Our Washington DC motorcycle accident lawyers help you recover compensatory damages for injuries and losses sustained in a motorcycle crash. Motorcycles are a particularly risky mode of transportation. This is reflected in the statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to NHTSA reports, motorcycle riders are 28% more likely to die in a crash compared to most other vehicle occupants. In 2018 alone, 4,985 motorcyclists lost their lives in road crashes.
A motorcycle crash can be a very traumatic experience. It may also put your finances in trouble by bringing up unexpected medical costs and motorcycle repair expenses. This is why you should consider a motorcycle accident compensation claim as a real option after a crash. Here is a look at the District of Columbia laws and rules that apply to motorcycle crashes. Also included is a look at various aspects of a motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle Accident Laws in DC
As per the laws of the District of Columbia, motorcyclists must conform to a number of legal requirements when operating a motorcycle on D.C. roads. Here is a look at the key laws you must observe when riding on a motorcycle:
- You must have a driver’s license with motorcycle endorsement on it.
- Your motorcycle must be insured and registered.
- You must have and use daytime headlights
- Your motorcycle must have a rear-view mirror on the left-side.
- You must wear a safety helmet.
- You must use protective gear for the eyes. This can be a windshield in the front or any pair of goggles you wear.
- Your motorcycle’s handlebar must be 15 inches or less above the seat.
- Any sounds made by your motorcycle must not be above 86 decibels. Any amplifying equipment that helps go beyond this limit is also prohibited.
- Lane splitting is not allowed.
- If you carry a passenger on the motorcycle, you must have a passenger seat and footrest.
- Parking motorcycles on the sidewalks is not allowed.
Conforming to these motorcycle laws is important for two reasons. One, these help you stay safe and minimize the possibility of accident-related injuries. Two, they help you stay on the right side of the law. This is all the more important because District of Columbia follows contributory negligence laws for motorcycle accident claims.
Contributory Negligence Laws for Motorcycle Accidents
District of Columbia follows a pure contributory negligence law which is particularly harsh if you have sustained injuries in a crash. As per this law, the court will determine whether or not your negligence was also responsible in causing the crash. For instance, if a car driver negligently crashed into you while you were not wearing a helmet, you and the driver will be held negligent. Although the crash was actually caused by the driver’s negligence, you will be considered negligent as well as for not wearing a helmet. An exception to this is when the motorcycle rider is under 16 years of age.
As per D.C. laws you can’t recover compensatory damages even if you are 1% responsible for the accident. When your fault, no matter how small, is proved, the other party is not liable to pay any damages.
This law also comes up during insurance negotiations and settlements after a motorcycle accident in Washington, D.C. Sometimes, even when you are 0% at fault, insurers or the negligent party may try to pin some blame on you to avoid paying up. This is when you need reliable Washington DC motorcycle accident lawyers by your side.
What Is Covered Under a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
A motorcycle accident claim comprehensively covers all the losses you suffer due to the accident. These include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages for a motorcycle accident includes damage to the motorcycle and other property, all the medical costs involved with the initial and long-term treatment of the injuries, lost wages, as well as lost earning capacity.
Non-economic damages cover pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment, impact on the quality of life and other intangible losses you suffer due to the injury. Qualified Washington DC motorcycle accident lawyers can help you calculate both economic and non-economic damages in a motorcycle accident claim.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In the overwhelming large number of motorcycle accidents, it is the negligence of the vehicle driver that causes the accident.
According to some statistics, around 42% of all motorcycle accidents are caused by a driver error, especially when taking left-hand turns. Driver blind spots often cause car or truck drivers to fail to take notice of a motorcycle to their left.
Failure of the drivers to yield right of way to motorcyclists is another common causes of motorcycle accidents. Other common causes include reckless driving or intoxication on the part of the motorcyclist, texting or calling on the part of the vehicle driver, and the vehicle driver’s road rash.
Although a large number of motorcycle accidents involve no other vehicles, you are likely to suffer an injury as a motorcyclist only when another vehicle is involved. In fact, around 98% of motorcycle accident injuries occur when the crash involves a car or a truck.
How Can Washington DC Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Help You?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, is important to consult a good motorcycle accident attorney. District of Columbia has a unique set of laws that govern both motorcycle behavior and claims related to motorcycle accidents. You will need good legal counsel to understand these laws and see what amount of damages you can seek in accordance with them.
Here at TorkLaw, we understand that motorcycle riders are often discriminated against for no real reason. This is why we go the extra mile in helping you recover motorcycle accident damages. Once you consult us, we will determine whether or not you have a real claim. If you do, we will help you calculate the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your losses. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our attorneys.