The night of April 16 proved fatal for a San Antonio motorcyclist who was thrown from his bike after attempting to avoid crashing into a car on NW Loop 410. The car had been speeding and clipped the motorcyclist, who was then thrown from his vehicle after trying to avoid a further crash. He died of his injuries at University Hospital. This type of incident is sadly not uncommon, though it is somewhat unique that the cyclist’s injuries were attributed more to the impact with the road than to the collision itself. Motorcyclists are at high risk for injury and death in any type of crash.
Many Reasons for Higher Fatality Rate
Motorcyclists are consistently shown to be disproportionately injured and/or killed in automobile accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were killed almost 29 times more often than automobile passengers in road accidents. Helmets and safety equipment do help in lowering the risk, but they are only estimated to be approximately 37 percent effective based on existing data. Very often, the facts are simply against the motorcyclist who gets involved in a crash.
Motorcycles are, simply, smaller than automobiles, and offer less protection in the event of an impact. They also may be traveling at higher speeds with less stability able to be offered by their construction – in other words, automobiles are generally stable because they are built relatively low to the ground and on four equally spaced wheels, while motorcycles are on two wheels, with a higher center of gravity. Between these issues and a potential lack of visibility, the odds of injury or death are higher than they would be for those traveling in a car.
Cases Are Situation Dependent
If someone is involved in a motorcycle accident with a car, there will be many occasions where any injury they sustain can be attributed to the driver’s negligence (in whole or in part), but there will also be times where negligence may not be provable. This is especially true if the suit is brought under a theory of wrongful death – some causes of action can be difficult to prove without the plaintiff’s presence and testimony of how an accident might have occurred. A person is liable if it can be proven that the accident was caused by that person (or their agent’s) “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, [or] unskillfulness,” and without eyewitness testimony, this can sometimes be difficult to show.
This does not, however, mean that you should refrain from bringing suit if you believe it is the best way to receive compensation for your injuries. Texas is not a no-fault state, meaning that it is possible to sue another driver if you believe the harm you suffered was directly resulting from their negligence. It simply means that you must be able to show that not only did you suffer harm, but that the harm was a direct result of the other person’s conduct, which breached the duty of care motorists owe to each other.
Call a Knowledgeable Attorney
While motorcyclists accept an inherent level of risk when riding, especially in congested urban areas, this does not mean your injuries from someone else’s negligence should not be compensated. The dedicated New Braunfels motorcycle accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm have experience in these types of cases and are happy to try and sit down with you to help answer your questions. Contact our office today to set up an appointment.