To a motorcycle enthusiast, there is nothing quite like being out on the road. To other motorcycle riders, it is a convenient way to get around town, easier to park, or more fuel efficient than a car. To either of these, though, a motorcycle accident can be devastating.
Whether a motorcycle actually crashes with another vehicle, or the rider is forced off the road or off their bike because of the actions of other drivers, motorcyclists face a huge risk of injury. Without a car to protect them, they are reliant upon their pads, helmets, and reaction time to avoid severe injury.
For many, unfortunately, these injuries are so severe that they permanently change the victim’s life, or end it. When you or a loved one faces injury from a motorcycle accident, it is important to get a strong legal team on your side to help you recover the damages you deserve. In Baltimore, motorcycle accident victims turn to Bennett and Heyman, P.A., for their personal injury cases. With nearly 70 years of combined experience, our attorneys know how to support our clients and get them the compensation they deserve.
Motorcycle Injuries are Traumatic
Motorcycles do not offer the same protection as a car. While a car has specially-designed zones that crumple to absorb impact, front and side airbags, and seat belts, motorcyclists are fully exposed. Motorcycle helmets and pads can help protect riders, but Maryland law only requires a helmet and eye protection to be worn on a motorcycle.
Not every motorcycle accident sees impact with another driver. Often enough, bikers are forced off the road by inattentive drivers, or forced to make sudden stops that throw riders off their bike. Just because there might not be a crash with another vehicle does not mean that the other drivers are not responsible for your injuries. In worse crashes, motorcycles and their riders are actually hit by other drivers.
When you hit the ground, especially when traveling at high speed, you can face road injuries. Abrasions, usually called “road rash,” occur when your body slides against the street. These scrapes can be particularly severe for motorcyclists, who could end up sliding against pavement at highway speeds.
Whether you hit another vehicle or not, because you straddle a motorcycle, it is common for a rider’s leg to be pinned between their bike and another object. Whether another vehicle hits a biker’s leg in a side-impact collision, or the rider is forced into a slide and the bike pins their leg against the ground, injuries to the leg can be quite severe. In some of the worst cases, this can cause a rider to lose the leg instantly, or require surgical amputation later.
In any auto accident, injuries to the head, neck, and back are always a huge concern. Whiplash, an injury to the tendons and muscles in the neck caused by a sudden “whipping” motion of the head, is quite common. For a motorcyclist, this can be even more severe without a head rest on the seat to help limit the neck’s range of motion in a crash. Crashes that see riders land on their backs or thrown against objects can cause serious back injuries. Running through the bones in your back and neck are a bundle of nerves, called the spinal cord. The spinal cord runs all signals between your brain and the rest of your body, and injury can cut off this signal. This can leave victims paralyzed below the point of injury.
Helmets do their best to prevent head injury, but head and brain injuries can still be devastating. The brain controls every thought, signal, and emotion in your body, and injury to it can cause strange effects. Hard blows to the head can cause concussions that leave victims confused, nauseous, dizzy, and unconscious. More severe brain trauma can leave victims unable to control their body, unable to control their bladder or bowels, can cause memory problems, can cause problems identifying people or objects, and may even alter a person’s personality. These symptoms may not appear immediately after a crash, and you should keep in touch with your doctor about changes in your condition.
Insurance and Lawsuits for Motorcycle Accidents
Insurance is helpful in any auto accident, because it can create a simple way to recover. In many cases, though, insurance companies try to minimize how much they pay by settling early. If you have been severely injured, these low settlements are probably not enough to cover all of your needs. Because of this, you should always talk to a lawyer before accepting any settlement offers from insurance or other parties.
Without the expertise of a personal injury lawyer on your side, it is difficult to know what your case is worth. Insurance companies, or the other drivers involved in an accident, might wrongly tell you their offers are fair. Having your case reviewed by an attorney first can help you maximize your financial compensation.
Motorcycle cases are also tricky in Maryland. Maryland has a law that prevents injured parties from recovering against the people who harmed them if they contributed to the accident at all. That might mean that a driver who took their eyes off the road to check their phone or failed to look before changing lanes might be barred from recovering for their injuries. In motorcycle cases, the lawyers that represent insurance companies and other drivers will try to use this rule to block your case. Only with the strategy that comes from decades of experience in personal injury and motorcycle accident cases can you hope to properly overcome this defense.
Talk to an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured, do not delay in taking your case to a lawyer. Most cases have time limits attached to them. Plus, the longer you wait, the harder it is for witnesses to remember, and evidence may be lost.
Getting an attorney on your case from the beginning can put you in the best position to firmly negotiate a settlement with the other party, and gives you the most time to prepare a case for court if it comes to a trial.
The personal injury attorneys at Bennett and Heyman, P.A., have years of experience dealing with injury lawsuits. Call us today about your motorcycle injury for a free consultation. Our number is (410) 429-7856.