Every motor vehicle crash is unique. However, there are some common causes of traffic accidents. If motorists learn what causes accidents, we can avoid the collision altogether and severe or fatal injuries.
A lawyer is your best bet if you have suffered an injury in a traffic accident caused by another driver’s negligence. An injury lawyer will fight to ensure you receive compensation for your damages following an accident. Despite what caused the accident, it is vital to put your legal team together as soon after the accident as possible.
Continue reading to learn more about what causes crashes between motorcycles and cars.
What Causes a Traffic Accident?
There are many causes of traffic accidents between motorcycles and cars. Call an attorney immediately if you suffered an injury in a traffic accident because another motorist was negligent. Keep reading to learn more about common causes of crashes between cars and motorcycles.
Reckless driving causes traffic accidents. When motorcyclists must share the road with reckless drivers, they are in danger. Motorcyclists do not have the same protection as drivers in trucks or cars. Because of motorcyclists’ exposure to traffic, it takes only a small amount of force from a car to throw the motorcyclist from their bike, causing severe injuries.
Reckless driving has been more prevalent across the country, particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the quarantine, roads and highways across the country were empty because everyone was at home. With fewer people on the road, drivers began to take more chances on the road.
Distinct from recklessness, careless drivers put motorcyclists at risk of harm each time they are on the road. Careless driving includes drivers making avoidable mistakes, not paying attention to the road, failing to check their blind spots before turning and changing lanes, and failing to yield. Careless driving also puts motorcyclists at risk of severe injuries.
Speeding is a significant cause of traffic accidents. Speeding accidents are entirely avoidable. If a driver speeds, it is unlikely they can stop in enough time to avoid a crash with a motorcycle. Rear-end accidents are prevalent between cars and motorcycles, especially when the driver is speeding because there is no time to stop the car.
Speeding accidents between cars and motorcycles can be deadly. Injuries and death are more prevalent when cars and motorcycles crash because motorcyclists do not have protection from any vehicle covering, unlike trucks and cars’ coverings.
Impaired driving causes deadly accidents. When a driver operates their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they put everyone else on the road, including other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, in danger. Every driver should avoid operating their vehicle while impaired.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol lowers a driver’s inhibitions. Intoxicated drivers take more risks and have dull reflexes. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to impaired drivers. Drivers who operate under the influence of drugs and alcohol tend to have slowed reflexes and sometimes blurred vision. Because of the decrease in these motor functions, impaired drivers do not think to check their blind spots. A motorcyclist may suffer severe injuries or even die if they are in the blind spot of a driver who is impaired.
Distracted driving accidents can cause injury or death. Distracted driving includes any activity that takes the driver’s focus off driving. Texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, eating, changing music, and talking to passengers are all examples of distracted driving.
Driving while sleep-deprived may seem like no big deal, but it causes many traffic accidents and injuries annually. Fatigue happens because of prolonged sleep deprivation. If you lose sleep for even one day, you can microsleep. During a microsleep, a driver closes their eyes or falls asleep for only a few seconds. An accident can happen in those seconds.
Drivers who operate their cars without adequate rest put motorcyclists at risk for severe injury or death. Like impaired driving, if a motorist drives while fatigued, their inhibitions and motor functions are decreased. Because of the decrease in function, drivers do not see motorcyclists. Drowsy drivers cause crashes.
Poor Road Maintenance
Lack of road maintenance and poor road conditions cause crashes each year. Poorly maintained roads are an issue across the country. Bad roads are dangerous for motorcyclists. Because a motorcyclist does not have the covering a car or another type of vehicle has, the rider is vulnerable to getting injured in a crash. If you crashed your motorcycle because a government agency improperly maintained the road, you might have a claim against the city. If you think that the government is responsible for your damages, you should talk to an attorney in your area.
Examples of poor road conditions that may cause an accident include:
- Unmarked lane changes
- Poorly lit roads
- Lack of visible lane dividers
- Vegetation-obstructed views
- Hidden driveways or entrances
Sometimes crashes are caused by defective auto parts. Every manufacturer must put safe products into the marketplace, and car manufacturers are not exempt from that duty. So, when your vehicle has a defective part, and you suffered an injury, you may file a claim against the car manufacturer. To learn more about your options in this circumstance, reach out to a motorcycle lawyer in your area.
The city is responsible for maintaining road signage. Failure to properly maintain signage can cause an accident between two motorists, and neither of them did anything wrong. Here, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the city. If your accident happened because of poorly maintained signage, you need to hire an experienced attorney immediately. After the accident, contact a lawyer in your area as soon as possible.
Bad weather can cause a nasty traffic accident. Motorists can lose control of their vehicles while traveling in inclement weather. Remember that sometimes driving the speed limit is negligent when the conditions require slower speeds to keep the roads safe.
How to Prove a Negligence Case
All car crash cases are negligence cases. Negligence has four elements. Plaintiffs who fail to prove these elements lose their cases. If you want compensation after an accident, you must prove fault. The elements of a negligence case are:
Every motorist has a duty to others sharing the road to operate their vehicle safely. A driver cannot act unreasonably while they are behind the wheel. Unreasonable acts include speeding, recklessly switching lanes, and running red lights.
A driver breaches their duty to other motorists if they do not drive safely. A driver may breach their duty by speeding, but they may breach their duty even while following the speed limit when inclement weather requires them to slow down to maintain a safe speed.
An accident victim must prove that the other motorist caused the accident. Call a local motorcycle accident lawyer if you are a motorcyclist who suffered injuries in an accident with a negligent driver. Your lawyer will work with you to gather information and evidence that proves the other driver caused your injuries.
A plaintiff must prove damages after an accident. For example, your lawyer will use medical records and bills to prove damages. That is why you must go to the hospital after an accident, even if you do not think you suffered a severe injury.
What Evidence Proves a Motorcycle Accident Case?
You and your lawyer will work closely to prove your motorcycle accident case. Proving your case starts at the moment of impact.
You should keep a record of:
- Witness testimony. You will want eyewitnesses to testify about what they saw. Your friends and family may also testify about how your personality changed after the accident. This testimony may help your lawyer prove a claim for pain and suffering at trial.
- The police report.
- As much visual evidence as possible. Your attorney will watch traffic camera footage if available; they will look at pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your bike, and your injuries.
- Any protective gear you wore, like a helmet. They want to know this because insurance companies work hard to downplay your damages or claim that you were not hurt.
How Do Insurance Companies Avoid Paying Motorcycle Accident Victims?
Insurance companies do not like motorcycle accidents, and they typically discriminate against motorcyclists. Because insurance companies think poorly of motorcyclists, they work overtime to blame a motorcyclist for their injuries. If you have an attorney working for you, the insurance company cannot bully you just because you are a biker.
If an insurance company cannot successfully blame you for your injuries, they will try to downplay them. You should never sign anything that an insurance company gives you without speaking to an attorney first. The insurance company may claim that the injuries you suffered in the accident were due to prior harm to downplay your injuries.
Never sign a release of medical information authorization because that is how the insurance company gets the information it needs to build a case against you. Your lawyer will make sure that you do not fall for that trap.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Win My Motorcycle Accident Case?
Most states allow you to represent yourself in a motorcycle accident case, but that usually is not a good idea. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney knows what strategies to use, what questions to ask, and how to avoid any tactics from opposing parties that will increase your chances of maximizing your settlement.
Examples of how an experienced accident attorney will help your case include:
- An attorney does more than stand up for you in court and negotiate for you; they will also work as an investigator. Your attorney will review the scene of the accident, look at pictures, watch the traffic camera footage, and talk to witnesses to improve your odds of getting a high settlement amount.
- Your attorney will talk to the accident attorney on your behalf. You do not need to worry about leaving money on the table. If you hire an attorney, they will ensure you do not settle for less than all the available damages, including present and future medical bills, loss of wages, and all other continuing damages.
- Your lawyer will help you determine if a settlement offer from the insurance company is reasonable. You can trust that your lawyer will be honest with you about whether it is a good idea to settle or if you will get more money at trial.
- If you cannot reach a satisfactory settlement from the insurance company, your lawyer will take your case to trial. It may be tempting to represent yourself in a courtroom, but trial advocacy is an art, and you need someone with experience getting successful results working on your behalf.
- If you hire an attorney, you will have a resource who can answer your questions during the litigation. Your attorney can inform you about the progress of your case and ensure you understand any settlements before you agree to them.
If you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, you need an attorney to help protect your legal interests. Never go it alone after an accident—doing so may jeopardize your financial recovery, leaving you with unpaid losses. After an accident, call a local motorcycle accident lawyer immediately.