Motorcycle Driving Can Be Dangerous
Motorcycle riding can be a fun and enjoyable activity for many citizens. However, motorcycles riding can also present some dangerous risks.
- According to the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission motorcycles compromise only 3% of the road users in the State of Washington but accounted for 15 percent of all fatalities and 19% of serious injuries in collisions between 2013 and 2017.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a similar statistic that in 2019 motorcycles accounted for three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States, but motorcyclists make up 14% of all traffic deaths. And an estimated 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in 2019.
- The Washington State Traffic Commission states that about one in five motorcycle collisions results in serious injury or death and on average seventy-five motorcycle riders, unfortunately, die every year in collisions on Washington roads.
- The Washington State Traffic Commission cites that speeding between 2005-2016 was involved in over half of all fatalities and thirty percent of serious injuries amount motorcyclists.
- About 75 percent of fatal motorcycle crash victims have no record of a motorcycle training program, according to the Washington State Traffic Commission.
Washington State Has Special Provisions for Motorcycle Drivers
A failure to follow these laws can result in fines and other penalties. Some Washington laws that can affect motorcycle riders include:
- RCW 46.37.530: Motorcycles-Helmets Required
- RCW 46.61.608: Operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic
- RCW 46.61.610: Motorcycles may carry an additional rider when seating is available.
- RCW 46.61.611: Motorcycle handlebars may not be higher than thirty inches about the seat.
- RCW 46.61.612: A motorcycle rider's feet must be placed on either side of the motorcycle.
- RCW 46.61.613: Temporary suspension of restrictions for parades or public demonstrations
- RCW 46.61.614: Riding on motorcycles clinging to other vehicles
Many Injuries Can Occur as A Result of a Motorcycle Accident
As noted, victims in motorcycle incidents can face all sorts of physical injuries or death, in addition, they can face debilitating emotional distress. The injuries a victim can face after a motorcycle accident include a range of medical issues such as amputations, broken bones, connective tissue injuries, scarring and disfigurement, paralysis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other health problems.
What The Victim of a Motorcycle Accident Should Do Immediately After a Collision?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to try to get medical attention right away. A visit to a health care provider can assist an injured person with treatment and provide further documentation of an injury. Proper document of an injury is important. A lack of documentation can result in a claim being minimized or possibly falling apart completely.
It is further important that pictures be taken and other information about the accident scene be collected soon after the collision. In many cases, forensic evidence is necessary to establish liability on another driver. A police report and investigation can often be helpful for an injured person in helping to put together the collision incident. Thus, law enforcement should be asked to come to the scene of a motorcycle collision immediately in virtually all cases.
In the aftermath of the accident, is highly recommended that you or someone trustworthy near you try to obtain the at-fault driver's information immediately. It is important to have the name of the at-fault driver and his or her driver's license and contact information. One reason is because it will be easier to serve the other driver, in the event of a lawsuit, when the address and name of the alleged at-fault party is known beforehand. Furthermore, for insurance purposes, it is important to identify the correct parties involved in a collision situation.
I would also advise the victim in most cases to hold off on giving a statement immediately to the at-fault driver's insurance company. Sometimes an initial statement can be twisted, or the injured person can say something out of turn that can come back and cause some potential problems later.
My law firm can help a motorcycle collision victim and her family with these potential issues.
Can An Insurance Company or Plan Help the Injured Victim?
In the aftermath of a motorcycle incident, the victim will want to contact their own insurance company and see what types of health insurance is available.
An insurance option for the payment of medical billings that can be overlooked or forgotten is the Washington State Crime Victims Compensation fund through the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. For a crime victim, the victim's compensation fund through the State of Washington can potentially help pay for all of a crime victim's health care billings that are related to the victim's injury incident.
Victims of motorcycle collisions have various remedies that they can recover as a result of their injury.
In Washington State, an injured victim can recover for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, inconvenience, future treatment, and loss of earning capacity. These damages are known as general damages.
The injured victim can also recover damages that relate to their health care treatment and loss wages. These damages are known as special damages.
A family member of an injured or deceased victim in a motorcycle matter may also be able to recover for loss of support, loss of consortium, and funeral/burial costs. Wrongful death and survivorship options occur in cases that involved deceased victims where the family survivors can have potential monetary remedies.
What My Law Firm Can Do
As a personal injury attorney, I am very passionate to represent motorcycle accident victims. It is very important for the victim in a motorcycle injury incident to have a lawyer who understands the importance of examining the evidence and the legal issues involved. My firm is aware of the various spectrum of issues that can come up in a motorcycle injury case.