Know your rights after a motorcycle accident
The arrival of spring means the return to motorcycle season. For riders, it is an exciting time. Many have spent the winter months planning excursions, and, with the return of warmer weather, more people are bringing their motorcycles out of storage and hitting the open road.
We understand why you ride a motorcycle. For many, it is not just an economical mode of transportation. It is a passion. Studies have shown that getting on a bike can improve your mood on a bad day. It can decrease hormonal biomarkers of stress and enhance sensory focus while increasing heart rate and adrenaline levels. Riders report feeling calmer and happier. It's an open-air experience unrivalled by driving a car.
But riding a motorbike comes with risk. No matter how safe you are or how many precautions you take, one careless oversight by a motorist could leave you with severe and permanent injuries.
Even a minor motorcycle accident can cause serious injuries.
Traffic accidents occur every day and can have devastating consequences. A minor automobile collision can leave a driver shaken up but uninjured while in a car. But, a minor accident involving a motorcyclist can result in a multitude of injuries.
Unlike the automobile, which has seen advancements that have helped reduce injury and death to drivers and passengers, the basic design of a motorcycle has remained virtually unchanged over the years. While a car driver may be able to make a mistake on the road, a motorcycle rider has to rely primarily on their skills to avoid serious injury or death.
In 2020, motorcycle fatalities in Alberta climbed significantly. The Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society (AMSS) reported 21 motorcycle fatalities, up from 11 in 2019.
A study showed that one in four people who were hospitalized after a traffic accident in 2010-11 were motorcycle riders. Riders typically suffer injuries to their legs, knees, and feet, including broken bones, sprains, dislocations, contusions, and cuts. There is also road rash, a painful injury that occurs after a rider falls and slides across the road.
Any of these injuries can cause long-lasting or permanent damage. Of course, there is also the risk of suffering head trauma, a spinal injury or death.
What you should do to keep yourself safe
According to Transport Canada, motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users because of their lack of protection if struck by a vehicle. One major problem is that riders are not always visible to other drivers.
It is incumbent on every rider to master the skills needed to manoeuvre through traffic. If you are operating a motorcycle, you must constantly be aware of inattentive, distracted, or aggressive drivers. There are also objects on the road or changes in the road surface that can suddenly present dangers, so a heightened sense of concentration is required.
There is protective clothing that can help reduce the severity of an injury and safety courses that can improve your skills. However, there is always an element of risk involved. We know that as much as you learn and as safe as you are, sometimes you cannot escape the carelessness of others. The AMSS offers the following safety tips:
- be vigilant and don't get distracted;
- scan the road surface ahead for irregularities;
- never ride under the influence;
- intersections can be dangerous, especially when drivers are turning left;
- never ride in a vehicle's blind spot or assume drivers can see you;
- consider wearing bright colours or reflective material;
- make eye contact with other road users when possible;
- choose proper dominant lane positioning;
- use brakes, throttle and steering gently, especially when riding in bad weather;
- give yourself space between the vehicle in front of you;
- maintain your motorcycle to avoid mechanical issues; and
- wear the appropriate protective gear.
What you should do if you have been injured in an accident
Insurance companies assign a high level of risk to riding a motorcycle. That doesn't mean you do not deserve compensation if you have been injured. What you are entitled to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. You may not be able to work, and an accident could profoundly impact your quality of life.
There are many things to consider, such as the possibility of lost wages and lost future earning capacity. You may have medical bills and rehabilitation expenses and require attendant care and home accessibility modifications.
Don't settle for the first offer after an accident, and don't be afraid to fight for your rights. We will assess your claim and guide you through every step of the complex insurance claims process. We work on a contingency fee basis. Our fee is a percentage of the settlement you receive either from a negotiated settlement or a judgment awarded by the Court following a trial.
AFTER AN ACCIDENT, CONTACT US
A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through your options and help you obtain the compensation you need to help you recover from any injuries. They can also make sure that your insurance company does not attempt to limit the compensation that you are owed. Schedule your Free Consultation by calling (403) 452-2011 or send a message to email@example.com. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid for our time and attention until we settle.