The number of deaths and serious injuries in Utah motorcycle crashes has increased. In 2010, 21 motorcyclists were killed and 184 were seriously injured, according to the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT). By 2014, the number of deaths had more than doubled, to 45 lives lost, and the number of severe injuries had risen to 220. Motorcyclists accounted for 20 percent of the people killed in Utah road accidents in 2014 – one in every five.
Motorcycle accident cases aren’t always easy to win. Determining what happened and holding every negligent party accountable can be tough when you’re already struggling to recover from serious injuries. You are not alone. At the Kramer Law Group, we understand the odds you’re facing – and we are determined to beat them. Contact us online today or call 801.601.1229 to arrange your free consultation with our Utah accident attorney.
How we help victims of Motocycle accidents in Utah…
The accident attorneys at the Kramer Law Group bring years of experience and extensive knowledge of Utah motorcycle accident law to the table. We begin with each client by listening carefully to your story: what happened in the moments leading up to the crash, the harm you suffered at the moment of impact, and the many ways in which your life has changed as a result of the accident.
Then we investigate. We gather police reports, examine medical records, and talk to any witnesses who were on the scene.
When needed, we consult with experts like accident reconstruction teams, physicians, and vocational rehabilitation professionals to pinpoint not only who caused the crash, but also how badly you were injured and how your work, hobby, and home options may change as you heal. Throughout the process, we handle communications with courts and insurance companies so you don’t have to. We fight for you to receive a full and fair settlement that accurately reflects your past, present, and future needs. We will build the strongest possible case for you in court.
Common causes of Motorcycle Accidents…
Many motorcycle accidents occur due to negligence on the part of a car or truck driver. Whether intoxicated, speeding, or simply “zoned out,” a driver’s moment of carelessness can be fatal for a biker.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Utah include:
Inattention at intersectionS
The single biggest risk for motorcyclists at intersections is cars that are making a left-hand turn and do not see an oncoming biker attempting to travel straight through the intersection. Forty-two percent of all motorcycle-car collisions happen when a driver makes a left-hand turn into the path of a motorcycle, according to NHTSA. In most cases, the driver is distracted or not keeping a proper lookout – and doesn’t see the motorcycle until it is too late.
Most drivers don’t realize that motorcycles have a much shorter stopping distance than cars. As a result, the car may follow the motorcycle too closely to make a safe stop. According to NHTSA, rear-end crashes in which a car hits a motorcycle account for 11 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents nationwide.
Improper pavement surfaces or roadway maintenance
Cars are able to bump their way over any number of defects in the pavement without much risk. Motorcyclists are not so lucky. Potholes, uneven or broken road surfaces, debris, or materials or paint that don’t provide enough friction in poor weather can all cause a preventable crash. When roadway conditions lead to a crash, it is important to determine who was responsible for roadway maintenance and whether proper procedures and materials were used.
Defective equipment or repairs
A hidden defect in a motorcycle part, or a hidden error in a recent repair or maintenance work, can be a “time bomb” riding beneath you on the bike. You may not know the defect exists until after it causes a serious accident. When a hidden defect or garage error causes harm, the manufacturer or distributor of the part or the service team that last did work on the bike may be at fault.
What makes Motorcycle accidents different….
Although motorcycle accidents are less common than car accidents due to the smaller number of motorcycles on the road, they are far more likely to cause serious injury or death. NHTSA estimates that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to suffer fatal accidents than other motorists, and that 98 percent of those who lose their lives in car-motorcycle collisions are bikers, not car occupants.
Why are motorcycle accidents so dangerous? A combination of factors makes motorcycle accidents different from car crashes. They include:
If the driver was operating the vehicle to do his or her job, the driver’s employer might also be liable for the accident. It is important to check whether an employer is behind the scenes and how much control the employer had over the driver or the vehicle – including any insurance for accidents that the employer might carry in addition to the driver’s individual coverage.
Debris, small objects, or wet pavement may pass unnoticed by a car driver but cause serious injury to a motorcyclist.
In a drunk driving accident, an injured motorist may seek damages not only from the driver, but also from an alcohol vendor or social host who continued to serve the drunk driver after realizing he or she was drunk. This type of case is known as “dram shop” liability. In a dram shop case, the injured person must demonstrate that the bar, restaurant, or host served alcohol to someone who was “actually or apparently intoxicated” or underage. The purpose of dram shop cases is to compensate those who are injured by drunk drivers and also to encourage alcohol vendors to watch carefully whom they serve.
Motorcycles balance on two wheels instead of riding solidly on four wheels. Emergency braking and swerving require greater skill and leave far less room for error.
To demonstrate the causes of the accident, the fault of the other party, and the extent of the harm caused, our experienced lawyers focus on how these accidents differ from the average car crash – and how those differences matter.
Standing up for injured Motorcyclists….
Motorcycle accidents aren’t just different due to the size and instability of motorcycles or the increased skill level demanded of their riders. Motorcyclists and motorcycle crashes are also perceived differently by the public, and those perceptions can lead to considerable bias against injured bikers.
Many members of the public continue to believe the myth that motorcyclists are aggressive, reckless drivers who deliberately court danger. When a crash causes serious injury, these individuals are far more likely to blame the biker, no matter who was at fault. “The biker was asking for it,” they might think. “That’s what happens when you do something so dangerous. That biker knew the risks and should deal with it.”
What the average stranger thinks about motorcyclists isn’t your problem – but even some judges, insurance company representatives, and community members who serve on juries share these views. When you work with an attorney who knows motorcycle accident cases, you work with someone who anticipates this harmful and unfair bias and works to challenge it so that your case is heard fairly in settlement negotiations and in court.
At the Kramer Law Group, we recognize the many hurdles motorcyclists face in holding negligent drivers accountable and obtaining the compensation they deserve. We fight to build a full and fair picture of the events surrounding your case and the extent of your needs and limitations following a severe motorcycle injury. We fight for compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering in order to help you hold negligent parties accountable for the harm they have caused.