What are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

While motorcycles are enjoyable, they can be dangerous, especially at higher speeds. Other motorists may not drive safely around you and cause a serious motorcycle accident. One moment you are riding along and the next, you have severe injuries and your life is significantly changed.

Negligent drivers should be liable for your injuries and losses following a crash, though you must take proactive steps to exercise your rights. Speak to a motorcycle accident attorney in your city today for more information.

The Most Common Types Of Motorcycle Accidents

Head-on Collision between Car and Motorcycle

Many motorcycle accidents are caused by driver error, including in the following accident types:

Left-Turning Vehicles

Without a doubt, left-turning cars are the most frequent cause of motorcycle crashes. Left-turn accidents account for about 50 percent of all crashes between cars and motorcycles. What happens is that the vehicle won’t see you or doesn’t properly judge your speed as they make their turn. If you are going straight and a car turns left in front of you, you can slam into the vehicle at high speed and suffer serious or fatal injuries.

The left-turning driver is almost always at fault in this motorcycle accident. However, you can reduce the chances of such a severe crash by slowing down and watching carefully for the car driver to see you.

Switching Lanes

Lane switching leads to many accidents between cars, so it isn’t surprising that this also causes plenty of motorcycle crashes. Motorcycles can easily be obscured by a driver’s blind spot. If you see a car beginning to merge into a space where your motorcycle is, you may be in their blind spot. It is the driver’s job to check their blind spots when changing lanes. If they merge into you and cause a crash, you can receive compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

Watch for a car driver in this situation whose turn signal is on or if it starts to drift into your lane. You may also see their wheels turn, which indicates they may merge into your lane. It’s best to speed up or slow down to remove yourself from the driver’s blind spot.

Rear-End Accidents

Another common motorcycle accident is when a rider sits at a red light or stop sign and is rear-ended by an oncoming car. The car’s driver likely didn’t see you in this accident or lost control. Rear-end accidents might just be a fender bender with another vehicle, but this accident can cause severe or fatal injuries to a motorcyclist. A rear-end accident can also push motorcyclists into the intersection, putting them at risk of being struck by another vehicle.

Impaired Driving

Some car drivers take drugs or drink alcohol and get in accidents. Drinking and taking drugs reduces judgment, alertness, and coordination, which greatly increases the chances of crashes. If a drunk driver hits a motorcyclist, the chances of a severe or fatal injury are high.


Motorcyclists are often not given the space they need on the road. If a car is tailgating you on your motorcycle and there is sudden traffic, it’s easy for the rear driver to hit you. Tailgating is illegal in most states and highly dangerous for motorcyclists. You can file a personal injury claim against a driver who tailgates and hits you on your motorcycle.

Head-On Crashes

Head-on collisions between cars and motorcycles account for 55 percent of all motorcycle-related fatalities. The automobile hits the motorcycle from the front in most of these crashes. In a head-on crash, the motorcycle rider is almost always killed. If you lost a loved one in a head-on motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable driver. A motorcycle accident attorney can file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the liable party accountable.

Open Car Doors

You are riding in the right lane on your motorcycle next to a line of parked cars. Suddenly, a car door opens, and you slam into it at 25 MPH. You have been severely injured. Fortunately, you can file a personal injury claim against the liable driver to receive compensation for your losses.

How A Motorcycle Accident Case Is Valued

Toy motorcycle on money pile, symbolizing value in motorcycle accident case

Most motorcyclists in an accident suffer severe injuries, so how much you can get for your claim is critical to your recovery and future. Several factors influence the ultimate value of a motorcycle accident claim. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will gather information about these factors in your case to provide an estimate of what your claim is worth:

Your Damages

Estimating what a case is worth is challenging for one major reason: If the case goes to trial, the jury will decide how much you are entitled to for your losses. Some losses in a motorcycle crash case, such as lost income and medical expenses, are relatively easy to predict. After all, these economic damages are based on receipts, bills, pay stubs, etc., that are easy to calculate.

However, a major part of accident compensation from a motorcycle crash is often pain and suffering. These non-economic damages are more difficult to predict in an insurance settlement or jury verdict. Pain and suffering and related compensation varies according to these variables:

  • The nature and seriousness of your injuries.
  • The type of medical treatments and length of treatment.
  • How long you will be disabled from the accident.
  • How the accident affects your life.

Every motorcycle accident case is different, and your motorcycle accident attorney’s estimate of pain and suffering compensation may not be exact. You can end up with more or less non-economic damages than you think.

How the motorcycle crash affects your life is vital for determining your compensation. For example, if a motorcycle accident breaks several bones in your leg and leaves you with a limp for life, this can greatly increase pain and suffering and mental trauma compensation. This is especially true if you were an active person who used to run five miles daily.

Strength Of Case Evidence

Another significant factor in the value of a motorcycle crash case is the strength of the evidence against the other party. The case is worth much less if you have little concrete evidence that the other driver caused your injuries. If there is surveillance video of the accident and several witnesses saw the driver hit you, the case value is much higher.

Amount Of Insurance Available

The amount of auto insurance available is often a limiting factor in a personal injury settlement. Many liable drivers don’t have extensive policies or additional assets to seize in a lawsuit. In this case, a motorcycle accident attorney may seek the maximum settlement they can negotiate with the insurance company depending on the policy limits. They can also identify any additional liable parties, such as a vicariously liable employer if the driver was on the job.

Motorcyclist Bias

Preconceived notions about a plaintiff should not play a role in compensating an injured motorcyclist. But human nature is what it is. Some people view motorcyclists negatively, and jury members may be among them.

Some, but not all, juries are less likely to offer full case value to an injured motorcyclist compared with an injured car driver. Insurance adjusters know about motorcyclist bias and may offer you less money in a settlement. For this reason, hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible is even more critical to build a robust case.

Common Motorcycle Crash Myths

A person displaying a tiny motorbike.

After a motorcycle crash, you may peruse the Internet to collect legal information about these incidents. There are many myths and misconceptions online, so it’s best not to fall for the following:

Most Motorcycle Accident Cases Don’t Require An Attorney

Motorcycle accident claims often involve severe injuries and damages. A motorcycle accident attorney should always represent you if another driver caused your injuries.

The insurance company is in business to make money, so it will attempt to settle the case for the minimum amount. Not having an attorney means you will probably negotiate a lower settlement than with an attorney at your side. You also may not know what your case is worth. For instance, many motorcycle crash victims think that they should only get medical expense compensation. But you may be entitled to money for your lost income, lost ability to earn a living, pain and suffering, mental trauma, and more.

Filing A Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Isn’t Needed

Many personal injury claims indeed end in a settlement. But the insurance company may contest the claim and try to pay less than you deserve. They can argue that you were partially to blame for the crash. If these things happen, filing a personal injury lawsuit is the best chance to recover what you deserve. A motorcycle accident attorney should always represent you to file the paperwork and argue passionately on your behalf in the courtroom.

Compensation Is Only For Medical Expenses

Many injury victims think that the only compensation received in a motorcycle crash settlement is for medical expenses. If that’s true, then you can surely settle the case on your own for your current medical bills, right? Wrong.

There are many potential types of compensation in a severe motorcycle accident. You can have bills for surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, and weeks or months of rehabilitation in the future. Also, you may be owed lost earnings and pain and suffering. Obtaining the most compensation in these areas requires the skill and perseverance of an experienced motorcycle crash lawyer.

It Costs Too Much To Hire A Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Injury victims may be leery of hiring an attorney because of legal fees. However, most motorcycle accident lawyers are paid a contingency fee. This means they are only compensated if they obtain payment for their clients in a settlement or favorable verdict. This payment method allows you to get compensation for your motorcycle accident losses without paying legal fees out of pocket. If you receive compensation, their fees will be a percentage of your settlement or award.

While you might be reluctant to give up some of your funds, remember that the attorney’s skill and experience usually mean getting more than you would have on your own.

You Can’t Get A Settlement If You Didn’t Wear A Helmet

Not wearing a motorcycle helmet doesn’t mean you cannot receive compensation in a lawsuit. Your motorcycle accident attorney will know the law and the legal nuances regarding wearing a helmet. You can still receive ample compensation in a motorcycle accident claim if another driver hit you.

Road Rash Isn’t A Major Injury

Road rash is a skin injury caused by a motorcycle accident. It occurs when the rider slides on the ground after being hit by another vehicle. Road rash sounds like a minor injury, especially compared to severe head trauma. However, road rash is painful, and there is a high risk of infection. A skin infection can penetrate deeper and get into the blood, possibly leading to sepsis, a life-threatening illness. Some motorcycle accident victims need several painful skin grafts, antibiotics, and physical therapy to recover from road rash. If you suffered a road rash injury, you may have a sizable personal injury claim.

The best way to understand your potential motorcycle accident case is to immediately speak to a motorcycle accident attorney. Motorcycle accident attorneys don’t charge for the initial consultation, and you pay no out-of-pocket expenses to the attorney.

Contact A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Now

A recent motorcycle crash when another driver hit you can leave you feeling both hopeless and helpless. You may feel like you don’t know who to turn to or how to recover and regain your life. When another party injures you, you can seek compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. You can be entitled to money for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, lost ability to earn a living, and much more.

You should speak to an experienced Booneville personal injury lawyer in a free consultation today. The attorney will review the accident and your injuries to decide if it is a strong case.