Motorcycle Crash Injuries
As a biker, you know how lucky you are to experience the freedom and joy of cruising down an open highway with the wind and sun hitting your face and your bike purring beneath you. But you also know risk accompanies that freedom.
Even if you are the safest rider out there, always following the rules and always wearing a helmet and protective gear, you know you are vulnerable to catastrophic accidents caused by inattentive drivers, road hazards, or other unique factors. You also understand that without metal car frames, seatbelts, or airbags protecting you, the outcome of a motorcycle crash is more likely to be severe injury or death.
Motorcycle accidents that lead to injury or death can also lead to claims for significant compensation for victims and their loved ones when caused by the recklessness or negligence of other drivers.
At Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers, our Texas and New Mexico motorcycle accident attorneys know how devastating it can be after a crash, with lost wages, lengthy and expensive medical treatment, and the pain and lack of mobility that make every day a painful challenge. We respect bikers and fight tirelessly to get them the resources and compensation to get them back on their feet and on their bikes.
As experienced Texas and New Mexico motorcycle accident injury attorneys, we are well aware of the prejudices and other challenges bikers face when trying to hold others accountable for their negligence. We know how to overcome anti-biker bias so judges, jurors, and insurers assign responsibility for motorcycle accidents and injuries based on facts and evidence, not stereotypes and prejudice.
There is an inherent bias against motorcycle operators. It is not uncommon for insurance companies to try to evade responsibility by blaming to blame a motorcyclist for their own wrecks. Moreover, there is a bias among juries against motorcyclists since motorcycles are perceived as being dangerous. Insurance companies are aware of this and use it to their advantage to try to reduce the amounts they are willing to pay or, alternatively, to simply refuse to pay altogether.
Our approach to motorcycle wreck cases has been fruitful. We’ve settled many motorcycle wreck cases. With proven results including a settlement of $5 million* for a motorcycle wreck brain injury and $776,500* for a motorcycle wreck with multiple fractures. *All Amounts listed are Net to Clients. Results obtained depend on the facts of each case.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Many of the same factors that lead to serious car crashes – such as drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding – also cause many motorcycle wrecks. But the smaller size and more nimble maneuverability of motorcycles create unique dangers, especially when vehicle drivers don’t account for the presence of bikers near them. Common types of motorcycle crashes include:
- Unsafe Lane-Changing Accidents. Due to their smaller stature and ability to move through traffic in ways cars can’t, motorcycles are extremely vulnerable to being hit by drivers changing lanes without thoroughly checking their blind spots.
- Rear-End Collisions. Unbeknownst to many drivers, motorcycles can come to a complete stop much quicker than other vehicles. When a bike comes to a sudden stop, a driver following too closely can slam into the back of the bike. Rear-end accidents are often mere fender-benders when they involve two cars. But when bikers are rear-ended, they can fly backward, often leading to serious head, back, or neck injuries.
- Left-Hand Turn Accidents. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 40% (872) of fatal two-vehicle motorcycle crashes in 2014 involved other vehicles turning left while the motorcycles were going straight, passing, or overtaking other vehicles. Left-hand turn accidents can be caused by drivers failing to yield the right-of-way or misjudging the speed at which the motorcycle travels.
- T-Bone or Intersection Collisions. The same factors that lead to left-hand turn accidents can lead to intersection collisions, along with other factors like failing to obey red lights or stop signs, failing to look both ways before crossing the intersection, and the inability to see motorcycles obscured by vehicles or other objects.
- Single-Bike Accidents. Not all motorcycle crashes involve other vehicles. Hazardous road conditions such as uneven or crumbling pavement, debris, potholes, mechanical problems, or other factors can cause bikers to lose control and either lay down their bikes or hit stationary objects at high speed.
Brain and Other Injuries From Motorcycle Crashes
Even bikers who religiously wear helmets and other protective gear when they ride remain particularly vulnerable to a wide range of catastrophic injuries.
Helmets unquestionably save lives, but not always. According to the IIHS, 58% of all people killed in motorcycle accidents in 2020 wore helmets. Brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBI), are tragically common in motorcycle crashes as bikers hit the pavement, make a violent impact with other objects at high speed, or are thrown from their bikes.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 9% of unhelmeted and 7% of helmeted hospital-treated bikers experienced minor to moderate TBI after an accident, while more than 7% of unhelmeted and 4.7% of helmeted bikers sustained severe TBI in a crash.
Besides TBI, bikers can sustain other significant brain and head injuries in a motorcycle accident. These include:
- Brain hemorrhage
- Brain hematoma
- Penetrating injury
Additional injuries that are common in motorcycle accidents include:
- Spinal injuries
- Eye injuries
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Neck injurieBurns
Types of Injuries
A motorcyclist, of course, does not enjoy the same level of protection for impact as the operators of cars or trucks. In addition to being directly exposed to the impact without a crash barrier or crush protection, motorcycle operators are not required to wear helmets, though their failure to do so can be admissible if the failure to use a helmet contributed to aggravating the victim’s injuries. Consequently, when a motorcycle wreck occurs, the victim may suffer catastrophic injuries such as amputations, brain injuries, internal bleeding, broken bones, coma and sometimes even wrongful death.
Glasheen Valles and Inderman was the best choice by far. - Eleana Flores
Why Hire an Attorney?
Against this backdrop, it is clear that in order to maximize your chances for justice following a motorcycle wreck, you need to contact an experienced motorcycle wreck attorney. Our team can use the physical evidence obtained at the scene to help show that a motorcyclist was operating appropriately, within his or her rights, which can help overcome some of the bias that exists against motorcyclists.
Bikers Face Significantly Greater Risks Than Drivers
Bikers are at significantly greater risk of injury and death than vehicle drivers. According to the National Safety Council, although motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic deaths, 18% of all occupant fatalities, and 4% of all occupant injuries in 2020.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that 5,579 American motorcyclists died and approximately 82,500 suffered injuries in crashes in 2020. The number of motorcycle crash deaths is the highest number ever recorded, an 11 percent increase from 2019 and more than double the number of motorcyclist fatalities in 1997.
Overcoming Unfair Prejudices Against Bikers
Motorcycle riders come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They are male and female, old and young, doctors and construction workers, clean-cut or a little rough around the edges. But bikers are also some of the safest, most responsible drivers on the road.
Too often, however, bikers injured in motorcycle accidents face prejudice and hurdles to recover compensation based on false presumptions and outdated stereotypes. These unfair prejudices can taint the objectivity of jurors, many of whom may be inclined to blame motorcycle riders for their injuries, regardless of the evidence. Insurance companies trying to pay as little as possible on injury claims may try to evade responsibility by blaming a motorcyclist for their wrecks. And bias can also color the perception of police officers who prepare police reports about the accident.
Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers: Texas and New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
The Texas and New Mexico motorcycle accident lawyers at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers spare no effort on behalf of our clients and have the experiences and resources needed to get the compensation, resources, justice, and support you deserve. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, we welcome the opportunity to help you through this difficult time. To arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at our offices in Lubbock, El Paso, Odessa, Austin, or Albuquerque, please contact us at 866-492-2509.