Coffee Break

Will I Die if I Ride a Motorcycle?

The short answer to this oft-asked question is yes and no. Everyone dies eventually, but the reality is that while motorcycles are quite a bit more dangerous than cars and trucks, most motorcycle riders will never be seriously injured or killed on the bike.

With that in mind, the risk of becoming involved in a fatal accident while on a motorcycle is significantly higher than with other vehicles on the road, particularly given the lack of protection offered by a bike and the fact that motorcycles can be harder to see than other cars.

Accidents are more frequent on motorcycles than in cars

We’ve already mentioned lack of good protection (no seatbelts when you don’t have a real seatback) and low visibility, but why else are motorcycle accidents so much more common?

Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Changing lanes – This is related to visibility, but also could involve recklessness. It is dangerously common for motorcycle drivers to “weave” in between lanes. Not only is this a terrible idea, it is dangerous to both the driver and everyone else on the road. Be safe, use turn signals.
  • Stopping suddenly – It is easier to judge the stopping speed and anticipate the actions of cars that are a similar size to the one you’re driving. With motorcycles representing a minority of road vehicles, this makes sudden stops more dangerous. Furthermore, rear-ending a motorcycle is a much more serious affair than rear-ending another car or truck.
  • Driving under the influence – This is a problem for all types of vehicle operators, whether they are driving a motorbike, truck, car, or even bicycle. In the case of motorcycle operators, riding drunk or another driver operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol can prove deadly for motorcyclists.
  • Left lane turns – Given the previously mentioned visibility problems for motorcyclists, turning left with oncoming traffic potentially hitting you is a big problem, and the cause of a great deal of accidents. Left turn collisions may be T-bone or head-on accidents, either of which has a high likelihood of yielding serious injury or death.

Increased risk of more serious consequences of accidents for motorcyclists

Those are the types of crashes that can occur, but what are the risks? Aside from death, the next worst outcome for a motorcyclist involved in a crash is probably paralysis. This is usually the result of spinal or neck injuries sustained in a collision.

Also highly worrisome are traumatic brain injuries, organ damage, internal bleeding, broken bones, and concussions, all of which are risks that motorcyclists must assume when they get on a bike. You can visit this website to learn more about how to avoid motorcycle accidents.

Am I eligible for damages if I’ve been injured on my motorcycle? What if my loved one was killed on a motorcycle?

Your state’s insurance laws will determine who has to pay compensation following a motorcycle accident, how much, and what the maximums and minimums will be. State law also determines liability that may be paid above and beyond insurance payouts.

If someone you know is killed in a motorcycle accident, it is possible that you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In most states, a partner or spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit for their loved one. The same applies for the minor children of parents, and the parents of minor children. Beyond that, other relationships may also still file suit, but state law may vary on exactly who can receive damages.

Beyond bodily injury and damages to your vehicle, other things to consider when seeking damages in a motorcycle accident lawsuit are time and wages lost from work due to related injury and pain and suffering sustained as a result of the accident. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can best determine liability and get a substantial compensation.