When a motorcycle accident occurs, the rider of the motorcycle is more likely to sustain serious injuries than the driver or passenger of a car or other vehicle. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 81,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic collisions in 2011. 93,000 were injured in traffic accidents in 2012, an increase of 15%. Though motorcycles accounted for 3% of registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2011 and a mere 0.6% of vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of traffic fatalities. These numbers have shown that motorcycle riders are more than 30 times more likely to be killed in traffic accidents than occupants of passenger cars and 5 times more likely to be injured.
Why are motorcyclist injuries so severe? A rider or passenger on a motorcycle is offered little protection in the event of an accident. Even with a helmet and other protective gear, like gloves, boots, a jacket and pants, the rider may experience catastrophic physical trauma. Motorcyclists do not have the protection afforded by a steel frame, unlike drivers and passengers in cars, trucks and SUVs. Their bikes and protective gear can do little against a typical car that may weigh about 3,000 pounds. Their chances are even worse when pitted against a commercial vehicle like a semi-truck, which may weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to take immediate action to seek fair compensation. This is where a skilled legal professional can make a considerable difference. A Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer at Shook & Stone can offer insight and representation to help you file your claim, negotiate for a fair settlement and even go to court to seek the monetary damages you need for hospitalization, medical treatment, physical therapy, ongoing care, lost earnings and other losses associated with your injuries.
When a motorcyclist is truck by a car or other vehicle, the resulting injuries may be severe or life-threatening – even if the accident occurred at a relatively low speed. Some of the types of motorcyclist injuries include:
In Nevada, motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets. Helmets can help prevent fatal head and brain injuries, and according to the NHTSA helmets saved an estimated 1,617 lives in 2011. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, the agency estimates that an additional 703 motorcyclists could have been saved that year. According to an NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts report on motorcycle accidents:
Helmets are estimated to be 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers. In other words, for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved had all 100 worn helmets.
If you are interested in finding out more about your rights and options after a motorcycle accident, call Shook & Stone for a free case review. Your initial consultation is confidential and provides an excellent opportunity to get insight that allows you to make an informed decision about your case. Serious injuries can lead to a lifetime of problems if not properly addressed. Make sure you do everything you can to recover a fair settlement or jury award that will cover all of your injuries and losses. To get started, contact a Las Vegas motorcycle injury attorney at our firm.