Motorcycle Accidents Happen to Longtime and New Riders
Injured in the Carmel area due to driver negligence? Our firm will fight for you
After a bad motorcycle accident, you’ll often hear the at-fault car or truck driver say that the bike they hit came out of “nowhere.” But bikers on motorcycles don’t appear from thin air. There’s nothing mysterious about it. People that cause bad motorcycle accidents are often not paying enough attention to the road.
When another vehicle crashes into a motorcycle, or causes a bike to otherwise leave the road, the driver needs to be held accountable for their recklessness. Vaughan & Vaughan has been representing motorcycle accident victims in Carmel and greater Central Indiana for decades.
More Indiana bikes than ever before
As Carmel’s population has grown, so has its interest in motorcycles. There are about 250,000 motorcycles registered in Indiana and about 4.7 fatal accidents per 10,000 registered motorcycles. Over the last 10 years, the number of fatal motorcycles in Indiana has increased by almost 5 percent.
Motorcycles have been a part of American culture since the early 1900s, yet people still need to be reminded to “look twice” for bikes. The numbers say it: When you’re out for a ride you can’t count on other vehicles to spot you and keep a safe distance. It’s up to you to drive defensively and keep an eye out.
This doesn’t let negligent car and truck drivers off the hook. Vaughan & Vaughan understands the passion to ride and we work hard to protect your rights on the road. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, contact our firm for a free case review. We can explain how the law applies to your accident and the real value of your claim.
Common motorcycle accident injuries
Motorcycle accidents often cause severe damage to the biker involved. The following are some of the more common motorcycle accident injuries.
- Cuts, lacerations, Road rash – When your skin hits the pavement or your body is violently thrown into your motorcycle, deep cuts (also known as lacerations) and road rash can occur. Road rash is an informal term for the tears, cuts, and scrapes sustained by skin hitting the pavement. Wearing protective gear and/or leather can reduce the risk of cuts, scrapes, and rash.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – These are often life-changing injuries. TBIs can result in paralysis, loss of brain function, and personality changes. Wearing a helmet reduces the chance of fatal TBIs by 40 percent.
- Broken legs (Tibia, fibula) – The most likely bones to break in a motorcycle accident are in the legs because it is easy for a rider’s lower extremities to become pinned by their bike or hit by another vehicle in a crash.
- Broken arms (Humerus, radius, ulna) – Arm bones also often fracture or break in a motorcycle accident. Wrists, too, are damaged when a biker instinctively uses his hands and arms to reduce fall-impact.
- Neck and back pain – Persistent pain can be a long-term result of a motorcycle accident.
- Paralysis – In severe cases, injuries to the neck, head, or spine can lead to paralysis, a temporary or permanent loss of movement and feeling. The loss of mobility could be confined to a hand, limb, or the whole body.
The legal team at Vaughan & Vaughan has seen plenty of Indiana motorcycle victims start online fundraisers to pay for medical bills after a crash. No accident victim should have to struggle like this.
Vaughan & Vaughan fights hard to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries and bike repairs so that you can focus on healing, not fundraising. We are not a settlement mill. Our law firm never accepts anything less than the best possible outcome on your claim.
Some situations are riskier than others. For bikers, intersections are a frequent site of crashes. About half of all motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. It’s at these cross sections that other drivers too frequently neglect to notice bikers.
Unlike driving on a Carmel roundabout, where all the traffic is moving slowly in one direction, intersections present dozens of opportunities for crashes. A National Highway and Traffic Administration study examined intersection crash-causes and identified around 10 “critical pre-crash events” that make an accident imminent. These events include making left turns. crossing over the intersection, and turning right.
Other factors that often play a role in intersection accidents include:
- Recognition error - Inattention, internal and external distractions, inadequate surveillance.
- Decision error – Travelling too fast for conditions, driving aggressively, false assumption of another’s actions, illegal maneuvers, misjudgment of gap or other’s speed.
- Turned with obstructed view.
- Performance error - Overcompensation, poor directional control.
- Driving drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel.
- Medical conditions - Heart attack, stroke, seizure, etc.
Intersection safe driving tips
Here are some tips for how to safely navigate intersections, according to online magazine Riding in the Zone.
- Be seen – Position your motorcycle in the lane so that you are in open view of other drivers. If you’re tailgating, you may be hidden to other vehicles.
- Move it – When you are approaching another vehicle straight-on, you may appear stationary to the driver. In this situation you are less visible due to “motion blindness” (against a fixed background, it’s harder to spot stationary people, places, and things than moving ones). To avoid this, weave a little in your lane and sweep your headlights across other drivers.
- Bright colors – A lot of riding gear is black. Wearing bright colors- like yellow and orange - makes you more visible to other vehicles on the road.
- Volume isn’t enough – Even though you are on a large, loud motorcycle, there are plenty of drivers who won’t register the sound of your bike or may be unable to tell from which direction the noise is coming. You can’t rely on your rumbling engine alone to make you visible to other vehicles.
- Give yourself space – Provide plenty of room between you and other drivers to increase your visibility and give you more time to maneuver or stop when needed.
- Look twice – Before entering an intersection, look twice for on-coming vehicles. Reckless drivers don’t care if you have the right of way.
Generations of results for injury victims. You can count on us.
Motorcyclists have to take more precautions than car and truck drivers when traveling. All the precautions in the world, however, don't prevent other people from acting negligently.
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident in Carmel, Metro Indianapolis or the Greater Central Indiana region, let Vaughan & Vaughan take care of the accident claim process for you. Our firm has more than 100 years of experience practicing law in Indiana. We know the local justice and insurance systems because we have been working with them for decades.
Hiring Vaughan & Vaughan likely won’t cost you anything out of pocket. We represent many motorcycle accident victims on contingency. In this arrangement, our fee is paid for by the insurance companies, not you. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.