If a negligent driver hit you while you were riding your motorcycle, you do not want to make the mistake of assuming that your crash and your claim for compensation are the same as if you had been injured in an auto wreck. While the laws governing both types of collisions are similar, there are key differences that affect many aspects of your case. Knowing these differences can help you make smart decisions throughout your case and increase the likelihood that you will receive the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Key Differences Between Motorcycle and Passenger Vehicle Accidents?
Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than passenger vehicles and cause significantly more fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the number of fatalities per miles traveled in motorcycle crashes was over 27 times the number of deaths in auto wrecks in 2014. Some of the unique dangers of riding a motorcycle include:
- Less visibility. Motorcycles are much smaller than passenger vehicles, making them more difficult for other motorists to see. When drivers are talking on a cellphone, texting, or are otherwise not attentive to their driving, the chances that they will fail to see a nearby motorcycle increase even more.
- Less protection. Unlike passenger vehicles, motorcycles provide no protection to the motorcycle rider. He literally only has his clothes and his helmet—if he wears one—protecting him from injury when an automobile smashes into him. Sadly, Texas does not require most motorcyclists to wear helmets, making the risk of catastrophic injuries even greater.
- Shorter stopping distances. Motorcycles take less time to stop than passenger vehicles. If a driver is not maintaining a safe distance behind a motorcycle approaching an intersection, he can easily rear-end the motorcycle and cause much more serious injuries to the rider than to a victim in a passenger vehicle rear-end collision.
- More serious injuries. Motorcycle riders can suffer much more catastrophic injuries and deaths due to the lack of protection their bikes give them. While the injuries are similar to those in auto collisions, the severity of the injuries can cause a motorcycle rider to be off work longer recovering or more likely to become permanently disabled—if he survives.
- Insurance companies. Because of the severity of the injuries in these wrecks, a motorcyclist’s claim for compensation could be worth more than an auto crash victim’s. Whenever the claim is higher, the insurance company for the negligent driver will more aggressively fight to reduce or deny the claim. This could mean that it takes longer for a motorcycle crash victim to reach a settlement in his case.
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you do not want to hire an auto collision attorney who does not handle motorcycle crashes. You want a lawyer who understands the unique challenges in your case. Call the experienced legal team at the Hart Law Firm today at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation.