Every motorcycle rider in Washington State knows the beauty and wonder of experiencing the Pacific Northwest on a bike: the majestic views, the wind on your face, and the freedom of an open road.
That thrill comes with some risk, however. Though motorcycle riders make up only 3% of travelers on the roads in Washington State, cyclists constitute 15% of all traffic fatalities and nearly 20% of all severe traffic injuries. The frame and exterior panels of a car or truck offer protection for the occupants inside, but bikers are left vulnerable in the event of a crash.
After a serious motorcycle accident, it is crucial that you hire a personal injury attorney with experience handling this type of case. Motorcycle accident claims present unique challenges, and you need skilled representation to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the settlement process.
Factors That Increase the Difficulty of Settling a Motorcycle Accident Claim
There are things motorcyclists can do to protect themselves and decrease their risk of accident and injury while riding. For example, helmets have been shown to decrease a cyclist’s risk of death, as well as lower the risk of brain trauma by 67%. One thing motorcyclists have little control over, however, is a distracted, intoxicated, or reckless driver behind the wheel of a car or truck, and far too many cyclists have been injured by such individuals.
When a motorcyclist is injured by a car whose driver was behaving carelessly or recklessly, that driver should be held responsible for that accident and the injuries to the cyclist. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why motorcycle riders are treated unfairly in court as well as on the road:
- High medical costs. Because motorcycle injuries are more likely to cause trauma to the brain and spine, the medical costs associated with a motorcycle injury are significantly higher in motorcycle accidents. Insurance companies may fight to deny the claims of an injured rider or to shift the responsibility of the accident to the motorcyclist, in order to save the company the cost of treatment.
- Need for continued care. A brain or spinal cord injury can have long-term impacts on the health and well-being of an individual. Those costs may include years of physical therapy and treatment. Severe injuries can be permanent, requiring long-term care or adaptive technology for the injured rider. Insurance may fight these costs as well.
- Loss of wages and employment. Riders who sustain serious injuries like the ones described above may be out of work for months or be left permanently disabled. The negligent driver and their insurance company should be held responsible for these costs, but insurance companies often fight these claims as well.
- Biker bias. Few people in Washington understand the unique joy (and risk) of motorcycling; in fact, the way that motorcycle riders are depicted in film and television may lead some people to develop a “biker bias” which assumes that all motorcyclists are given to the reckless stunts they have seen on television, or worse, that bikers belong to an untrustworthy and criminal subculture. Too often, those people end up as members of a jury who will determine the damages an injured rider will receive.
How Max Meyers Law Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle, you need to add a legal professional to your care team. Injured riders need an experienced, trial-tested attorney to protect their rights and interests, stand up to insurance companies or opposing counsel, and ensure full and fair compensation.
Max Meyers represents motorcyclists in Washington State and has a long history of winning the compensation those riders need to get back on the road—and back on with life. Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation. When you do, be sure to request a copy of our free book: Motorcycle Accident Secrets Unlocked to learn more about the rights of motorcyclists in Washington State, and how the Max Meyers legal team can help you!