As a motorcyclist, you know that you face risks each time you ride your motorcycle. Everything from other drivers and road hazards to defective parts and driver error can cause a tragic accident in a split second. Although there are many causes for motorcycle crashes, some causes are more common than others.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana
Other motorists are one of the most common causes of motorcycle wrecks. Other drivers fail to yield the right of way, run into the back of a motorcycle, or cause a head-on collision with a rider. The most common reason for these accidents is distracted driving, following too closely, speeding, and reckless driving. When another driver causes a crash, you have the right to sue that driver for compensation for your damages.
Road Hazards and Dangerous Roads
Road condition and road hazards can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle and wreck. Cracked pavement, potholes, gravel, slick surfaces, road debris, improper maintenance, and defective road designs can cause tragic accidents. When a wreck is caused by road debris or dangerous road conditions, one or more parties may be liable, including a government entity. It is important to contact an Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible because special rules may apply in these cases.
While lane splitting is legal in some states during slow or stopped traffic, it is illegal in Indiana. When lane splitting is illegal, it is far less likely for other drivers to expect (or tolerate) this driving behavior from motorcyclists, which increases the chances of an accident.
Lane splitting typically takes place at low speeds, which can minimize the likelihood of an injury. However, injury during any type of vehicle accident is always a possibility. Plus, if you get in an accident while illegally lane splitting on your motorcycle, you are much more likely to be found liable for the accident and associated damages.
Defective Motorcycle Parts
A defective motorcycle part or a defectively designed motorcycle can cause you to crash. When this happens, the designer, manufacturer, distributor, mechanic, or another party may be liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
In some cases, the motorcyclist can be at fault for a motorcycle crash. Many times, the rider is inexperienced or riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Distracted riding is also another common cause of motorcycle accidents. Lane splitting can also cause an accident and is especially dangerous for an inexperienced rider. It is important that you always remain alert and take steps to prevent a crash.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,976 motorcyclists lost their lives in motorcycle accidents during 2015, and another 88,000 riders were injured that year. This represents an eight percent increase in deaths and a three percent decrease in injuries from the previous year. In Indiana alone, 108 riders lost their lives in crashes during 2015. For every mile traveled, motorcyclists have a 29 times greater chance of being killed in a traffic crash than occupants of other vehicles.
If another party caused your wreck, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. However, you must act quickly because your time to file a claim or lawsuit is limited under Indiana’s Statute of Limitations. If you fail to file your claim before the deadline, you will be responsible for payment of all costs related to your motorcycle accident.
Common damages that you may receive compensation for in a motorcycle accident claim include:
- Past, present, and future medical bills including payment of personal care if you cannot care for yourself because of the injury.
- Past, present, and future loss of income, including loss of earning capacity if you cannot earn the same level of income because of your injury.
- Repairs to your motorcycle or the fair market value of your motorcycle if it was totaled.
- Scarring, permanent disability, and disfigurement.
- Funeral expenses, including expenses related to cremation and burial, in the event of a wrongful death.
- Mental anguish, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
Because each case is unique, the types and amounts of compensation you may receive is dependent upon the facts of your case. Our Indiana motorcycle accident lawyer can discuss the specifics of your case during your free legal consultation.