Motorcyclists are not free from risk when riding on Washington’s roads and highways. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, in the four year stretch between 2013 and 2017, motorcycle accidents accounted for 15% of road fatalities and 19% of serious injuries from collisions. This is true even though motorcycles make up only 3% of Washington’s road users.
When a motorcycle accident takes place, riders must know that they are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries. They can recover their damages via an insurance claim or a lawsuit. But note that it is critical for a rider to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to maximize the compensation they deserve.
What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are numerous elements and events that can cause a motorcycle accident. Some of the most common ones include:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Unsafe turns
- Reckless driving
- Intoxicated driving, whether from alcohol or drugs
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Dooring (or, when the occupant of an enclosed vehicle opens a door into a passing motorcycle)
- Distracted driving from texting, talking on the phone, etc.
- Inexperienced drivers
How can Accident Victims Get Compensation?
If a motorcyclist was injured in an accident, he/she can pursue a claim or lawsuit with the driver of the person that caused the collision. The cyclist will be able to recover for any damages incurred if he/she can prove that the other driver was “negligent.” “Negligence” is a legal term that simply means a driver failed to drive or operate a vehicle in a reasonable way under the circumstances.
What Damages Are Available?
Under Washington law, there are two types of damages that are available to motorcyclists injured because of someone else’s negligence. These are:
- Economic damages, and
- Non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those to which a dollar amount can readily be attached. They are intended to cover “out-of-pocket” amounts that an accident victim has actually spent or will be required to spend in the future.
Economic losses often include (but are not limited to):
- Medical bills,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages, and
- Lost earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are those which do not necessarily involve out-of-pocket expenses. They include more subjective losses such as:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Inconvenience, and
- Loss of life enjoyment.
Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC
It is critical for injured motorcyclists to contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after an accident. A Washington injury lawyer will be able to assist injured victims in establishing a strong negligence case. In addition, an attorney will be able to help injured bikers understand what damages they are entitled to.
Please know that Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC provides free consultations to all our potential clients. The attorneys at our firm have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties. They are tireless in their efforts and passionate in their representation. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal assistance you deserve.