Motorcycle riders are in a unique position on the road. They enjoy the freedoms that come with their chosen form of transportation, but they are also left exposed to dangers not met by automobile drivers and other motorists. The lack of any substantial protective barriers between a motorcycle and the road, as well as the difficulty that other motorists may have in anticipating and seeing a motorcycle, leave riders prone to serious injury in the event of an accident. Motorcycle riders, therefore, must be aware of their legal rights and remedies if they are involved in a traffic accident.
Some of the unique problems faced by motorcycle riders on the road include:
- Visual Recognition: Motorcycles make smaller visual targets, which are more likely to be obscured by other vehicles, or by road and weather conditions. This is an issue especially at intersections, where approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-versus-vehicle collisions occur.
- Road Hazards: Hazards that are minor irritations for an automobile can be a major hazard for a motorcycle rider. These include potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris, or other objects on the roadway, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks.
- Speed “Wobble” Accidents: Especially at higher speeds, the front end of a motorcycle may become unstable and begin to shake or “wobble.”
- Riding Skills; Familiarity: A motorcycle requires much more skill and physical coordination to operate than a car. Many motorcycle accidents are caused in whole or in part by a rider’s lack of basic riding skills, or failure to appreciate the inherent operating characteristics and limitations of the motorcycle.
Like most motor vehicle accident cases, motorcycle accident claims are almost always governed by the legal concept of negligence
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the most important step in protecting your legal rights is to meet with a skilled attorney to discuss your case. Issues in your potential claim, including compliance with traffic laws, motor vehicle regulations, medical treatment issues, and liability determinations, all require an attorney who is experienced in the area of motorcycle accident liability. In light of legal deadlines for filing injury claims, meeting with an attorney to evaluate your case as soon as possible is important.