Any motorcycle accident has the potential to cause a rider to suffer long-term injuries or death because of the lack of structural protection.
According to government data in 2015, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to be killed per miles traveled than vehicle passengers.
One of the most deadly motorcycle accidents is a head-on collision. Fortunately, victims may be able to hold the negligent driver responsible for compensating them for their injuries—with the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Head-On Collisions
Head-on collisions happen when a vehicle crosses the center line of a roadway, or travels the wrong way on a street or highway exit/entrance ramp. Drivers cause these tragic wrecks due to a variety of negligent behaviors, including:
- Speeding. A speeding driver has a greater risk of losing control of his vehicle. This causes him to either veer over the center lane or careen across it if his vehicle skids on ice or he spins out of control.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a huge problem in general that causes many truck, car, and motorcycle accidents. When a motorist is eating or drinking, texting, talking on a cellphone, or looking at his GPS, his eyes and mind aren't on the road. In a split second, his vehicle can drift over the center lane—with tragic consequences for a biker.
- Impaired driving. Whenever a driver is intoxicated because of alcohol or drug use, his reaction time, vision, and judgment are reduced, increasing the likelihood he'll cause a head-on collision. Many tragic wrecks involving driving on the wrong-way of highway ramps and one-way streets are caused by impaired motorists.
- Drowsy driving. Many people are guilty of driving while fatigued or, tragically, falling asleep at the wheel. This increases the risk that they'll drift head-on into traffic.
- Improper passing. If a driver is trying to move beyond another vehicle in a no-passing zone or when he cannot pass safely, a head-on collision with a motorcycle rider may be unavoidable.
What Injuries Do Motorcyclists Suffer in Head-On Collisions?
The force of impact in a head-on collision and the fact that a motorcyclist may be thrown from his bike can cause life-altering injuries—if he survives. Common injuries in these wrecks include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries—including partial or total paralysis
- Broken bones—often to the facial bones
- Neck, back, and other soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ damage
Your First Steps Following a Head-On Motorcycle Crash
If you're involved in a head-on collision, you need to take immediate steps to protect your right to injury compensation from the negligent driver. Here are five essential things to do right away:
- Seek immediate medical care. You should be examined by a doctor within a few days of your crash. Some symptoms don't emerge right away, so even though you may not think you're badly hurt, don't put off care completely. Doing this also helps avoid disputes about the cause of your injuries when filing a claim.
- Contact the police. You should always contact the police at the scene of the wreck and obtain a copy of the officer's report. It will contain vital information, such as the driver’s contact information, the officer’s narration of how the accident occurred and who caused it, and whether a traffic citation was issued.
- Take pictures. Use photographs to document the accident scene, damage to any vehicles and your motorcycle, your injuries, and any other helpful information.
- Obtain contact information. The police may not interview all important witnesses that may support your claim of negligence against the other driver. So make sure to get not only the driver's contact details, but his or her insurance information, and any potential witness names and phone numbers.
- Contact an attorney. You want to retain a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. He can guide you through the process of filing your claim, gather the evidence you need to prove your right to compensation, and negotiate a deserving settlement.
Do you need help filing a claim for compensation following a motorcycle accident? Our experienced Kansas City legal team is here to help. Contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free case evaluation.