Common Causes for Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
A motorcycle accident is a scary and potentially devastating event. Because of the large size disparity between motorcycles and other vehicles on the road, motorcycle riders suffer serious and catastrophic injuries at a higher rate than other drivers. The potential for serious and fatal injuries make it all the more crucial to hold negligent drivers accountable for their role in motorcycle accidents.
Motorcyclist deaths reached an all-time high in 2008, more than doubling since 1999. More than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed between 2001 and 2008, and another 1.2 million were taken to the emergency room for accident-related injuries. 20-24 year-olds are most likely to suffer injuries or be involved in fatal accidents, followed by 25-29 year-olds. About 30 percent of all motorcycle accident injuries are to the legs or feet, and 22 percent of injuries are to the head or neck.
Of all motorcycle-related fatalities, 85 percent occur when the motorcycle comes into contact with a passenger vehicle, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Motorcycle riders are disproportionately likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries; in 2005, 98 percent of motorcycle-related fatalities were motorcycle drivers, and only 2 percent of fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicles.
If you or a loved one has undergone a serious motorcycle accident, contact the experienced attorneys of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi. Our trial-proven attorneys have the skill and expertise to thoroughly investigate your accident and prepare a rock-solid strategy. Don’t let one negligent driver negatively affect your livelihood for years to come; let our experienced team fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:
Failure to detect/failure to yield is when a driver fails to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist, often claiming he or she did not see the motorcycle. This can happen when a vehicle is changing lanes, turning left at a stoplight, merging onto the interstate, or other cases of right-of-way. A U.S. Department of Transportation study found that, in accidents involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, failure to yield the right-of-way was a contributing factor in 35 percent of crashes. In other words, more than one-third of two-vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle were caused by failure to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist.
Failure to stay in proper lane accounts for another significant portion of motorcycle accidents. When the driver of a passenger vehicle fails to stay in his or her own lane or drifts off the side of the road, it forces a motorcyclist in the next lane over to swerve, change lanes, or avoid a collision through other means. These split-second decisions can result in serious or fatal injuries to motorcyclists on the road. Failure to stay in one’s own lane led to nearly 10 percent of all motorcycle accidents in 2005, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Defective equipment can be a serious hazard for motorcyclists and drivers alike. Manufacturers and other members of the supply chain can cut cornered to make bikes lighter, more affordable, or easy to maneuver; but unfortunately, these defective designs or poor manufacturing practices cause parts to fail at a moment’s notice, leaving the motorcyclist vulnerable to a variety of safety hazards. If the brakes, gas line, handlebars, frame, suspension, engine, transmission, wheels, or tires fail unexpectedly and cause an accident to occur, you could have grounds for a product liability case against the manufacturer (or other liable party in the supply chain).
Lane Splitting is the term for when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, usually in traffic jams. Lane splitting is a common cause of motorcycle accidents because the other vehicles are in close proximity to the motorcycle; the rider has less space than usual to maneuver; and other vehicles do not expect another vehicle or motorcycle to pass them in traffic.
Lane splitting is currently prohibited in New Jersey, although the state legislature formed a task force in 2008 to study whether or not it should be legalized. Lane splitting is an issue that divides states and jurisdictions; some believe that allowing lane splitting reduces traffic congestion in a relatively safe way, while others believe it is unsafe (and potentially unfair) for motorcyclists and other drivers on the road.
Road hazards are non-driver related hazards on the roadway. Road hazards can include:
- Loose gravel
- Uneven surface areas
- Uneven lanes
- Rough roadways
- Poorly maintained roadways
- Lack of proper warnings for planned hazards (such as loose gravel from construction work)
- Wet roads
- Spills, such as oil or antifreeze, on the road
Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards because they operate with only two wheels on the ground, giving them less stability and decreased ability to recover from a rough spot in the road. When exposed to a road hazard like the ones listed, the motorcyclist can lose control of the bike, swerve, and collide with another vehicle or swerve off the road.
Contact a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to get a skilled attorney involved as soon as possible. Security camera footage is only preserved by municipalities and local businesses for a short amount of time, and witnesses can change phone numbers, move out of town, or start to forget the accident. Getting an experienced lawyer involved right away will significantly improve your chances of a successful suit.
The experienced attorneys of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi understand how complex and difficult these accidents can be for you and your family. Our skilled attorneys will investigate the accident thoroughly to secure the evidence necessary to hold the guilty party accountable for your injuries. Our skilled, trial-proven attorneys know how to fight for you and win fair compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and emotional trauma.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have won significant verdicts and settlements for a wide variety of clients, including $2 million for the 45-year-old victim of a motorcycle accident in Jersey City. Trust our experienced attorneys to fight for you and win the compensation you deserve. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation and start on the road to recovery.