Three Things That Make Motorcycle Crashes Unique
Even for highly experienced riders, motorcycles are difficult to control. Seemingly insignificant issues, like a pothole or some road debris, are often enough to cause a loss of control. But that’s only one reason that motorcycle riders take enormous risks, as outlined below.
If a Minnesota rider sustains a serious injury, the damages available include compensation for both medical bills and other economic losses, as well as pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses. In Minneapolis, an injury is “serious” if the associated medical bills are at least $4,000.
Motorcycle Crashes and Left-Turn Collisions
About a third of these accidents occur as a driver attempts a left turn against traffic and crosses directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. This statistic underscores that fact that many four-wheel vehicle operators do not maintain a proper lookout for motorcycle riders.
The proportion of such left-turn crashes may be even higher today. When scientists published the Hurt Report, most people drove cars and station wagons. But today, large pickup trucks and SUVs dominate most roads in Minneapolis. These vehicles are very hard for drivers to see around. That’s no excuse for negligent driving, but it does help explain why these crashes are so common.
Injuries in Minneapolis Motorcycle Crashes
Car crashes seriously injure millions of drivers each year. The proportion of serious injuries is even greater among motorcycle crash victims. These individuals have almost no protection from other cars in a serious wreck. So, they often sustain injuries like:
- Road Burns: While they are not usually life-threatening, these serious abrasions often take weeks or months to heal. In the meantime, they are quite painful and they seriously restrict the victim’s mobility.
- Biker’s Arm: When riders fall off their bikes, as they almost always do in a collision, they usually extend their arms to break their falls. This natural reaction often causes permanent nerve damage to the area under the shoulders. The victim is flying through the air so fast, and hits the ground so hard, that these vulnerable nerves almost literally snap in two.
- Head Injury: That same impact often causes a serious brain injury, even if the victim does not land directly on his/her head.
Some people believe that if they are not wearing helmets that they cannot recover damages for their injuries. But that’s not true. Minnesota has no law in place on this particular subject. Helmet use is arguably irrelevant in a motorcycle crash case. Helmet non-use typically has nothing to do with the accident itself. At best, the failure to use a helmet is only contributory negligence.
The Motorcycle Prejudice
To obtain compensation for their injuries, victims must usually overcome the motorcycle prejudice. This prejudice is not as strong as it was a few decades ago. Yet many people still believe that bikers are reckless and dangerous riders. Minnesota insurance company lawyers play to this prejudice as much as possible.
If that happens in court, the victim’s attorney has an opportunity to rebut such evidence. After the jury learns what a careful rider the victim is, and also learns more personal information about the victim, the prejudice usually dissipates.
Contact a Hard-Hitting Attorney
Motorcycle crashes involve unique legal and practical issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Minnesota, contact the Gunther Law Office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.