If you get in a nasty motorcycle wreck, it can change your life, and not for the better. You might never be the same afterward. Perhaps you will have life-altering injuries, or you will not be able to resume your career.
There are several things about motorcycle accidents you should know. We’ll cover them in this article so you’ll know what to expect if this happens to you.
Motorcycle Accidents Happen Often
Let’s look at Georgia for a moment. Motorcycle accidents make up about 7% of Georgia traffic fatalities. Motorcycles are only about 2% of registered Georgia vehicles.
If you look at other states, this is not atypical. This tells us that:
- Motorcycle riding is frequently dangerous
- Motorcycle accidents happen more often than with other vehicle types
At this point, some motorcycle riders usually get defensive. They want to say that as long as cars and other larger vehicles followed traffic laws, there would be fewer motorcycle accidents.
That’s true, but some drivers don’t respect motorcycle riders as much, and they only grudgingly share the roads with them. While motorcycles have all the same rights that cars do, there are always drivers who don’t watch out for them as well as they should.
Regardless of how you interpret motorcycle injury and fatality stats, they consistently reveal one thing: motorcycles are dangerous, and you risk your life when you ride one.
Many Motorcycle Fatalities Did Not Have a License
If we look at Georgia as an example again, it’s interesting to note that 50% of those who die in motorcycle wrecks do not have motorcycle licenses. You should know that:
- You do need a motorcycle permit, license, or endorsement to operate one
- You need a license or other dispensation in all fifty states
In other words, you can’t hop on a motorcycle and go for a joyride because you think you know how to operate one. You do need a special license, endorsement, or permit. In most states, you need a permit if you are under 18.
Since half of those who die in Georgia motorcycle crashes did not have a license, it follows that you should get a license before you attempt to ride unsupervised. If you know what you’re doing, that doesn’t remove all the danger, but it does decrease it somewhat.
There Are Motorcycle Accident Specialty Lawyers
You should also know that if you get in a motorcycle accident, there are lawyers who specialize in that. If you feel like the other driver behaved recklessly or did something that caused what happened, you can bring a lawsuit against them.
The lawyer can help investigate the crash for you. They might hire an investigator who can locate eyewitnesses. They might call in expert witnesses as well if that will help your cause.
They could bring in a vehicular accident reconstructionist if the other driver disputes your event version. They might also locate accident footage. They may use traffic cameras, store cameras, or anything else they can turn up.
If you want to hold the other driver or drivers liable, you’d do well to get an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
You Might Get Additional Pain and Suffering Money
Pain and suffering is a term that the courts use when they want to talk about punitive damages. These are damages that go beyond the medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy bills, etc., with which you might deal after an accident.
You must deal with intangibles after the crash, like your distress because your life has changed. For instance, if you broke both your legs, you might not be able to work, but you also can’t go for walks in the woods, play catch with your kids, and so forth.
If the court finds against the other driver, they might give you money for this pain and suffering with which you are coping. You will have to provide the lawyer with some of that money, but it is still definitely worth pursuing if the other driver acted negligently or recklessly.
If you decide you want to ride a motorcycle, at the very least, you should wear a helmet at all times. You might consider some pads as well.
Motorcycle riding can certainly be fun, but the danger is always present. You can watch out for other cars, avoid riding in the rain or snow, and take all other precautions. That way, you will hopefully never end up a statistic or bring a motorcycle crash lawsuit to court.