Individuals who own motorcycles state there is nothing better than being out on the open road. The wind is in their face, they have a feeling of freedom that cannot be obtained any other way, and there’s very little between them and the road. Unfortunately, this freedom comes with risk, as motorcycle accidents happen all too frequently. The United States government conducted a survey which found that motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than individuals in a motor vehicle. For this reason, every person who owns or rides on a motorcycle must be aware of their rights and responsibilities and know where to turn in the event an accident does occur.
The University of Southern California conducted a study in 2006 entitled “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures.” The study, conducted by researcher Harry Hurt, examined 900 motorcycle accidents that occurred in the Los Angeles region, analyzing each aspect of these accidents. In addition, Hurt and his team looked at 3,600 traffic accident reports involving motorcycles in the same area. Following are the key findings from this report.
Although each accident is different, statistics such as these are of great importance to motorcycle riders. They help to prevent accidents or minimize injuries in the event a collision does occur. When the motorcycle rider does everything possible to prevent the accident and minimize injuries, yet still needs assistance following the accident, a motorcycle accident attorney becomes invaluable.
In 2013, we were recognized by a prestigious publication, The National Law Journal, as having one of the “The Top 100 Verdicts of 2013.” This honor was given for the significant verdict we achieved for our New Mexico client who was killed when a tanker-trailer hit his car. We fought and ultimately won the case, proving that the truck driver had not been properly trained, that maintenance records on the truck were not properly kept and that the driver was fatigued.
We're a nationally recognized as a firm that is skilled at handling difficult mesothelioma cases. Our clients include not only the men and women who were exposed to asbestos from traditional workplace exposures, such as on construction sites, but the many mesothelioma victims who suffered as a result of rare exposures: a dentist who made gold dental crowns, a copy machine repairman and a gentleman who worked in a pencil factory making erasers.
Distracted driving needs to be a concern of every motorist on the road, regardless of whether they are driving a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle, a semi or a bus. Taking one’s eyes off the road for even a moment can have disastrous consequences. Distractions come in many forms. For example, one person may be tired and start to doze off behind the wheel, and another may be texting as they steer their vehicle. Regardless of why they aren’t paying attention, the risk is great that they will have a collision. When a motorcycle is involved, the risk of serious injury rises.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, 3,179 individuals lost their lives in 2014 as a result of distracted driving. Another 431,000 were injured thanks to the actions of a distracted driver, thus every time a person goes out on the road they need to be aware of what is going on around them. During daylight hours, research shows that roughly 660,000 individuals are using an electronic device in some manner while operating a motor vehicle. This is true at any given time during the day, and this number hasn’t decreased in recent years.
Using an electronic device isn’t the only way a person can be distracted. For example, some people choose to apply makeup while behind the wheel, and some people even change clothes while driving. For every five seconds a person takes their eyes away from the road, they travel a distance the length of a football field if they are traveling at a speed of 55mph. Basically, they are driving while blindfolded. Motorcycle riders are in grave danger when they encounter a distracted driver while on their bikes.
Passenger vehicles incorporate a number of safety features that are missing in a motorcycle. There is no metal cage on the bike, air bags won’t deploy in the event of a collision, and there are no roll bars. In the event a person is injured in an accident of this type, they will likely need more medical care, extended physical therapy, more time off from their job, and more recovery time. A motorcycle accident attorney works to ensure they receive compensation to cover any expenses incurred as a result of the accident and money for their pain and suffering.
Motorcycle accidents differ greatly from accidents involving a semi, passenger vehicle, or vehicle of another type. Motorcycle drivers must obey a different set of laws, as riding a bike comes with a unique set of responsibilities, and the risk of severe injury must be factored into owning a vehicle of this type. When an accident does occur, the attorney must understand these factors and how they will influence the case, thus anyone harmed in a collision of this type needs to seek the experience of an attorney who handles this type of case regularly.
Motorcycle drivers and riders need to wear a helmet at all times, as this helps to reduce the likelihood of serious injury or death. Current law in New Mexico doesn’t require that any individual over the age of 18 use this type of device, yet we highly recommend it. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a statement concerning the use of helmets stating that 58 percent of fatalities involved those not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. In those states where helmets are mandated, this number decreases to eight percent. Keep this figure in mind, and remember that wearing a helmet reduces the overall chance of death by 43 percent. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, as there is no way to control the actions of others while out on the road.
Individuals injured in a motorcycle accident know they can turn to us for assistance. Our attorneys bring hundreds of years of combined legal experience to each case, with many of these cases involving injuries sustained while riding a motorcycle. The attorneys are SuperLawyer rated and work with clients in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas. We are experts at protecting the rights of those driving or riding a motorcycle to ensure they receive maximum compensation for any injuries sustained.
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