In 2013, there were approximately 8.4 million motorcycles driving on the road. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, 4,668 people died in motorcycle accidents that same year. While the number of motorcycle accidents is down from 2012, when 4,986 fatalities occurred, it is still a significant number.
Motorcyclists are more apt to sustain an injury or die in a two-vehicle accident involving a car than the passenger car’s occupants. In 2013, for example, it was determined that motorcyclists were approximately five-times more likely to be injured and 26-times more likely to die as a result of these accidents.
Personal Responsibility and Accident Prevention
It is clear that many of these accidents could be prevented. If a motorcyclist or passenger vehicle driver is operating their vehicle while under the influence, speeding, or engaging in other types of reckless driving, then they may be liable.
If a motorcyclist is in an accident that results in a head injury that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet, then the responsibility may also fall to the motorcyclist.
What is a Punitive Damage Case?
When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident involving two-or-more vehicles, and they have taken all the necessary precautions to avoid this accident, then the responsibility may fall on the other driver or drivers. In this case, having a personal injury attorney is essential to assist with determining liability.
While punitive damages will vary, on average, an individual may be awarded $50,000. A personal injury lawyer would be able to provide more information on the conditions under which this figure might be higher or lower.
Wrongful Death Cases
According to FindLaw.com, a family member or the estate of a person that has died in an accident may file a wrongful death case if certain conditions are met. These conditions include negligence and/or misconduct, and includes criminal behavior.
If the individual sustained an injury and died as a result of medical malpractice, this, too, may be grounds to file a suit.
It’s important to contact a wrongful death lawyer for the appropriate counsel, because they are knowledgeable about the conditions under which a wrongful death case can and should be filed.
Unfortunately, automobile and motorcycle accidents occur every day. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident or have a family member that suffered a wrongful death as a result of a motorcycle accident, it’s important to take the next step by contacting a personal injury law firm to determine your rights and responsibilities as well as how to proceed.