St. Louis Sees Spike in Motorcycle Crashes in 2021
According to a report from Audacy.com, motorcycle fatalities are up by as much as 33% in Missouri. Helmet use continues to play a big role. Throughout 2020, millions of Americans were confined to their homes due to the worldwide health pandemic. However, as the country continues its re-opening, more drivers are taking to the road. With the increase in traffic, accidents are on the rise. As experienced motorcycle crash lawyers, CROSSROAD LEGAL, LLC is devoted to getting our clients max compensation every time. Here are some key takeaways from this recent report.
Understanding Preventable Motorcycle Crashes
Most bike crashes are entirely avoidable, but sadly there are several key conditions and behaviors that continue to contribute to motorcycle fatalities. To better understand how these deadly crashes happen, consider a few points from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Lack of Protection. Motorcycles, though extremely fun to ride, offer zero protection. There is no “cage” to keep a rider from being thrown about or crushed.
Left Turn Collisions. These common accidents occur when a car approaches an intersection and attempts to turn left. From the opposite direction, a motorcycle may have the right-of-way to go straight, but because of the bike’s low profile and smaller silhouette, oncoming drivers may not see the bike. These can be very deadly and dangerous situations for a motorcyclist.
Stop Short Rear-End Crashes. In most cases, in a rear-end crash, the rear driver is at fault because they had the opportunity to not follow so closely. However, it’s different with motorcycles. A bike is much harder to stop safely at high speeds. When a car stops short in front of a motorcycle, it can lead to serious injuries as well.
Cut-Off Accidents. Another common accident type is a car pulling in front of a fast-moving motorcycle. Drivers often do not see motorcycles and simply pull out into oncoming traffic, causing the motorcyclist to crash into the side of the vehicle.
Getting Buzzed. We’re not talking about booze here. We are talking about when a car tries to pass in the same lane as a motorcyclist. A bike is entitled to occupy their lane, the same as a car. But many inexperienced or uninformed auto drivers don’t care or don’t know better. So, they may “buzz” past a biker, striking them or causing an air ripple. These dangerous events are entirely avoidable.
Alcohol and Drugs. Of course, one of the most common causes of crashes is intoxication, either by the driver or biker or both.
Steps to Take After a Crash
If you are a motorcycle rider and you get into a crash, there are several key steps you can take to protect your interests, Even if you do not immediately feel like you are in pain or injured, you should absolutely go to the hospital to be checked out. Many fractures and back injuries do not present for days or even weeks. When it comes to back and neck injuries, vertebral injuries often result in slight deviations in the disc alignment that can lead to herniations and nerve impingement. These can be extremely painful, yet they may not even show up on x-rays. But they can have lifelong impacts on your ability to function. Follow these 5 steps after a motorcycle accident:
- On Scene. Call 911! Then, while still at the scene, if you can do so, take pictures…lots of them. Take pictures of the crash scene, your bike, the other vehicle, any intersection involved, license plates, your own injuries, everything you can. Next, make sure that you get the name and insurance information from the other parties involved. Usually, the police on scene will obtain this information and provide it to you in a “driver exchange of information” form. If not, they may just give you a card with the crash report number. You can use this to get your official crash report once available.
- Medical Treatment. Next, go to the hospital. Get x-rays and be examined. Keep your discharge papers. Follow up with a chiropractor or your family physician within a few days. Follow all treatment recommendations and care plans.
- Contact an Attorney within 7 days. There’s no mystery. People who hire a lawyer to help with their injury claims receive more compensation. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner your attorney can direct you to the right medical providers and services. Your attorney will communicate with the insurance company so you don’t have to and ensure that you get the proper treatment for your injuries.
- Keep All Documents. Keep copies of any police reports, photos, or other types of evidence you receive, including correspondence from the insurance company.
- Collect Your Compensation. Finally, in about 80% of all motorcycle crash cases, you should expect to receive compensation within about six months of completing all medical care. The time it takes to collect compensation will vary depending on how much medical care you need and how complex the liability issues are.
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Please note if you or a loved one have been seriously hurt in a motorcycle or car accident, do not speak to insurance adjusters, investigators, or others about your case until you have spoken to an attorney. Do not agree to recorded statements, and do not sign any documents without first consulting an attorney. There are strict deadlines that apply in Illinois, so do not wait too long!
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