How Are Motorcycle Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

Police officer standing in front of motorcycle accident

Did you hit a motorcyclist by mistake? Perhaps you’re an injured motorcycle rider seeking compensation. 

Regardless, know the differences between a motorcycle vs car accident. Overall, bike riders are more likely to become mired in an accident. 

For example, they must stop more frequently. If a motorist fails to maintain a safe distance, they can hit the bike rider. Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to long-term injuries.

This piece will explain the differences between motorcycle accidents and car accidents in more detail. Read further to know more.

Less Protection

Motorcyclists are susceptible to more injuries because they have little protection. A car accident can lead to extensive injuries, but your car will protect you from additional harm. 

On the other hand, a motorcycle rider will absorb the full brunt of an impact. For instance, a car could throw them off their bike and force them against the pavement.

To underscore the difference, 13 out of every 100,000 motorists will succumb to a fatal car accident. Conversely, 72 out of 100,000 motorcyclists will die during an accident.

Many motorcyclists wear helmets as a protective measure. Studies show that helmets can lower the risk of death by around 37%. Helmets can lower head injuries by around 69%.

However, motorcycle riders cannot fully protect their bodies. That’s why they’re more likely to suffer from broken bones and other catastrophic injuries in the form: 

  • Burns
  • Facial lacerations
  • Head injuries
  • Road rash

Road rash is a common injury among motorbike riders. Many victims will treat the rashes as minor scratches or bruises. However, road rash can cause nerve damage and skin infections. 

You can suffer the same types of injuries from a car accident, but motorcycle injures are typically more severe. A motorcycle accident may also lead to lingering trauma, such as paralysis, spinal cord damage, or limb amputations.

Road Hazards

In most cases, cars can pass through road debris easily. This isn’t the case for people who ride motorcycles. Small objects can cause motorcyclists to lose control.

Additionally, wet roads can cause the bike to skid, especially if the tires are bald. Bike riders may also have trouble navigating uneven roads.

For cars, these hazards may result in minor wear and tear. With motorcycle drivers, they may have to swerve suddenly to avoid the hazards, causing them to crash.

The Speed Factor

Many bike riders speed unnecessarily, especially if they have sportbikes. Sportbikes reach fast speeds within a short timespan. 

  • Example: Certain supersport bikes can go between 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds. Overall, most bikes can go up to 160 mph. These bikes are also lightweight, allowing the driver to go faster. 

Too often, drivers under 30 will test bike speeds on roads, endangering the public.  

Bikers who speed often are more likely to become involved in a serious accident or injure others. They may also engage in reckless actions. 

The bike’s speed and small size can cause a rider to get careless. Car drivers are less likely to engage in risky maneuvers due to the large size of most cars.

If there is a traffic jam, for example, they may speed between cars, otherwise known as lane splitting. In most states, lane splitting is illegal. California is the only state that permits lane splitting.

Lane splitting can endanger others and damage vehicles. Most motorcyclists don’t engage in this reckless behavior, but many do.

Rider Perceptions

A motorcycle accident victim seeking justice may have to deal with biased jurors. Many people see motorcycle riders as risky daredevils and are less likely to be sympathetic to them.

They may assume the crash stemmed from reckless actions. As a result, you could face a tougher time convincing jurors that you’re the victim.

Further, a jury may not understand motorcycles. For instance, they may know little about the connection between speed and bike stability.

On the other hand, most jurors are motorists and understand the conditions associated with operating a car. With that, a motorcycle accident lawyer can educate jurors on the basics of motorcycle operation.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are also less likely to be accommodating. They could deny your claim due to the severity of motorcycle injuries. A motorcycle accident victim could require months of medical care and/or physical therapy.

Insurance adjusters will find ways to reduce your payout. Also, adjusters know about the inherent bias that jurors have against motorcyclists. Therefore, they will use this systemic bias against you. 

Adjusters can take advantage of court bias by offering you a lower settlement. They could even tell you a higher offer is impossible if you go to trial. 

  • Note: Insurance will use the same types of tricks if you’re involved in a car accident. However, insurance wrangling is a higher likelihood if you’re involved in a motorcycle crash.
     

To combat biased jurors and unscrupulous insurance adjusters, hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. The system will treat you fairly with legal counsel behind you.

Motorcycle vs Car Accident: What's the Verdict?

When it comes to a motorcycle vs car accident, a motorcycle accident is more serious. The injuries sustained are likely to be severe. You could even deal with lifelong injuries.

As a result, you may need higher settlements or awards to cover your medical expenses. With that, each type of accident requires special expertise. Hire a motorcycle accident lawyer for motorcycle accident cases, and hire a car accident attorney for car accident cases. 

Are you looking for a lawyer for your personal injury case in Columbia, SC? Contact us today.

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