What Are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

What Are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents usually happen when other people drive carelessly or irresponsibly. Since motorcycles are relatively small, another driver might fail to notice them, especially a distracted or intoxicated driver.

When a motorcycle accident happens because of another driver's negligence, the injured cyclist can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit with the responsible driver's insurance company. As part of that claim or lawsuit, the injured motorcyclist may receive compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages.

To increase your likelihood of recovering a favorable monetary award following a motorcycle accident, consult a San Antonio motorcycle accident lawyer as quickly as possible.

Your lawyer can review your accident circumstances and go over all potential legal options with you. They can also file a personal injury claim on your behalf or litigate your case to a resolution in the court system.

Your lawyer can also be an invaluable resource throughout your case by answering all your questions and helping you make difficult decisions, including whether or not to accept a particular settlement offer from the insurance company.

Your lawyer will maximize your monetary recovery, ensuring you become whole again after your accident as much as possible.

Types of Motorcycle Collisions

Collision between car and motorcycle, showing an injured rider on the motorcycle.

When other drivers behave recklessly and carelessly, they may cause a motorcycle crash, which leads to debilitating injuries. In some cases, an at-fault driver might cause a rear-end accident, where the front of their vehicle strikes a motorcycle's back tire.

These accidents usually occur when negligent drivers are speeding or fail to leave sufficient stopping distance between the front of their vehicle and the back of another vehicle.

Another common type of motorcycle accident is a sideswipe collision, where the side of another vehicle makes contact with the side of a motorcycle. These accidents frequently occur when drivers are not watching the road attentively and cause their vehicle to drift into an adjacent travel lane where a motorcycle is present.

The force of a sideswipe accident may push the motorcyclist into another travel lane or cause the cyclist to fall off their bike into the path of oncoming traffic.

Conversely, in a head-on motorcycle crash, the front of another vehicle strikes the front of an oncoming motorcycle. These accidents typically occur when a driver attempts to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone and causes the front of their vehicle to strike the front of an oncoming cyclist.

A driver may also negligently fall asleep at the wheel or become distracted, causing their vehicle to drift across the centerline and into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist.

Finally, T-bone or broadside motorcycle accidents happen when other drivers do not yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists, such as at a traffic intersection. A driver might run a yellow or red traffic light and enter the intersection where a motorcyclist (who has the green light) is already present.

If you suffered bodily injuries in any motorcycle accident, your best personal injury attorney can file a claim on your behalf and work to maximize the monetary recovery you ultimately receive for your injuries.

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How Do Motorcycle Crashes Happen?

A motorcycle crash may occur when a driver exhibits various forms of road rage. Road rage is an umbrella term for various reckless driving maneuvers that a motorist may use to move ahead of other traffic.

Some of the most common examples of road rage include failing to use a turn signal when switching lanes, tailgating a motorcyclist, weaving in and out of heavy traffic, or cutting off a motorcyclist in traffic.

Unfortunately, these maneuvers frequently lead to severe accidents in which a motorcyclist suffers debilitating injuries.

An intoxicated driver may cause a motorcycle accident. While some categories of drivers, including underage motorists and commercial drivers, must follow stricter legal standards, most passenger vehicle operators are legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08 percent or higher.

Whenever a driver receives a DUI conviction, they may face high monetary fines, jail time, and loss of their driver's license. Moreover, if they negligently cause their vehicle to strike a motorcycle, and the cyclist suffers injuries, they may have to pay the accident victim monetary damages through their insurance coverage.

Drunk drivers frequently cause motorcycle accidents because of their mental and physical impairments.

For example, an intoxicated driver might experience limited concentration, impaired judgment, delayed reflexes, and delayed reaction time. As a result, even if they see a motorcyclist nearby, they may not stop in time to avoid a collision.

An impaired driver might also experience blurred vision and dizziness. Consequently, they may not even see a nearby motorcyclist and negligently cause a serious accident.

At other times, a motorcycle crash may happen when a driver fails to watch the road attentively. For example, they might be texting on a cellular phone or tablet, programming a GPS navigation system, combing their hair, applying makeup, listening to loud music in their vehicle, or roughhousing with vehicle passengers. As a result, they might fail to notice a nearby motorcyclist and negligently cause an accident.

Finally, some motorcycle crashes occur when drivers fail to use the technological devices in their vehicles, including lane change warnings and backup cameras. 

Moreover, if they fail to look into their mirrors when backing out of a parking space, they might fail to see a motorcyclist behind them and cause their vehicle to strike the side of the motorcycle.

Other common traffic law violations that lead to motorcycle accidents include:

  • Speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Failing to use turn signals.
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists at the appropriate times.

If you sustained injuries in a recent motorcycle accident that a negligent driver brought about, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney who can explore your legal options and handle your injury case aggressively.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can gather important documents in your case and assemble those documents into a settlement demand package for the insurance company adjuster to review. They can also handle settlement negotiations on your behalf or file a lawsuit in court for you.

What Injuries Are Motorcyclists Likely to Suffer in an Accident?

In a motorcycle accident scenario, motorcycle operators and passengers have little protection except for a sturdy, well-made helmet. Unlike the occupants of cars, trucks, and other enclosed motor vehicles, motorcyclists do not have an outer barrier between their bodies and the ground.

Since they are directly exposed to the ground, they stand to suffer debilitating, permanent, and sometimes deadly injuries in an accident that another motorist causes.

Every motorcycle accident case is different. Therefore, the specific injuries one motorcyclist may suffer can differ from those another motorcyclist experiences. The nature and extent of a motorcyclist's injuries will usually depend upon the force of the collision, whether they fall on the ground, and the surface on which they land. How they fall on the ground may also affect the injury or injuries they ultimately suffer.

Some of the most common examples of motorcycle accident injuries include complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries, full and partial paralysis injuries, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, broken bones, rib fractures, soft tissue contusions, traumatic head and brain injuries, road rash injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, and scarring.

Upon suffering injuries in a motorcycle crash, you need to seek medical treatment right away, and you continue your medical treatment until a medical provider formally discharges you from care.

By seeking ongoing medical treatment for your injuries, you increase your chances of making a favorable recovery and give yourself the time you need to heal. During this time, your motorcycle accident attorney can gather medical records and other documents and prepare a settlement demand package on your behalf.

How Do I File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?

A personal injury attorney can file a claim on your behalf if you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident. Your lawyer will file this claim with the insurance company for the at-fault motorist in any situation.

As part of your claim, your lawyer will submit a settlement demand package, including a settlement demand letter and various documents. The demand letter will ask for a certain settlement amount within the available limits of insurance coverage.

The included documents may consist of copies of police investigation reports, medical bills, medical records, camera footage of the accident, property damage photographs, and photographs of your visible injuries. The insurance company will evaluate these documents and decide whether to accept fault for the accident on behalf of their insured driver.

Settlement negotiations between insurance companies and accident victims may take several weeks or even months to resolve. This is because insurance companies, in many cases, intentionally prolong the process. They want to settle their case for as little money as possible, and they will frequently offer accident victims very little monetary compensation at the beginning of the case.

However, your motorcycle accident attorney can aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives to obtain an increased settlement offer from them. If that does not happen, your lawyer may threaten the insurance company with litigation and, if necessary, file a lawsuit in the court system.

Once your attorney files a lawsuit, the litigation process begins. However, your case may still be resolved through settlement at some point during the litigation process. This is because prolonged litigation, including civil jury trials, can be extremely costly and time-consuming for everyone involved.

If the insurance company has not increased its offer meaningfully, your lawyer can help you decide between a civil jury trial or an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding, for example, binding arbitration or mediation.

What Monetary Damages Will I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

Victims of motorcycle accidents who suffer injuries can recover various categories of monetary damages. The ultimate settlement or verdict value of a motorcycle accident case will usually depend on the total cost of your medical treatment, the injuries that you have suffered, and whether you sustained a permanent injury in your motorcycle accident.

First, the injured motorcyclist may recover compensation for their past medical expenses related to the accident. Additionally, if a medical provider determines that they suffered one or more permanent injuries, they can make a claim for their anticipated medical costs, such as the cost of a future surgery or ongoing physical therapy treatment. If they had to miss time from their job, they can submit a claim for lost income or loss of earning capacity.

Additionally, motorcycle accident victims may recover compensation for intangible losses, such as mental distress, lost quality of life, inconvenience, loss of the ability to use a body part, pain and suffering, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of spousal consortium, and long-term care costs.

Your attorney can determine which damages you may recover as compensation for your injuries and maximize the ultimate settlement offer or jury verdict you receive.

Contact a Knowledgeable Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near You Today

Paula A. Wyatt, personal injury attorney at Wyatt Law Firm.
Paula A. Wyatt, Motorcycle Accident Attorney in San Antonio

If you recently sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash, time is of the essence. This is because, beginning with your accident, you have only two years to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking monetary recovery.

Unless some skilled circumstance applies, if you file your lawsuit after the deadline, you may no longer recover any monetary damages for your accident-related injuries. To increase your chances of obtaining fair settlement compensation, Hire an experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.

Your attorney can handle every step of the process, negotiate with insurance company adjusters on your behalf, or, if necessary, pursue a favorable litigation result. The moment you hire the right lawyer, you can feel less stress about your financial future and know you placed your case in good hands.


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