Anyone who has ridden a motorcycle for any length of time already knows that getting into a traffic accident on a bike is no picnic. Even if one is fully equipped, with helmet riding leathers, full-coverage boots and thick gloves, the risk of broken bones, compound fractures and head or spine trauma is always staring a rider squarely in the face.
As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my colleagues have the knowledge and skills to represent bikers injured in collisions with passenger cars and commercial delivery vehicles. Aside from pedestrians and bicycle riders, motorcyclists are one of the more at-risk groups on our public roads. And whereas bicyclists also operate their bikes on the road, motorcycles are fast enough to travel on highways and expressways where the higher speeds only serve to exacerbate the potential for injury should a traffic wreck occur.
Not surprisingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has collected nationwide motorcycle accident statistics for many years. Much of what the NHTSA has learned is also confirmed by experts in the field of motorcycle safety. Whether one riders in Annapolis, Gaithersburg, Rockville or the District, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several constants when it comes to injury-related and fatal bike accidents.
Some of the more common causes of biker accidents include rider inexperience or inattention; alcohol use prior to mounting a bike; rider error or miscalculation; damage or imperfections in the roadway surface, including weather-related problems; and defective or poorly-maintained vehicle components, such as brakes, throttle system and wheel/suspension hardware.
Every year across the U.S., close to 100,000 bike crashes are reported. Of that number, keep in mind that a rider is 35 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than the occupant of a passenger car or truck in similar circumstances. Those who survive a bike wreck can many times expect weeks or months of recuperation, in not a lifetime of pain and discomfort from such an accident.
A little while back, a news article described the ordeal of one motorcycle rider who was involved in a serious crash in May of this year. According to the article, that rider received multiple injuries during a crash near Baltimore on May 28. As a result, the man had multiple fractures of both knees, his ankle and his pelvic bone. After being flown by medivac helicopter to Baltimore’s shock trauma center, the biker spend three whole months recovering at Baltimore’s University Specialty Hospital.
While in the hospital, the crash victim received continuing medical treatment and then subsequent physical therapy. Once back at home, the man reportedly had several more months of PT to help him get back to normal. According to the news item, it took doctors, nurses and an assortment of friends, family and others to help this fellow get back on the road to recovery.
As we know all too well, the cost for such a long hospital stay and subsequent physical therapy regimen can add up in no time. For this reason alone, anyone who is injured in a car, motorcycle or commercial trucking accident should seriously consider consulting with a qualified legal professional to better assess his or her options going forward — if not for themselves, for their family and those who rely on the victim for financial and emotional support.
Motorcyclist injured in collision appreciates assistance, support; Times-News.com, October 24, 2011