Motorcycles are among the riskiest road vehicles simply because they come with very little safety. This is why any accidents that involve motorcycles usually result in fatal or severe injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in such an accident, Seattle motorcycle accident lawyers can help you recover compensatory damage for your losses. Here is a look at vital statistics related to motorcycle accidents in Seattle and different aspects of a damages claim.
Washington Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycles accidents have a significantly higher percentage of severe or fatal injuries compared to other vehicles. In 2018 alone, a total of 75 fatal motorcycle collisions took place across Washington State. In all, nearly 375 motorcycle collisions involving serious injuries were recorded by the authorities. Speed-related crashes numbered at around 159, whereas 42 motorcycle crashes were found to be due to alcohol-related impairment of the riders.
Between 2014 and 2018, there was an increase of around 15% in motorcycle crashes across the state. This trend is expected to continue. In 2020, 24 motorcyclists had been killed across Washington State within the first five months.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycles are a particularly hazardous mode of travel, especially when compared to cars, trucks, and other vehicles. This is because a motorcycle rider is far less protected than the drivers of other vehicles. And in the event of the crash, the motorcyclist is more exposed to severe injuries.
When a motorcycle crash typically happens, the motorcyclists incur injuries from two principal sources. One is the collision with another vehicle or an object, such as a pole. The other is when the motorcyclist falls to the ground with this second impact, often more serious in that it can cause critical head injuries. Following are some of the most common types of injuries involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Head Injuries. Such injuries are often when the motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet. When the motorcyclist crashes, the head often strikes the ground, which can lead to serious head or brain injuries.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by the collision between the motorcycle and another vehicle. Such an injury can cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Broken Bones. Broken or displaced bones are one of the most frequent kinds of injury faced by motorcyclists involved in a crash. You may experience such an injury even in minor motorcycle crashes.
In addition to these major types of injuries, you may also suffer internal bleeding, cuts, bruises, and lacerations. In general, motorcyclists are very little protected in the event of a crash on the road.
Seattle Insurance Requirements for Motorcyclists
The state of Washington has updated insurance requirements for motorcycle riders in 2019. As per these changes, you must meet the following requirements when riding a motorcycle in Seattle or any other area within Washington:
- If the injury or death of a single person is involved, you must be carrying a minimum insurance coverage of $25,000
- If injury or death to more than one persons is involved, your insurance must have a minimum coverage of $50,000
- If damage of another person’s property is involved, the minimum insurance coverage must be $10,000
Lane Splitting and Helmet Requirements
If you are riding a motorcycle in Seattle, you are required to wear a helmet as per the state requirements. This requirement applies not only to the one operating the motorcycle but also to the passengers. The helmet you wear must also meet other rules. For instance, it must have either a neck or a chin strap, which must be fastened while the motorcycle is moving.
Proposed amendments that seek to abolish this requirement are currently in the process of being reviewed and debated. This means that it may be possible for motorcyclists to ride without a helmet in the future. However, for now, wearing a helmet is a legal requirement for all motorcyclists across the state.
State laws also prohibit lane splitting. This means that when riding a motorcycle in Seattle, you can’t ride a motorcycle in the middle lane between slow or stalled traffic. Lane splitting can often result in motorcycle crashes. If you run into an accident while lane splitting on your motorcycle, you will be considered at-fault as per state laws.
Can I Recover Compensation if I Was Negligent?
According to data from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, on average more than 70% of motorcycle fatalities are caused by factors caused by the person operating the motorcycle. The percentage is even higher for fatalities involving sports bikes.
You can run into a motorcycle crash, which is caused by your negligence as well as that of the other driver. In such a case, the comparative negligence rule comes into play.
This rule stipulates that you are still entitled to compensatory damages even if you were partially responsible for the crash. So if you were negligent in the crash, and so was the other driver, you may still be entitled to compensation. This is why it is essential to consult Seattle motorcycle accident attorneys at the earliest if you have suffered a motorcycle crash. An attorney can best advise you on whether or not you have a claim, and if you do, what is a fair amount you should demand.
How Can Seattle Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Help You?
A motorcycle crash typically results in severe or critical injuries. Some of these injuries may even leave you permanently or partially disabled. This has an impact on your ability to earn money, make a living, or live a healthy life. It is crucial to seek fair compensation when your injuries are caused by the negligence of another driver.
Our Seattle motorcycle accident lawyers help you recover damages from the negligent party. We help you through the entire claims process by working with you to bring together evidence and then filing for a fair amount. With our legal advice, you can avoid being tricked by insurers into giving up your claim or accepting a much smaller amount. Our attorneys can also help you settle your claim and get compensated in a brief time.