Motorcycle Accidents

Approximately 4,000 motorcycle, bike and chopper riders are killed each year in motorcycle accidents.  75,000 more riders are severely injured.  Unfortunately, however, a large number of these injuries and deaths are not accidents.  They are the result of careless passenger car drivers. 

On average, 3 out of every 4 motorcycle accidents involves a passenger car.  Often, cars strike or hit motorcycles when car drivers: 

  • Fail to see a motorcycle;
  • Broadside a motorcycle;
  • Turn in front of a motorcycle;
  • Fail to yield to a motorcycle right-of-way;
  • Follow too closely behind a motorcycle;
  • Rear-end a motorcycle;
  • Open their doors without looking;
  • Misjudge motorcycle speed; and
  • Show aggression toward motorcycles.
For obvious reasons, motorcycle versus car accidents are very different than car versus car accidents.  Generally, accidents involving motorcycles result in more injuries, usually to the motorcycle rider and a passenger, because: 
  • Motorcycles do not have door pillars or roof, and do not offer any head protection;
  • Motorcycles do not have seat belts and do not offer any shoulder restraint;
  • Motorcycles do not have airbags;
  • Motorcycles do not have a bumper or other built-in cushion to absorb an impact; and
  • Bikers are prone to ejection from the motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents can also be caused by unsafe roads and roadways and may be able to recover for severe personal injuries depending upon the nature of the defect in the road.  Examples of roadway defects include: 
  • Poor drainage;
  • Culverts;
  • Potholes;
  • Inadequate signage;
  • Roadside Hazards;
  • Site distance obstructions; and
  • Pavement edge drop-offs.

From time to time, bikers are also seriously injured as a result of defective motorcycles, bikes and choppers.  Many motorcycles, bikes or choppers are custom built and if they are not designed or constructed correctly, or if they are not tested after design or construction, they may not drive correctly or otherwise operate as intended.  Possible motorcycle, bike, or chopper defects include: 

  • Defective throttle;
  • Defective fenders and fender mounts,
  • Defective forks;
  • Defective triple trees;
  • Defective brakes;
  • Defective fuel or supply lines; and
  • Defective bolts and welding.

In the event of a severe personal injury, the injured individual and/or a spouse and immediate family members, may be entitled to recover for:

  • Wrongful death;
  • Past and future medical bills;
  • Past and future lost wages;
  • Loss of future earning capacity;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental and emotional disability;
  • Disfigurement and scarring;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life;
  • Loss of society, love and affection;
  • Property loss; and
  • Incidental and out-of-pocket expenses.

While no dollar amount can adequately compensate for a loss, the legal system is structured to permit monetary recovery where the injured party can prove that another negligently caused his/her harm. The amount of recovery is determined either by a jury at trial, or through a fair settlement made prior to trial, that is based upon jury verdicts in similar cases. All claims that are accepted by the firm are actively researched and aggressively pursued to a conclusion.

If you or a loved one have suffered a severe personal injury, we may be able to help.  To contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at Bottar Leone, PLLC, please complete a contact form or call us at (315) 422-3466 or 1-800-336-LAWS (5297).