Motorcycle Accidents

Over the past several decades, many campaigns have been started to increase awareness of the dangers faced by motorcyclists. Despite these efforts, national statistics show that motorcyclists are nearly thirty times more likely than car drivers to be seriously injured or killed in an accident. Several factors contribute to this, including the open nature of motorcycles and the higher tendency of other drivers to miss motorcyclists on the road. An overview of common actions resulting from motorcycle accidents is discussed below, including the means of recovery available to those injured in such accidents.

Injuries To Motorcyclists

All drivers that use Kansas roads have legal obligations. These obligations deal with everything from keeping a car registered to only driving while alert and sober. An overarching obligation is to operate vehicles in a safe and responsible manner, as to not put any other drivers in danger. When a driver fails to act reasonably and causes an injury to another, the injured individual can seek damages to compensate for injuries caused. This type of claim is known as negligence and it is the most common type of claim for personal injuries. Despite the factors noted above, motorcyclists are not entitled to a heightened level of awareness or safety from fellow drivers. Instead, the law will simply impose the same requirement of reasonableness on drivers whether they strike motorcyclists or other motorists.

Other laws that control how individuals must operate vehicles on public roads can also create civil liabilities. If a driver violates a law, that violation can be the basis of a unique type of negligence claim. These claims are called “negligence per se,” simply meaning that the legal obligation the defendant driver breached was a narrower law than that of safe, responsible operation. So long as the motorcyclist can show the law that was violated existed to protect other drivers from injuries caused by the type of collision that occurred, the motorcyclist can recover for injuries he or she suffered.

Actions Of A Motorcyclist Hit By A Car

Whether deserved or not, motorcyclists have a reputation in the minds of most car drivers. And this reputation is mostly unflattering, reflecting tendencies to speed and make rapid, frequent lane changes. This stereotype, like all stereotypes, is unfair. This is most true when a motorcyclist is injured in an accident. However, Kansas law treats all motorists identically when bringing a claim of negligence: the defendant is allowed to present evidence of the injured plaintiff’s careless actions leading up to the accident. The jury will ultimately have to assign a percentage of fault to each party, totaling 100%. So long as the plaintiff is only attributed 50% fault or less, he or she can still recover. The recovery will be negatively affected, though. The percentage of fault reduces the monetary award granted by the jury, percentage for percentage. Common examples of factors that can be used to attribute fault to a motorcyclist are speeding, rapid lane changes, and even failure to wear a helmet (which will be argued to have increased injuries sustained). A final consideration is the reputation discussed. An experienced lawyer will recognize the danger that individuals on the jury may have these negative ideas of motorcyclists, which would fail to give the plaintiff an impartial jury. To combat this, counsel will remove these individuals through a process known as voir dire.

Accidents involving motorcycles are both common and deadly. Individuals can experience injuries far greater than those generally occurring in accidents between cars. If you are injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, it is imperative that experienced legal counsel be contacted. This is because motorcycle injuries pose special challenges that not all attorneys may be ready to tackle. Only with great trial experience and dedication can an attorney be sure that an injured motorcyclist is given a fair chance to present his or her case and get the recovery deserved.