While riding motorcycles is a fun way to get around the Kansas City metro, these machines are much more dangerous than motor vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are 28 times more deaths in motorcycle crashes than those involving cars per mile traveled.
In addition, dangerous head-on collisions are common, which increases the risk that a biker will suffer catastrophic injuries if he survives the accident.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, determining the cause of it is vital if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve from the vehicle driver responsible for the incident. Our experienced Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation of your accident and collect the evidence you need to receive a proper financial recovery.
Nine Ways Drivers Cause Motorcycle Accidents
The primary reasons drivers are responsible for motorcycle collisions include:
Unsafe Lane Changes
Motorists who fail to check their blind spots and slide into another lane often collide with a motorcyclist traveling nearby.
Open Car Doors
When drivers and passengers don't check for oncoming traffic before opening their doors to exit their vehicles, the door can smash into a biker on the road. This is especially dangerous for the motorcyclist, who can be thrown into oncoming traffic.
If a driver speeds, it takes him longer to slow down and stop when necessary. The greater force of high-speed impact means the injuries that a motorcyclist suffers will most likely be more severe—and the value of his claim higher.
A person driving while intoxicated due to alcohol or drug use will have impaired vision, reaction time, judgment, and other driving skills. Consequently, he's not able to see a motorcycle rider before it's too late to avoid an accident—or he's engaging in reckless behaviors that lead to tragic motorcycle wrecks.
Distracted driving practices such as eating and drinking, texting, or talking on a cellphone are never safe. A motorcycle rider is especially in danger because he's already less visible, so a driver's lack of attention puts everyone at risk.
Driving Too Closely
People behind the wheel have a duty to maintain safe distances from other vehicles, including motorcycles. When they fail to do so, a rear-end collision is probable. Motorists following too closely will almost always be found to be negligent in causing the crash.
Unfortunately, left-turn accidents are common at intersections. Drivers cause these wrecks by failing to yield the right of way, misjudging the time they have to safely turn left or beat a red light.
Potholes, asphalt cracks, debris, and other road defects are more dangerous to motorcycle riders. If a city or another municipal government responsible for repairs knew about the defect and failed to correct the hazard, an injured rider may have a claim for compensation against them. Special procedural rules must be followed when making a claim against a government agency, so it's important to retain a lawyer as soon as possible.
A rider may have a products liability claim against the motorcycle and parts manufacturers if a defect in the manufacture or design of a part caused the accident.
Lane Splitting Motorcycle Accidents
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is lane splitting. This occurs when a motorcyclist travels between two lanes of slowed or stopped traffic. Lane splitting is illegal in Kansas. In Missouri, lane splitting isn't illegal, but it's also not authorized as a safe driving practice.
This type of collision occurs for various reasons, including the proximity of cars to the motorcycle, limited space for a biker to maneuver, and drivers' lack of awareness of a motorcycle between lanes. Determining who's liable depends on the actions of the driver of the auto and the motorcycle at the time of the crash, and how the laws uphold the legality of the practice.
Your Right to Compensation in a Motorcycle Crash
If a negligent driver caused your motorcycle accident in Kansas or Missouri, you might require a few months or longer of expensive medical treatments, and be off work with no income while you recover from your injuries—if you're not permanently disabled. You're entitled to be compensated for your injuries. A settlement with his insurance company should include:
- Medical expenses
- Wage losses
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one died in the wreck
Were You Injured In a Kansas City Area Motorcycle Accident?