According to studies conducted by the Michigan State Police, motorcycle operators are not at-fault in the majority of the crashes involving cars or trucks. Yet, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov. The 40 and older age group makes more than half of the fatalities. When motorcycle operators were deemed at fault in a crash, it was frequently designated by police agencies as, “unable to stop within the assured clear distance,” or “excessive speed.” The study also recognized that there were many crashes where the motorcycle operators would have had the right-of-way at an intersection but due to “excessive speed,” they gave up the right-of-way.
The most common type of vehicle crash involving a motorcycle occurs when a car fails to see the motorcycle or misjudges the speed and turns in front of a motorcycle operator.
Other common crashes occur where the automobile or truck is pulling out in front of the motorcycle. These types of accidents frequently result in serious injuries to the operator of the motorcycle including traumatic brain injuries and amputations. According to many experts, the best chance of survival for the motorcyclist occurs when you reduce as much speed as possible pre-collision. You should not lay the bike down. If you are able to reduce your speed by 10 or 20 m.p.h., you are likely to have less severe injuries. Motorcycle operators should always be aware of blind spots of cars and spend as little time in them as possible. Watch out for signs that a car is changing lanes such as turn signals, wheels turning or a driver’s head moving. Be aware of all cars around you at all times. Most important, never drink alcohol and ride.
This office has represented motorcycle operators who were found at-fault by police agencies where the investigating police agency failed to conduct a comprehensive investigation. It is important to retain an experienced personal injury law firm to protect your interests including preserving and documenting evidence at the accident scene, locating witnesses and performing a forensic investigation to obtain crash data (black box) which can be destroyed if not downloaded immediately after a crash. A forensic investigation needs to be accomplished as soon as possible after the crash because physical evidence can be destroyed or be contaminated by traffic. Witness memories also need to be preserved because witnesses will forget details regarding the accident very quickly. It is important to record witness statements so that memories can be refreshed if necessary, in future litigation. The involved motorcycle should be preserved to document damage and evidence of tire braking. Dark skid marks may be present on the motorcycle tires and can establish if the motorcycle operator used his/her front or rear brakes to attempt to avoid a collision by taking evasive action. This office represented a motorcycle operator who was seriously injured in an accident involving a car and the local police department accused him of being at-fault for traveling at an excessive speed. Our client prevailed and received a $1.5 million dollar settlement largely as a result of documenting scene evidence which revealed that the police department did not properly measure skid marks and overestimated the speed of the motorcycle operator. Our client had no memory of the crash due to his severe injuries. If our office was not able to investigate this crash immediately, the scene evidence would likely have been destroyed by traffic contamination.
For over forty-five years lawyers at our personal injury law firm, Logeman, Iafrate & Logeman, P.C., have helped accident victims recover the compensation they need to rebuild their lives and take care of their families. Helping clients with their injury claims in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and throughout Michigan, our attorneys are highly experienced and supported by well-trained staff. Their successful advocacy is highlighted by the fact that they have recovered damages in cases turned down by other firms as hopeless. Contact us today for a Free Consultation!