Catastrophic injuries are common in motorcycle accidents, with motorcyclists often suffering the most harm. Compared to other drivers, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to severe injury from collisions.
If the unthinkable happens, it’s crucial to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your options for compensatory relief.
Read on to learn more about motorcycle accident statistics and steps to protect yourself while on the road. If you have any questions, please contact us today.
California Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accident injury statistics are sobering. Although motorcycle fatalities decreased slightly from 616 in 2021 to 596 in 2022, it’s evident that motorcycle riders engage in serious risks every time they get on their bike.
Nationwide, there were 5,932 motorcyclists killed in 2021. And 43% of motorcycle riders that died in single-vehicle crashes in 2021 were alcohol-impaired.
Interestingly, alcohol-impaired motorcycle riders are three times more likely to be killed in night traffic crashes as opposed to day crashes.
When reviewing motorcycle vs. car accident statistics for 2022, motorcyclists comprised 14.4% of all traffic deaths in the United States.
This statistic is staggering, especially considering motorcycle riders only account for 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States. It’s clear that despite the exhilaration motorcycle riders may feel, it’s essential to prioritize safety.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents result in a range of injuries varying in severity. Unlike drivers, motorcycle riders lack the protective steel shell that other cars provide.
As a result, if you ride, collisions leave you more vulnerable to severe injury. Let’s look at some of the most common injuries occurring after a motorcycle accident.
- Road rash. Road rash is severe skin abrasions that occur when you get thrown off your bike and your body slides across the road surface. Road rash can lead to permanent scarring, infection, and skin damage.
- Head injuries. Head injuries range from concussions to traumatic brain injuries that can permanently impact your life. Motorcycle accident head injury statistics show that wearing a helmet can greatly increase your chances of survival after a collision.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, are serious and may result in permanent disability.
- Broken bones. Broken bones are common after a motorcycle collision and affect bones all over the body.
- Internal injuries. The impact of a crash may cause serious organ damage that leads to life-threatening internal bleeding.
- Neck injuries. Whiplash is an injury that affects both car drivers and bikers after a crash.
- Emotional distress. Many riders involved in a collision find themselves dealing with post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression after their harrowing experience.
Engaging in safe motorcycle riding reduces your risk of suffering these serious injuries.
How to Stay Safe While Riding a Motorcycle
Even if you can’t control the conduct of others on the road, you can take specific proactive steps to maintain your safety while riding your motorcycle.
- Wear a helmet. By California law, all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or motorized bike. Never forgo this vital step to keep you safe if the unthinkable happens.
- Have protective gear. Failing to cover all your skin when riding exposes you to road rash if you crash and slide on the surface. Long pants, a vest, a riding jacket, boots, gloves, and a helmet are all essential to wear, rain or shine.
- Never drive impaired. Never drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. These substances can impair your judgment and reaction time and significantly increase the chances of being involved in an accident.
- Have proper insurance. California requires all motorcycle riders to obtain coverage with a minimum of $15,000 for bodily injury per person, $30,000 for total bodily injury per accident, and $5,000 in property damage per accident. It’s wise to consider coverage higher than the minimum requirements, especially if you are on your motorcycle often.
- Stay in a lane. Try to avoid occupying two lanes, and if you must change lanes, do so carefully. Avoid splitting lanes and speeding past vehicles that may be changing lanes and unable to react as you ride past.
Enjoy your independence, knowing you are taking steps to keep yourself safe! These safety tips may help you avoid severe injury and death if you are ever involved in a collision.
Recoverable Damages After a Motorcycle Accident
Compensatory damages seek to make a victim whole and are divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent direct, tangible losses stemming from your accident and include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Documentation, including receipts, pay stubs, and invoices, support your demand for economic damages. These documents are used by your attorney to calculate your economic losses.
Non-economic damages are more challenging to calculate and recover due to their intangible, subjective nature. These losses result from the emotional and psychological harm caused by your injury and include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Permanent disability or disfigurement, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
You may find that non-economic damages more adequately address how your injury impacts your everyday life. As a result, these losses are vital to your recovery and should never be minimized or overlooked.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
At Wells Call Injury Lawyers, we understand the difficult road you face. Clients across California and the Western United States count on our demonstrated ability to achieve justice even in the most unique and challenging personal injury cases.
We never provide false hope or promise a particular outcome—no lawyer ever should. But our success has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars recovered for our past clients.
Our legal team is committed to helping accident victims protect their rights, so they can recover the damages they need and deserve.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident caused by someone else, contact our attorneys. We will help you hold the liable party accountable.
Contact us by phone or email for a free case review and to learn how the attorneys at Wells Call can help you!