Motorcycle Accidents in Maryland and Across the U.S.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us that in 2013, 4,668 people died in motorcycle crashes in the U.S. and 88,000 were injured. Both of these statistics went down 5-6% from the previous year — so why are we still concerned about motorcycle safety and advocating for the rights of motorcyclists?
Common Causes of Maryland Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents happen for a variety of reasons, some of which are due to the behaviors of motor vehicle drivers:
- Failure to watch for motorcycles on the road
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Rude or inconsiderate attitudes
- Failure to maintain an adequate distance from the motorcycle.
Some motorcyclists are unable to control their cycle because of road conditions:
- Hazards such as debris and loose gravel
- Potholes and other signs of poor maintenance
- Poorly designed roadways
- Inadequately marked workzones
- Blind curves
- Slick surface due to weather conditions.
It is also possible for defective equipment or mechanical failure to cause a motorcycle wreck.
Steve Heisler knows that after a motorcycle crash it is important to carefully examine all aspects of the incident in order to identify the responsible parties — and there could well be more than one. Steve will diligently pursue rightful compensation from every source to help you with the financial burden after a Maryland motorcycle accident.
Injuries Suffered in Motorcycle Accidents
Because of their size and the lack of protection inherent in motorcycle design, drivers and passengers on cycles are likely to sustain serious injuries in crashes, especially if a car or truck is involved as well. Injuries of the lower extremities — feet and ankles; legs, knees and thighs; hips and pelvis — are the most common types of injury for motorcyclists. Bone fractures are not unusual, accompanied by abrasions, sprains and crush injuries.
Upper-extremity and head injuries happen less often, but they tend to be more severe. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.
These riders have a higher incidence of chest injuries and multiple rib fractures because they tend to ride larger, heavier machines which may overturn on them. The steepest rise in severe injury rates has occurred in the 60-and-over age group, who are two and a half times more likely to incur serious injuries than those 20-40 years of age and three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital.
Compensation Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims
Catastrophic injuries can be costly both in terms of medical expenses incurred and in the victim’s inability to earn a living, even temporarily.
Economic damages available to motorcycle victims, or to their survivors, include:
- Doctor and hospital charges
- Surgery expenses
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative treatment
- Lost wages, both present and future
- Property damage
- Funeral costs.
Monetary compensation may even be available for non-economic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Mental suffering
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident?
- Get out of harm’s way. If you believe that you are in danger, especially if your accident occurred in busy traffic, make sure to pull over or move to a safe location where you can proceed with the next steps listed.
- Contact 911. Contacting the authorities is important for two reasons. First, you’ll need to request immediate medical attention if anyone has been injured. Second, the police will need to be notified of the accident so they can respond to the scene and file a police report. Make sure that you wait for the police to arrive and that you cooperate with them to the best of your ability.
- Exchange information with the other driver. You’ll need to know the name, contact information and insurance information of the other driver involved in the accident. Aside from exchanging information with the driver, it’s in your best interest to say as little as possible. If you are deferential or overly talkative, you might say something that is later used against you, even if you are simply being polite.
- Gather information of witnesses. If there were any witnesses to the accident, consider getting their name and contact information in case you need a third-party account of the wreck.
- If possible, take pictures. If you can take pictures of the scene of the accident and the damage to your vehicle, these pictures might be helpful should you need to file a claim. If you are injured or unable to take pictures and if your passenger is able, ask them to do so.
- Contact an attorney. An attorney will be able to help you understand your legal options and avoid any mistakes that might hurt your chances in the claims process. The sooner after your crash that you can contact an attorney, the more effectively they’ll be able to assist you with your claim.
- Keep all documents and bills related to the accident and your injuries. In the days, weeks and months following your motorcycle accident, you will visit doctors, seek repairs to your motorcycle and maybe receive letters or emails from insurance companies. Keep copies of any and all documents that are related to the accident and your injuries. These documents will provide evidence of the costs you’re facing.
- Bonus tip on corresponding with insurance companies. When you are contacted by your own insurance company, do your best to cooperate with them. However, if they make you an offer that is inadequate for your needs, you DO NOT have to accept this offer. Your attorney can help you negotiate a better offer.
If you are contacted by another driver’s insurance company, refer them to your lawyer immediately. The representative of this company will want you to make a statement, which they’ll use to lessen the amount they offer you or, if possible, deny a payment altogether. It is in your best interest not to speak to these representatives.
Contact Steven H. Heisler and arrange a free consultation with our firm. We know how to deal with insurance companies and get you payment that meets your needs.
How We Can Help
The Baltimore motorcycle accident attorney Steven H. Heisler has years of experience helping injured motorcyclists get the compensation they deserve. After accepting your case, we will…
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your motorcycle accident
- Determine who was at fault for your accident
- Deal with insurance companies to make sure you are being treated fairly
- Track the damages you’re facing to make sure they are reflected in your claim
- Keep you updated on the progress we make in your case
- Answer any questions you might have about the process
- Secure payment that you deserve.
When Insurance Companies Fail to Live Up to Their Promises
Insurance companies don’t make a profit by handing out money to people that file claims after a motorcycle accident. In many cases, they make offers that don’t accurately reflect the costs a policyholder has encountered. Unfortunately, it’s often up to a claimant to hold them accountable. However, with the assistance of a skilled, experienced motorcycle accident attorney, you can be sure you are treated fairly.
Steven H. Heisler knows how to deal with insurance companies. We are relentless for our clients, and we handle the correspondence on their behalf. We want those we represent to focus on their lives and their recovery. Let us take up the fight for you.
Contact us today to get started on your motorcycle accident case.
When a Manufacturer is to Blame
If your accident was due to the recklessness of another driver, then they can be held accountable for the costs you face. However, if your motorcycle has a defective part or a faulty design, then the motorcycle’s manufacturer might be liable for those costs.
You might not be sure of the exact cause of your accident. Steven H. Heisler investigates his clients’ wrecks to be sure that the at-fault party is held responsible. If a motorcycle manufacturer is to blame, we will pursue a product liability claim to get the compensation you deserve.
Examples of faulty motorcycle parts include…
- Brakes or brake pads
- Tires or rims
- Fuel tanks
- Engine and engine components.
Sometimes a motorcycle is designed without the safety of the biker or rider in mind. If the overall design of the motorcycle is responsible for your accident, we will hold the manufacturer accountable. If a faulty repair led to your crash, we will hold the mechanic responsible for the costs you face.
Let us determine who is responsible for your accident, so we can hold them accountable for the costs of your injury.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyer Review
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Steve is fantastic and you should hope he takes your case. I find him to be very personable and he knows his stuff. – Mike J.
Wrongful Death Motorcycle Claims
Motorcyclists are far more likely to die in a crash than other motorists. For every single death, there are many more victims of a fatal accident. Spouses, parents and children suffer dearly when their loved one is lost to the careless actions of a negligent driver. Wrongful death claims are a tool that families can use to pursue the many costs they face.
Wrongful death claims allow family members to pursue compensation for the loss of companionship, the loss of support and the other forms of suffering they might experience from the death of their loved one. While no amount of compensation will ever heal the wounds that families have suffered, these claims do offer some form of justice and a way for a family to withstand the extreme financial consequences of their loss.
If you are considering a motorcycle-related wrongful death claim, contact Steven H. Heisler. We want to meet you and listen to your story. We know how important these claims are for families, and we give our clients the time and dedication they deserve. Contact Steven H. Heisler today to schedule a free consultation.
Attorney Steve Heisler
Steve Heisler decided in 1996 that he was going to focus his law practice exclusively on injury cases. Since then, he has been representing injured people against insurance companies, disreputable medical practitioners and Big Pharma, and doing it with compassion, honesty and level-headed rationality. [ Attorney Bio ]