In the hands of a good driver, motorcycles have a number of excellent safety tools to avoid collisions and accidents. They have incredibly powerful brakes, they allow for obstruction free vision, they have excellent handling (if properly maintained) and tyres with very good grip.
Yet, despite these tools, no biker can always account for the negligence of another driver on the road. Motorcycle safety is an important issue on the road considering that bikers have little defence otherwise against the full bulk of a car or larger vehicle. A motorcycle rider must use their tools and their brain to avoid an accident.
But what are the most common motorcycle accidents? If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, are you familiar with the following scenarios?
T-Bone: A car turning in front of you
This is arguably the most common motorcycle accident when a driver of a car fails to see you or does not take into account your speed properly. The result is that they often turn in front of you at an intersection, which results in a T-Bone collision. Failure to adhere to this legal obligation may result in liability in a civil claim.
The driver of a car has the same road responsibilities as the motorcyclist and must operate their motor vehicle in a way that is reasonably safe, skilful and diligent on the road.
There are many causes for this including inattention, failing to check blind spots, being distracted, etc. There is even a psychological component where drivers only see what they want to see. They are on the lookout for cars on the road and merely conclude an absence of cars, but not motorcycles.
It is important in this situation that motorcyclists pay attention at all times while they are driving and prepare for evasive action by slowing down, covering the brakes and getting ready to move out of the way if needed. Look at the wheels of the car to determine where it is moving and be aware of any vehicles behind you. Taking into consideration the weather and road conditions is also an important safety precaution.
Turning a blind corner and hitting gravel
Usually, this accident occurs when you turn a blind corner and hit a slippery patch with your front tire as you are turning.
In these accidents, most likely, the biker may be at fault for the accident for not properly avoiding the risk. However, this is not always the case.
Some legal considerations to make are:
- -Is it a public road or on private property?
- -Are the conditions of the road properly maintained?
- -Is there adequate lighting in the area?
- -Was the impediment caused by another driver who pulled over the side of the road?
Sideswipe: A car changes lanes into you
Once again, motorists may be negligent in their driving and fail to see you. Perhaps they have not checked their blind spot or they may be in a hurry and were not paying attention to the road. Most motorists aren’t psychologically programmed to see motorcycles while they are driving and may ignore the presence of one simply because it is not a car.
The result is they complete their lane change and collide with you while you are driving. This kind of accident has the potential to be catastrophic on the motorcyclist and can lead to severe head trauma (without a helmet), as well as injuries to the neck, legs, arms and joints.
Rear End: A car hitting you from behind
Motorcycles may be difficult for car drivers to see. A car that hits a motorcyclist from behind can cause significant injuries, especially if the motorcyclist is unaware and doesn’t brace for the impact. Whiplash injuries are a common injury but more severe injuries can also arise including death. A motorcyclist can also suffer psychological injuries such as a fear of driving due to being hit from behind. They lose confidence in their driving ability and trust in the other drivers on the road. Psychological injuries often accompany physical injuries in a motorcycle accident.
Front Brake Lock or Faulty Design
Most often, this issue comes from drivers not knowing their vehicle well enough and end up misusing their front brake and cartwheeling down the road. However, another legal issue that our office has come across is when the motorcycle itself is of faulty design and the brakes are jammed without error on part of the driver.
When this happens, liability may be apportioned to the manufacturer of the motorcycle for failing to account for these safety issues. It is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer if you feel that your motorcycle has faulty design due to the negligence of the manufacturer.
Car Opening its Door
Both drivers and passengers can cause this accident by not paying attention behind them when they open a door. A motorcyclist may be driving down a parking lot or a shoulder only to collide with a passenger, a car backing out or someone opening their doors in the path of the motorcyclist.
This term is sometimes referred to as “dooring” and it can be a serious issue for motorcyclists. Often the reaction time required to avoid this accident is beyond the ability of the motorcyclist, especially if the car is seemingly off to the shoulder and it looks like the doors are still shut. It does not take a lot of time for a child or an adult to swing the doors open in their eagerness to exit the car.
What compensation can I claim for a motorcycle accident?
If you were a victim of a motorcycle accident in Queensland then you may be able to claim:
- -Medical expenses, future medical costs and out of pocket expenses
- -Housekeeping, caregiving and attendant care costs
- -Lost wages due to injury
- -Psychological counselling for conditions such as phobia or depression
- -Pain and suffering
What Injuries can I claim for in a motorcycle accident?
There are a number of different injuries that you can claim compensation for. Some of the most common ones include:
- -Whiplash injuries
- -Musculoskeletal injuries
- -Head, neck and back injuries
- -Spinal injuries
- -Psychological injuries such as stress, depression, phobia, etc.
- -Fractures and broken bones
- -Strains and Sprains
- -Torn ligaments
- -Lacerations, serious wounds
- -Quadriplegia or paraplegia
- -Death (fatal accident claim)
- -Traumatic brain injury
- -Total and permanent disability (TPD)
- -Joint dislocations
Who do I sue in a motorcycle accident claim?
Most often, the insurance company of the negligent driver will be the party that you will get your compensation from once you bring an action for compensation against a driver who caused your motorcycle accident.
If the driver does not have any insurance or cannot be found (e.g. they committed a hit and run) then your claim and compensation will be against the government nominal defendant.
If the accident was caused by the motorcycle being defective or faulty in some way, then a claim for compensation may be made against the manufacturer of the motorcycle.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer in Queensland
Anywhere you go in Queensland such as in the Brisbane or the Gold Coast will often have access to a personal injury lawyer. But how do you choose the right lawyer for your motor vehicle accident claim?
How do you find the best legal professional to help maximize the amount of compensation you receive from suing a negligent driver’s insurance company?
First, it is important to pick a personal injury lawyer that is an accredited specialist in personal injury. These lawyers are specialized solely on specific injury claims and may be more effective motorcycle accident lawyers than a general practice lawyer who covers a wide range of different disciplines.
The second consideration to make is to take advantage of most personal injury lawyers’ free consultation offers. These initial consultations are often given to clients to help them make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue a claim.
The East Coast Injury Lawyers Difference
How does East Coast Injury Lawyers differ from the competition? Our accredited specialists in personal injury have experience in representing the insurance companies in defending against compensation claims.
But how does this benefit your claim?
Our injury lawyers have experienced ‘both sides’ of the field and have a significant degree of experience and training in dealing with insurance company lawyers, because simply put, the used to be insurance defence lawyers themselves.
What you can expect from the East Coast Injury Lawyers team is comprehensive legal advice that addresses all facets of your claim, including the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing insurance companies. Such knowledge and experience may help your claim settle faster, or give you the best legal argument should your matter need to go to trial.
Do not just take our word for it; see for yourself what our lawyers can do for you. All you have to do is simply contact us by filling out our easy case review form or calling us at 1300 720 544. We will get back to you as soon as possible and schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation so you can speak with one of our accredited specialists in personal injury.
Strict time limitations apply to your motorcycle accident claim, so contact us today.