Motorcycles are great for both transportation and recreation. Unfortunately, motorcycling can also be dangerous for riders. Motorcyclists are often very seriously injured when crashes occur. Motorcycle fatalities in Ontario almost doubled in 2022, and account for more than half the road deaths in the Ontario.
Our Oshawa motorcycle accident lawyers have represented many riders who have suffered severe personal injury after being hit by another vehicle. Let’s have a look at why motorcycle accidents are so dangerous and severe and talk about legal options for injured riders.
Dangers of motorcycle accidents for motorcyclists
There are several reasons why collisions involving a motorcycle are so dangerous and severe:
When a car or truck hits a motorcycle from the rear, the back wheel of the motorcycle can be lifted from the ground, catapulting the rider off the bike and onto the road. If the vehicle driver is not able to stop in time, the car or truck may run over the motorcyclist.
If the driver of a car or truck stops suddenly when a motorcycle is following behind, the motorcycle rider may not have time to stop. The impact between the bike and the back of the vehicle can pitch the rider into the handlebars or propel the rider into the back of the vehicle.
Motorcyclists have less protection than occupants of a vehicle. There is no protection between the motorcyclist and other vehicles, and there is little to protect a motorcyclist who is thrown from the bike to the pavement.
Motorcycle riders are prone to being ejected from the bike when a rear-end collision occurs. This gives rise to a host of risks, including being thrown into oncoming traffic or crushed under another vehicle or the motorcycle itself.
When a motorcycle is rear-ended, there is also the risk of being pushed into the vehicle travelling in front of the bike or being pinned between two vehicles.
Why drivers hit motorcyclists
Most motorcycle accidents can be avoided if vehicle drivers follow Ontario traffic laws and practice safe driving. Motorcycle accidents are frequently caused by driver distraction/inattentive driving, speeding, following too closely behind a motorcycle, cutting a motorcycle off, and/or impaired driving. In many cases, the vehicle driver simply does not see the motorcycle because they fail to check blind spots or keep a proper lookout when changing lanes, merging, or entering an intersection, for example.
Common injuries caused by motorcycle collisions
Motorcyclists involved in collisions often suffer head injuries, ranging from minor concussions to serious traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which can result in severe pain and months of rehabilitation. Other common injuries to motorcycle riders include:
Fractured or broken bones
Lower back, neck and spinal injuries
Crush injuries that require amputation
Scarring and facial disfigurement
Legal options for injured motorcyclists
Injured motorcycle riders have several options for financial compensation. If another driver was responsible for the accident, the motorcyclist can file a personal injury lawsuit against them to recover economic and non-economic losses. By suing an at-fault driver, the injured rider can secure damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, future medical treatments and care costs, and loss of future earnings.
There are situations where the motorcyclist may also be partially at fault for the accident (e.g., the motorcyclist cuts off another car while changing lanes; the motorcyclist is operating the bike with broken/defective brake lights). A motorcyclist who is partially at fault is still entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit. The damages recovered in the lawsuit will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the motorcyclist. If the rider was seriously injured, the final amount recovered may still be quite significant, even after the deduction. Never assume that you will be found responsible or at-fault. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer first. A personal injury lawyer’s job is to defend against allegations of contributory negligence to maximize the compensation you receive.
Ontario also has no-fault accident benefits that are available to people injured in a vehicle accident, regardless of who was at fault. No-fault accident benefits, which are provided by law under every auto insurance policy in Ontario, provide compensation for various out-of-pocket expenses, like income replacement, caregiver costs, and medical treatments. Accident benefit claims can be complicated, even though you will be working with your own insurance company. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can prove to be a smart investment in accident benefit claims.
Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Oshawa and Lindsay
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident, Oshawa lawyers from Kelly Greenway Bruce can help you claim compensation. You may have a legal claim against the at-fault driver. You are also entitled to make a claim for accident benefits, whether you're at fault or not.
An experienced personal injury lawyer from our team can help you navigate your legal options. We specialize in personal injury law and will evaluate every angle of your case. We don’t request retainers and won’t charge you any fees until we win your case.