While motorcycles give riders a feeling of freedom and adventure, the experience can be cut short when another reckless driver causes an accident. Motorcycle wrecks are often unforgiving, and it’s likely the victim will suffer from serious bodily harm. Our Milwaukee motorcycle accident lawyers strive to help all accident victims seek compensation and justice for what they’ve been through.
Wisconsin motorcycle accidents affect more people than you may realize. The most recent data, from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, states that 1,927 individuals were injured in bike wrecks in 2013. That same year, 83 motorcyclists, including passengers, were killed.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be looking for answers. At Urban & Taylor, we’re here to answer your questions and provide you with peace of mind.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Like all accidents, the majority of motorcycle wrecks are entirely preventable. It’s important for drivers and motorcyclists to be aware of the most common types of accidents, so they can act accordingly and share the road responsibly.
Left-turn Accidents. Accidents of this nature often occur when a car, truck, or other vehicle attempts to make a left turn and fails to see an oncoming motorcycle. Some drivers may even see the motorcyclists and inaccurately judge the distance between them and the motorcycle. In most cases, the motorcycle strikes the turning vehicle because of their inability to stop. This is the most common type of motorcycle wreck.
T-bone Crashes. This type of crash is common at intersections and occurs when a vehicle strikes the side of a motorcycle. Because of the small size of the motorcycle and the rider’s exposure to the elements, T-bone accident often result in serious injuries and can lead to death.
Head-on Wrecks. The deadliest motorcycle accidents occur when a vehicle collides head-on with a motorcycle. These crashes can happen when a vehicle is traveling down the wrong side of a road or is in the wrong lane.
Rear-end Collisions. When a driver is traveling behind a motorcycle and fails to stop in time, the motorcyclists can be seriously injured. Drivers may be tailgating and unable to stop in an emergency, or they may be distracted and unaware of what the motorcyclist in front of them is doing. Speeding is also a common factor in rear-end collisions.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
If you find yourself in a motorcycle collision, it’s likely a result of one of the causes below. When you’re ready to file your accident claim, our Milwaukee, WI attorneys are here for you.
Lack of Control. Motorcyclists may lose control of their vehicles if the roadways aren’t properly maintained. Potholes and road debris can quickly lead to preventable accidents. Someone may also lose control of their bike if other drivers are erratic.
Driving Too Fast for Conditions. It’s important for all vehicles to drive according to the weather. In the event a driver decides to go too fast in the snow or rain, they’re putting themselves and others at risk. Because they only have two wheels, motorcycles are even more at risk for accidents in inclement weather.
Inattentive Driving. Distracted driving is a factor involved in many motorcycle accidents. When a driver is unaware of their surroundings, they may not see a motorcycle passing them, in their blind spot, or turning.
Driver Condition. Alcohol, drugs, and even fatigue play a role in motorcycle wrecks. When a driver is under the influence of a substance, their control and decision-making ability is severely hindered. Driving while tired can also affect a person’s ability to concentrate.
Speeding. Speeding is a contributing factor in the majority of accidents in Wisconsin. Motorcyclists are at risk when drivers speed because a driver may be unable to stop promptly or may lose control of their vehicle.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are at risk for significant injury in the event of an accident, especially because of their lack of protection. Even with the proper helmet and attire, they lack the walls, airbags, and roof of a bigger, four-wheeled vehicle. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries are listed below.
Traumatic Brain Injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common in motorcycle collisions when the rider isn’t wearing a helmet. While some TBI, like a concussion, are likely to heal with little lasting effect, severe TBI can result in permanent brain damage.
Road Rash. Road rash occurs when a person’s skin makes contact with the road during a motorcycle crash. The friction can result in flayed and missing skin. The severity ranges greatly, depending on the accident. While some road rash can be treated like any small laceration, severe road rash may require skin grafts and surgeries. Some road rash can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Broken Bones. Broken bones are common when a rider gets thrown from their bike. This type of injury can be incredibly painful and take a long time to heal.
Spinal Cord Injuries. Spinal cord injuries, whether complete or incomplete, can have life-long complications. Paralysis is possible.
State Motorcycle Laws in Wisconsin
Just like all other vehicles, motorcycles are regulated by the state. If riders follow these laws and drivers understand them, the instances of motorcycle crashes are likely to decrease. Here are some of the most important motorcycle laws from the Wisconsin Motorcyclists’ Handbook:
- A class M license or permit is required to operate a motorcycle.
- All riders under 18 must complete a rider education course.
- All riders and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.
- A motorcyclist over the age of 18 with an operational license may choose whether or not to wear a helmet.
- All riders, regardless of age, with an instructional motorcycle permit or learner’s permit must wear a helmet.
- As long as the motorcyclist has an operational license, a passenger of any age may ride.
- All riders must use eye protection. This includes a windscreen, helmet shield, glasses, or goggles.
- Motorcycles must have their headlights on at all times.
- If carrying a passenger, the motorcycle must have a passenger seat and footrest.
- All motorcyclists must have accident liability insurance.
Get Help from a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Wisconsin
Any type of vehicle accident can be traumatic. Given the nature of motorcycle wrecks, however, those victims are often at risk for more significant injuries and a longer recovery process. If your accident resulted from the actions of a negligent driver, our Milwaukee motorcycle accident lawyers are here for you.
At Urban & Taylor, we will fight for your right to hold the irresponsible party accountable for their actions and help you seek the compensation you may need for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To file your claim or for more information about your legal rights and options, contact us today for a free consultation.