Why Motorcycle Accidents Are Different Than Car Accidents
When a car and a motorcycle are in an accident, there are a lot of similarities to accidents that just involve two cars. But there are also a number of differences, and reasons why an accident involving a motorcycle may need to be handled differently by your injury attorney than other kinds of accidents.
No Physical Protection or Barriers
The first difference is the obvious one: people on motorcycles tend to be more or more severely injured than people in cars. A motorcyclist is not protected by the sheet metal that someone in a car is, and the motorcycle is far outweighed by the car that hits it.
A small rear end accident that would simply dent a fender, can be enough to violently throw a cyclist feet in the air and into the ground. There is almost no “minor accident” between a motorcycle and a car.
In fact, some estimates say that a motorcyclist is about 20-25 times more likely to die in an accident, than someone in a car is.
Carelessness and Stereotyping
There is a stereotype that cyclists are careless, that they drive too fast, that they don’t use protective gear, or that they don’t obey the rules of the road. Like any vehicle, there are always some people who are careless, but not all. Nonetheless, this reputation may mean that insurance companies are more ready and willing to blame cyclists for accidents, than they would people driving vehicles.
Protective Equipment and Gear
Similar to this theme is the use of protective gear.
There is actually no law that requires that a cyclist wear protective gear, such as a helmet, but a jury can still find a cyclist at fault for his or her own injuries, for the failure to wear headgear, or to use other protective equipment, none of which could be done if the victim were in a vehicle.
Motorcycles are more susceptible to bad road conditions; they may slip easier, hydroplane easier, or lose control easier. That again means that they will be blamed more than people in cars; a car driver taking a turn in the rain may never be blamed for an accident, whereas a cyclist making the same turn at the same speed, may well be blamed.
Unlike cars, cyclists are not required to carry personal injury protection or PIP. This means that cyclists may have to use other forms of insurance, when seeking immediate medical attention and care (much like someone would if they fell in a store). It also means that passengers in cycles seeking to hold the cycle driver responsible, also will not have the immediate access to funds to pay for medical expenses, that would be available had it been a car and not a cycle in the accident.
Injured in a motorcycle accident? We understand the special issues in motorcycle accident cases. Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today.