Seeking Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
31st January 2021
Were you injured by someone else while on your motorcycle? You may be wondering how much your injury claim is worth.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcyclists are at a higher risk for serious injuries than occupants of passenger vehicles, simply because of their lack of protection. Even the best motorcycle helmet (when one is worn) can’t prevent severe brain trauma from a serious accident. Other than a helmet, there’s nothing standing in the way between a motorcyclist and the force of a motor vehicle.
In 2018, there were 4,985 fatalities and 82,000 injuries from motorcycle accidents in the United States. Most of these deaths occurred on weekdays between noon and 9 p.m. and on weekends from noon to midnight. However, overall, there were more accidents on the weekdays, with the most accidents occurring between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. In North Dakota, a motorcyclist is injured every two days and killed every 23 days.
What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents are most often caused by driver negligence on behalf of the motor vehicle operator. This could mean distracted driving, driving under the influence, or generally not paying attention. Drivers are required to meet a standard duty of care on the roads, meaning that they will drive with the intent of not harming anyone. Distracted driving, aggressive driving, or driving under the influence are considered negligent breaches of this duty.
While these are general reasons that motorcycle accidents occur, the cause of motorcycle accidents can be broken down into further categories. Here are some common reasons why motorcycle accidents occur:
- Unsafe lane changes and merging are common causes of accidents as drivers often won’t see a motorcyclist in their blind spot if they’re changing lanes too quickly.
- Car door openings can also cause accidents. If a driver is parked on the side of the road and doesn’t check before opening their door, a motorcyclist could crash into it as they often don’t have enough time to react to the door opening.
- Rear-ending accidents are incredibly dangerous and potentially fatal for motorcyclists, depending on the speed at which the motor vehicle is going.
- Inexperienced drivers, such as young drivers, may also be more likely to cause a motorcycle accident. Drivers without lots of experience are not as used to being on the road. Therefore, they will not as used to sharing the road with motorcyclists.
- Occasionally, motorcycle accidents occur because of manufacturing defects. If a part malfunctions while the biker is driving, it could cause an accident to occur.
Injuries Sustained in a Motorcycle Crash
Traumatic Brain Injury
Even while wearing a helmet, traumatic brain injury can still occur. There are many different types of traumatic brain injury, ranging from mild to severe. An example of a mild traumatic brain injury is a concussion, which often has a quick recovery time and no lasting side-effects. However, a more severe injury, such as a coup/contrecoup injury can cause permanent brain damage and lead to serious complications. Not only that, but more severe brain injuries are also much more expensive because of the amount of treatment they require.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries occur when the nerves in the spine are damaged. This can cause either incomplete or complete paralysis. Generally, the higher up on the spinal column the damage occurs, the more severe the injury will be. Incomplete paralysis means that there hasn’t been a complete loss of ability below the site of the injury. Complete paralysis refers to a complete loss of ability below the site of the injury.
Injury to the Lower Extremities
Injuries to the lower extremities are incredibly common as they are left completely unprotected when riding a motorcycle. This can lead to broken bones, shattered bones, and crush injuries. In severe accidents, amputation may occur either at the scene of the accident or later on at the hospital because the damage to the limbs was too severe.
This type of injury is most common among motorcyclists. Road rash occurs when one’s body is thrown from or dragged by their bike, causing abrasion to the skin by the asphalt. Road rash can cause severe nerve damage and scarring and may require a skin graft to heal properly.
Internal injuries, such as damage to the organs and internal bleeding, require surgery to stop the bleeding and prevent any further damage. This type of injury may go unnoticed if the victim doesn’t seek medical attention immediately after the accident, causing them to get worse.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive?
The compensation that you receive depends on your specific situation. All motorcycle accident cases are different. You can receive both economic and non-economic damages for your case. Economic damages cover your medical bills (such as ambulance rides, hospital visits, surgery costs, physical therapy, and more) and any wages you may have lost while you were out of work.
Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of earning capacity, and permanent disability or disfigurement. Non-economic damages aren’t one size fits all. Your specific case and injuries will be evaluated to see how much compensation you deserve. A big part of this is the amount that your life has changed because of the accident. The more your quality of life has changed for the worse, the more compensation you’re likely to receive.
Contact a North Dakota Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our experienced and aggressive personal injury attorneys at Sand Law PLLC. We have years of experience working on motorcycle accident cases. And we’re ready to help you get the settlement that you deserve for your damages. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online, by chat, or by calling us at 701-609-1510.