The warm weather and the arrival of travel and vacation season clearly indicate the arrival of Motorcycle Season. At this time, we typically see and increased number of motorcycle accidents.
During warmer seasons, the number of motorcycles on our roads increases dramatically, as do the number of accidents involving motorcycles and injuries to motorcyclists. It is time for all of us to be attentive to bikers. Many motorcycle accidents occur because the driver of a car looked quickly, did not see the motorcycle, and hit the motorcycle when entering a road. These may seem to be minor events to many people. Unfortunately, none of these accidents is minor for the motorcyclist, nor are the injuries sustained in these crashes.
When we share the roadways with motorcycles, it is incumbent upon drivers of other motor vehicles to be attentive (or more attentive) to bikers. We need to be particularly alert and careful when entering or crossing a roadway to look for motorcycles. It is also vital that drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs exercise greater caution when changing lanes, making left turns, passing other vehicles or making sudden stops.
We often forget that motorcyclists do not have the protection of a car around them. Bikers are largely unprotected in the event of an accident. As a result, bikers are typically hurt, and hurt seriously, when involved in a vehicle accident. A few lawsuits filed by motorcyclists are clear reminders of the vulnerability of bikers.
In one 2012 case, the motorcycle was struck when a defendant failed to yield the right of way. The biker suffered widespread road rash and open fractures of the left tibia and the left fibula. His treatment and recovery involved two surgical procedures, time in rehab, wound care, home health care and physical therapy. This case was settled prior to trial with a settlement to the biker of $850,000.
In another case, in 2009, a woman motorcyclist was injured when a car made a left turn in front of her bike. She sustained fractures of three bones in her left leg. Her medical expenses totaled $317,000. She was awarded $1 million in damages.
In 2008, an automobile crossed the double yellow lines and struck a motorcycle in the opposite lane of traffic. The plaintiffs were a husband and wife, both in their mid-40s. The husband suffered traumatic left leg injuries that necessitated an amputation above the knee. The long-term effects, in addition to the amputation, included intermittent phantom pain and depression. The wife sustained a complex laceration of her lower left leg that extended from above the knee cap down to the lower leg. She also sustained a broken clavicle, broken big toe, and a tendon injury to the knee. The tendon injury required surgery some months after the accident. Her long-term effects include loss of mobility, pain and anxiety. The case was settled out of court for $5 million.
In 2015, a man was riding his motorcycle at a speed of 55 mph. When the defendant tried to turn left into her driveway, her vehicle struck the motorcycle. The biker sustained multiple injuries, including a severe crush of the left foot. Blood flow could not be restored to the foot. As a result, amputation below the knee was necessary. Due to the amputation he was unable to return to work in his chosen occupation and thus incurred significant loss of income. The case was settled prior to trial for $1,300,000.
In each of these four motorcycle accidents, the driver of another vehicle was found liable for the accident. These cases remind us of the lack of protection bikers have when involved in an accident. They should also be a clear reminder that drivers of cars and other vehicles need to exercise greater caution and to look carefully for motorcycles sharing the road with them.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Bettina Altizer has become one of the area’s most trusted personal injury attorneys. She brings to her clients a deep compassion for their hurts and harms and a determination that fights for them until they receive the appropriate level of financial compensation for their losses. When you need an attorney who is a fighter, call Altizer Law, P.C.