According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 8,715,204 registered motorcycles in the U.S. in 2017, and 94,172 reported motorcycle accidents involving injury or death. Those figures indicate that about 1.1 percent of motorcycle riders have accidents involving injuries each year.
The NHTSA also reports that motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in a vehicle collision.
Understanding Crash Statistics
Vehicle statistics such as crash, fatality, and injury rates are often measured as event occurrences per number of units of a relevant measure. For example, you can measure motorcycle deaths per 100,000 registered motorcycles or the fatality rate per 100 million motorcycle miles traveled.
The NHTSA uses both measures. Doing so allows for cross-vehicle comparisons between, for example, motorcycles, cars, light trucks, and heavy trucks–vehicles that are otherwise so different that meaningful comparisons can be hard to make.
The NHTSA’s statistics clearly show that motorcyclists face a higher risk of accident injuries on the road than other vehicle operators. Consider the following figures from an NHTSA report based on 2017 figures:
- The motorcycle occupant fatality rate per 100,000 registered vehicles was 59.34, which was almost six times as high as the figure for passenger cars (10.05) and almost eight times as high as the figure for light trucks (7.52).
- The motorcycle occupant fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 25.67, which was over 27 times the fatality rate of passenger cars (0.94) and more than 35 times the rate of light trucks (0.7).
The takeaway here is clear that the percentage of motorcycle riders that have fatal accidents is higher than passenger car and light truck occupants.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
With little protection compared to passenger vehicle occupants, a motorcyclist may experience a wide range of injuries in an accident, including:
- Head, neck, back, and brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Eye and face injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, make sure to see a doctor for a thorough evaluation of your injuries as soon as possible. If another party’s negligence caused your accident, and you decide to pursue them for compensation later on, having evidence in your medical record that your injuries came from the accident may help your case.
Causes and Liability for Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle can be very dangerous, but with the proper training, licensing, and experience, you can make motorcycle riding safer for yourself and others on the road.
However, even with the right care, you may still find yourself involved in an accident. Motorcycle accidents can occur in many ways, such as:
- Damaged roads
- Blindspot accidents
- Poor lighting
- The recklessness or mistakes of other drivers
- Slick or slippery surfaces
- Missing or inadequate signage
If another party’s negligence caused your accident, they may be liable for your damages. This may include:
- A driver who violated a traffic law, causing your accident
- A driver who failed to adjust to weather conditions
- An intoxicated, drowsy, or distracted driver
- A mechanic who failed to service a vehicle correctly, leading to a crash
- A municipality that left hazards on the road, such as a pothole or uneven lanes
Working with a Lawyer on Your Case
If another party caused your motorcycle accident and you decide to pursue them for compensation, you do not need to do it alone. A motorcycle accident lawyer in your area may be able to represent you and provide you services such as:
- Investigating your accident to identify the responsible party
- Collecting evidence of their liability and the value of your damages
- Handling all communications, deadlines, and paperwork in your case
- Filing your personal injury insurance claim and/or lawsuit
- Negotiating for a settlement
- Taking your case to trial
If you are considering taking legal action for your injuries, it is important to know that, per Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2305.10, there is a general two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Ohio.
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If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident in Columbus, Ohio, the Fitch Law Firm LLC may be able to help you. As a full-service law firm, we can pursue compensation on your behalf while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
For a free case review with a member of our team, call the Fitch Law Firm LLC today at (614) 545-3930. If you qualify, we may be able to provide you with representation on a contingency-fee-basis. In this arrangement, we do not collect attorney fees unless and until our clients recover compensation via a settlement offer or court award.
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