Every motorcyclist knows that the biggest danger on the road is other drivers. While many bikers do their best to anticipate danger, even the most experienced rider cannot avoid every accident. When other people are reckless, distracted, or intoxicated, they put everyone around them at risk. Motorcyclists, unfortunately, are among the most likely to be seriously injured—even killed—by another person’s momentary lapse in judgment.
Although every Washington motorcycle accident has the potential to end in injury, some crashes are more likely to have life-altering outcomes. In general, head-on collisions are among the most common and the most dangerous.
Common Causes of Head-on Motorcycle Accidents in Washington
A head-on crash happens when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide with one another. This could occur when:
- A negligent driver crosses the center line in traffic
- A motorist speeds through an intersection without checking for oncoming traffic
- An automobile driver accidentally enters a one-way road from the wrong side
Irrespective of how these accidents happen, they often end in catastrophic injury. Traffic researchers have found that of all fatal motorcycle accidents involving more than one vehicle, 78% could be categorized as head-on collisions.
Important Variables in Head-on Crashes
Many motorcycle accidents could be avoided if other drivers were more attentive. Head-on collisions are no different. The following factors are often present in head-on motorcycle crashes where the other driver is found to be at fault:
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Alcohol consumption or other intoxication
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
Potential Injuries in a Frontal Motorcycle Collision
Since motorcyclists lack the protection of vehicle frames, airbags, and bumpers, their bodies often bear the full force of a crash. They could be ejected from their motorcycle, hitting a guardrail, tree, or telephone pole, or becoming trapped underneath another vehicle. This could lead to injuries including:
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Severe road rash
- Open and closed head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limb
- Wrongful death
What to Do After an Accident
If you have been injured in a head-on motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
However, insurance adjusters, judges, and juries are often biased against motorcycle riders. They might doubt your story or assume that your own misconduct somehow contributed to the accident and led to your injuries. You could bolster your chances of making a successful legal recovery by:
- Contacting law enforcement. If the police believe the other driver was at fault, you could cite their report in an insurance negotiation or in a courtroom.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not believe you were seriously injured, you should never underestimate the physical forces involved in a head-on motorcycle accident. A physician can help you identify and treat injuries you did not realize you sustained. Seeing a doctor will also help show the insurance company that you have legitimate medical concerns and are not simply trying to profit off an accident.
- Collect evidence. If you do not require emergency treatment, collect evidence from the accident site. You could take photographs or video of the scene, your damaged motorcycle and protective equipment, and any visible injuries. You should also ask potential eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
- Contact an attorney. You stand your best chance of recovery when you have a seasoned attorney on your side. A lawyer can help you manage communications with the insurance company, speaking to adjusters so you do not have to. Your attorney could also investigate the circumstances of your accident to prove the other motorist was at fault, calculate the value of your claim, and push for a fair settlement. If the insurance company does not negotiate in good faith, we could take them to court.
If You Were Hurt in a Seattle-Area Motorcycle Crash, Contact Max Meyers Law
Max Meyers Law is dedicated to representing the victims of negligence. We have helped injured motorcycle riders across Seattle, King County, and Western Washington fight for their rights, winning six-figure settlements for bikers hurt by negligent and aggressive drivers.
Max Meyers Law could help you, too. Please send us a message online or call us at 425-970-8822 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.