While safety statistics for cars and trucks have improved dramatically in recent years, the fatality rate for motorcycle accidents has actually gotten worse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are six times more likely to die on the road than drivers of passenger vehicles are.
This statistic is often used to support a stereotypical way of thinking known as biker bias, which is the assumption that motorcyclists are reckless and dangerous outlaws generally responsible for their own accidents. In fact, the opposite is true. Most accidents involving a motorcycle and another vehicle are caused by the other vehicle.
Understanding the Risks
Riding a motorcycle presents a series of unique risks that other motorists don’t have to contend with. Since motorcycles are the smallest road-legal form of transportation, a number of causes can lead to an accident:
- Motorcycles are more easily obscured by other vehicles on the road or bad weather, making them a much harder target for motorists to spot.
- Most drivers of cars and trucks lack an understanding of how motorcycles move and may be more likely to incorrectly predict their motion on the road.
- Hazards like potholes, uneven roads, oil slicks, and general debris can pose a serious threat to the stability of a motorcycle.
Serious Injuries Mean Larger Settlements
Whatever the cause of the accident, injuries suffered in a motorcycle wreck are usually more severe than those sustained by passengers in closed vehicles. Some common motorcycle accident injuries are:
- Nerve damage
- Road rash
- Concussions and brain damage
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial disfigurement
One or more injuries like these can lead to soaring medical bills, lost wages, disability requiring lifelong care, and/or extreme physical and mental pain and suffering.
Because the injuries are so serious, awards for victims of motorcycle accidents can cost insurance companies a lot of money. They will do whatever they can to pay you as little as possible in the event of a motorcycle accident—making it extremely difficult for you to pay your medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
Let Us Deal With the Insurance Company
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Layton & Southard have over a decade of experience dealing with insurance companies and will protect your interests after an accident. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, your attorney will:
- Thoroughly investigate your accident in order to prove the fault of the negligent driver
- Determine how much you should claim for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
- Put a dollar amount on your physical and mental pain and suffering
- Recognize an unacceptably low offer and negotiate to get you a fair award
- Fight for you in court if your case should go to trial
We Can Overcome Biker Bias
If you try to handle your claim without an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, prejudice against motorcyclists on the part of insurance adjustors, jurors, or judges might make it hard for you to receive the high award you deserve as compensation for your damages. Layton & Southard knows how to deal with this stereotypical attitude, whether during negotiations with insurance companies or in court if your case goes to trial. We will utilize accurate bike crash statistics, your own good driving record, and other helpful data and information to overcome biker bias.
We Will Safeguard Your Rights
The negligence of other drivers can get you into trouble on the road. It is important for you to understand that the courts in Missouri award damages according to a pure comparative fault system. This means you could be found partially at fault for your accident. Your ability to argue your case will make the difference between claiming compensation and being left with nothing.
Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Missouri?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to speak with an experience motorcyle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cape Girardeau office directly at 573.335.3359 to schedule your initial consultation.