Motorcyclists face many dangers on the road that other drivers do not. When involved in accidents, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer serious injury or death. This makes it all the more important for motorcyclists and other drivers to understand some common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Depending on the circumstances, a motorcycle accident victim may be able to obtain legal compensation. However, these victims should be aware that insurance companies will often combat these claims. An experienced Billings motorcycle accident lawyer familiar with motorcycle accidents can effectively guide them in seeking compensation.
What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The causes of a motorcycle accident can vary. The following are some of the more common causes:
- Head-on Collisions with Cars: In the vast majority of collisions between automobiles and motorcycles, the car strikes the motorcycle head-on. These collisions often throw the motorcyclist off their motorcycle, resulting in high rates of fatalities and serious injuries.
- Cars Making Left Turns: A left-turning car can strike a motorcycle when it is coming through an intersection in the opposite direction. The car could also turn left while the motorcycle is passing the car from behind.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: The car driver could fail to check their blind spot or suddenly change lanes without signaling. Car drivers often fail to observe or watch out for motorcycles.
- Parked Car Doors: A driver or passenger in a parked car could open their car door as a motorcycle is passing.
- Distracted or Intoxicated Drivers: Distracted or intoxicated drivers are even more prone to hitting motorcycles than cars or trucks, due to the small size of motorcycles.
- Lane Splitting: This refers to the practice of motorcycles driving between lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. Lane splitting is often used as a defense by car drivers in car-motorcycle collisions, since the motorcyclist will often be considered at fault. The legal status of lane splitting in that state will also be a consideration. California is the only state where lane splitting is specifically authorized by law. Montana law, as in the majority of states, does not authorize or prohibit lane splitting. Lane splitting is illegal in Wyoming.
Legal Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents
The consequences of motorcycle accidents can be extremely serious, ranging from serious injury to paralysis to death. In addition to medical bills, injured motorcyclists can recover damages for lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies are more likely to offer fair settlements to injured motorcyclists when they are represented by competent attorneys with the expertise and courage to take cases to trial. It is preferable if the attorney has experience dealing with motorcycle accidents and the unique cause and conditions of those accidents.
Speak With a Billings Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Ragain & Clark, PC
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident in Montana or Wyoming, be sure to consult with a Billings motorcycle accident lawyer at Ragain & Clark, PC. With over four decades of trial experience, we represent motorcyclists and other drivers in motor vehicle accidents in both states. Contact us today about your motorcycle accident.