More Americans are speeding. Highway fatalities attributed to speed in 2020 were the highest they’ve been in the last decade – up 7.2% to 38,680. When people drive above the speed limit there is a corresponding increase in the risk of accidents.
The speed of the vehicles involved in an accident contributes to the severity of the damage caused. It is already well understood that a motorcyclist does not fare well in a crash with another vehicle. With cars going faster, the incidence of accidents with motorcycles is also likely to increase. And those accidents will result in even more severe injuries for the motorcycle rider.
PA motorcycle accidents resulting in death in 2020 matched the trend across the nation and reached their highest level in 10 years – up 22.9% from 2019. Motorcycle accidents accounted for 6.6% of the motor vehicle injury accidents but 20.3% of the fatalities.
At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., the issue of vehicle speed comes up quite often when handling motorcycle accident claims. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are experienced at recreating accident scenes and establishing how fast the vehicles were traveling when the accident occurred.
How Does Speed Contribute to a Motorcycle Accident?
Driving too fast has two disadvantages for a driver when unexpected circumstances arise.
- There is less time to react to the immediate situation.
- The faster an object is moving, the more forcefully it impacts any object it hits.
So a speeding driver will be less likely to avoid an accident and the crash will cause more property damage and greater injuries.
What if Motorcycle Speed Contributes to a Motorcycle Crash?
Speed is the number 1 contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents involving driver error. It’s not uncommon for motorists who get into accidents with motorcycles to accuse the motorcycle driver of going too fast and thus contributing to causing the accident.
Even with some fault, a person injured in a motorcycle accident may still be able to make a claim to recover from their injuries. The law in Pennsylvania allows a person to make a claim against another as long as the injured party is not more than 50% responsible for causing the accident. The percentage of fault only reduces the amount an injured party can collect.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents usually end poorly with either the motorcyclist and any passenger on the motorcycle either being killed or being seriously injured. It is not uncommon for injured motorcyclists to incur injuries that are so devastating that they lead to lifelong disabilities. Injuries are even more horrific—or even catastrophic—when a speeding driver crashes into a motorcyclist, which usually results in the rider being ejected from their motorcycle onto the roadway or surrounding areas.
An impact of this nature typically yields serious injuries that include:
- Spinal cord injuries: If a motorcyclists’ spinal cord is injured during the course of a crash, the rider can become permanently disabled. It is not uncommon for accident victims who incur spinal cord injuries to be paralyzed, which leads to the requirement for rehabilitation and long-term care, often around the clock.
- Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs: Many motorcyclists ride without helmets, which can make the chance of incurring a traumatic brain injury even greater. However, TBIs can occur even if the rider and/or passenger on the back of the bike are wearing helmets. TBIs can lead to life-altering deficits in functioning.
- Broken bones and fractures: It goes without saying that most serious motorcycle accidents result in one or more fractures and broken bones, including broken legs, arms, hips, and other structures.
- Internal injuries and organ damage: The violent impact of a motorcycle crash can lead to dangerous and life-threatening internal bleeding and damage to various organ systems.
- Severe skin abrasions and road rash: It is quite common during the course of a motorcycle accident for victims to come into contact with asphalt, which can result in severe abrasions of the skin. These abrasions may cause problems with infections, and they can also lead to permanent scarring.
Why a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Help You Collect More
When you are injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another you are entitled to be compensated for the damage you have suffered. That damage may include:
- Repairs to your motorcycle
- Medical expenses for treatment of your injuries
- Any income that you were not able to earn because you were injured
- The physical pain & suffering you experienced
- The mental/emotional trauma you had to go through
- The reduction in your quality of life because of your injuries
A motorcycle accident attorney will start by investigating and establishing that you had no or only minimal responsibility for the accident. This may require the opinions of credible experts an attorney will have access to. Then your attorney will go through each type of damage you are entitled to receive and put together the evidence necessary to get the maximum amount available. Medical experts are often necessary to prove how severely you have been affected by your injuries.
Wrongful Death Claims Stemming from Motorcycle Accidents
If you are a surviving loved one of a motorcyclist who lost his/her life in a motorcycle accident, you have a right to hold the negligent party in your loved one’s demise accountable. Wrongful death actions seek compensation for the financial and personal loss of the loved one, including loss of future income, loss of companionship and love, loss of consortium, and other damages, such as medical bills resulting from the motorcycle crash and funeral expenses for the deceased. A spouse, child, parent, or other close relatives may file a wrongful death action.
The Lancaster motorcycle accident lawyers at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., have seen how excessive speed contributes to the severity of injuries received in motorcycle accidents. We have collected millions on behalf of injured clients. We know how to deal effectively with insurance companies and what is required to get our clients the best possible compensation for their injuries. Contact us here for a free consultation about your motorcycle accident or call our Lancaster office at 717-537-9244.