Motorcycle season is in full swing, and thousands of avid bikers are enjoying the warm air and dry pavement. But when motorcyclists are injured in accidents, the consequences can be devastating. In this post, we explain 5 of the biggest challenges associated with motorcycle accident claims.
1. Liability Issues
“I didn’t see them ” is one of the most common excuses we hear from motorists that accidentally hit motorcyclists. As personal injury lawyers, we often need to rely on the evidence of independent witnesses, and collision reconstruction experts to help us piece together the events leading up to the accident. The driving of the motorcyclist will be scrutinized carefully, to determine if their actions caused or contributed to the accident in any way.
2. Magnitude of Injury
Motorcyclists are exceptionally vulnerable to collision related injuries or death. Over and above exposure to the forces of impact between vehicles, injuries can be compounded as riders’ bodies are catapulted into the air, or dragged against the road surface. Without airbags, seatbelts, or a vehicle frame as protection, the magnitude of injuries in motorcycle claims can be quite grim.
While it is true that helmets can save lives, concussions are still a common injury arising from a motorcycle accident. It is easy to find photographs of helmets involved in serious collisions online, showing evidence of the tremendous forces involved. Traumatic brain injuries often lead to cognitive impairments like memory and concentration problems, or even sensitivity to light and sound. These issues further complicate an accident victim’s ability to manage their overall recovery, or get back to their regular activities at work and home.
4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Being in a motor vehicle accident is scary enough, even as a passenger in a full framed vehicle. But for motorcyclists, the moment of impact can imprint particularly deeply in their minds. Those who survive will often recount the experience of having life flash before their eyes, fearing the worst. Some go on to experience nightmares, panic attacks, and flashbacks. While the initial focus often starts on treating physical injuries after such an accident, the victim’s mental health may be overlooked, to their detriment.
5. Long Recovery Periods
In light of challenges 2-4 above, many motorcycle accident victims face lengthy recovery periods, requiring expensive and time consuming treatments. Some may even run out of access to benefits before maximizing their recovery. However, until a client’s injuries have stabilized, it is difficult for our experts to make predictions regarding the long term consequences of the accident on their employment, household labour, personal care, and recreational activities.