclists. A reckless driver may:
- Drive above the speed limit
- Drive too fast for dangerous weather conditions, like rain, snow, and fog
- Change lanes and make turns without signaling
- Make abrupt movements
- Show a general disregard for others’ safety
We will identify any reckless driving that contributed to your motorcycle accident.
Disobeying Traffic Signals
Traffic signals and signs serve a critical function. For one, they help prevent accidents. When a motorist runs a red light, ignores a yield sign, fails to maintain their lane, or disobeys any other rule of the road, they put motorcyclists (and others) at risk.
Driving While Impaired by Drugs or Alcohol
A motorist may face criminal charges for driving while drunk or on drugs. Victims injured by a drunk or drug-affected driver may also take civil action.
Motorists are not the only cause of motorcycle accidents, even if they’re a common one. Other potential causes of your accident include:
- Deteriorating roads, which may contain cracks, potholes, slick surfaces, and other hazards
- Motor vehicle defects
- Motorcycle defects
- Out-of-operation traffic signals or fallen road signs
- The actions of pedestrians, bicyclists, or scooter riders
The cause of your motorcycle accident will be central to your case. Our team will diagnose the cause of your collision and identify all liable parties.
Damages Resulting from Motorcycle Accidents
The Insurance Information Institute (III) notes that motorcycle accidents can cause:
- Medical expenses: Emergency services, hospitalization, surgery, specialists visits, medications, in-home care, and other medical expenses may result from a motorcycle accident.
- Loss of professional and household productivity: You may be unable to perform your professional duties, losing income as a result. You may also lose bonuses, retirement benefits, and status with your employer. Additionally, you may be unable to perform your household duties, which do have value.
- Significant property damage: Your motorcycle, helmet, cell phone, and other personal property may suffer damage during your accident.
- A period of rehabilitation: You may need to undergo rehabilitation for your injuries, which may have both direct and indirect costs.
You may suffer other damages. Pain and suffering and the cost of temporary transportation may be recoverable losses. If you lose a loved one, which is a possibility in any motorcycle accident, then you may experience further damages. A wrongful death may cause:
- Immense grief and pain
- Loss of financial support
- Lost companionship
- Loss of the decedent’s household duties
- Lost parental guidance
- Funeral expenses
These losses may be recoverable. An attorney from Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. will seek the full amount of coverage you’re entitled to.
Who Is Financially Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident?
Liability for your motorcycle accident depends on the circumstances.
Motorists May Be Liable for Their Negligent Actions
When a motorist causes an accident through negligence, then they are generally liable. Missouri requires all motorists to have auto insurance, and a liable motorist’s insurance may cover your losses. However, you may choose to sue a liable motorist if they lack insurance or your losses exceed their coverage limits.
Employers May Be Liable for Their Employees’ Negligence
Employers may be liable when an on-the-clock employee causes a motorcycle accident. Even if the employer did nothing to contribute to the accident, they may cover some or all of your losses.
Manufacturers May Be Liable for Defects
When defects cause an accident, then the responsible manufacturer may be liable. If the origin of the defect lies with a party other than the manufacturer, then that party may be liable.
Government Bodies May Be Liable for Road Conditions
If the City of St. Louis or another governmental body oversees dangerous roads that caused your accident, then it may be liable for your losses.
Should You Hire an Attorney for a Motorcycle Accident Case?
You may want to hire an attorney for your motorcycle accident case. Your case may involve significant compensation, and you may have one opportunity to seek fair coverage. Having an experienced attorney on your side may be a safe bet.
An attorney from our team will:
- Complete a thorough investigation of your motorcycle accident
- Gather and preserve all relevant evidence
- Hire any experts who will benefit your case
- Oversee settlement negotiations
- Go to trial if necessary
- Protect your rights throughout the duration of your case
You can try your case without an attorney. Doing so may be time-consuming, stressful, and ultimately unsuccessful. If you have significant injuries or have lost a loved one, then a lawyer may be the representative you need.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation About Your Motorcycle Accident with a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer
Our firm is comprised of three generations of trial attorneys. We don’t back down from difficult cases. If you deserve justice, then we’ll fight for you. Call Bruntrager & Billings, P.C. today at 314-646-0066 for your FREE consultation. You can also contact us online to submit your case.
Don’t wait to call. We may have a small window to file your case. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get to work.