May 6, 2024

Is Getting Into an Accident With a Motorcycle the Same as a Car Accident?

Motorcyclist speeding on a scenic mountain road at sunset with dramatic sky and mountain backdrop.

In terms of injury, motorcycle and car accidents can differ in severity. Motorcyclists have little if any protection, unlike cars with airbags and solidly constructed seats to cushion the impact of a vehicle collision. Some motorcycle accidents throw the rider from the seat of the motorcycle and the fall to the ground can result in life-threatening injuries. 

However, in civil lawsuits, such as seeking compensation for an accident that wasn’t your fault, both motorcycle and car accident lawsuits are handled very similarly. For instance, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit for both car and motorcycle accidents is the same.

Let’s break it down further to better understand the two kinds of accidents.


How motorcycle and car accidents are similar

Potential for Injuries: Both motorcycle accidents and car accidents can result in injuries ranging from minor to severe, including fractures, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries.

Legal Considerations: Both types of accidents involve legal considerations such as determining fault, filing insurance claims, and pursuing compensation for damages.

Investigation: In both cases, an investigation may be necessary to determine the cause of the accident and establish liability. This may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing accident reports.


How motorcycle and car accidents are different

Vehicle Size and Visibility: Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than cars, making them more vulnerable to collisions with other vehicles. Drivers of cars may have difficulty seeing motorcycles, leading to a higher risk of accidents.

Injuries and Severity: Motorcyclists are more exposed and lack the protection of a car's structure, seatbelts, and airbags. As a result, motorcycle accidents tend to result in more severe injuries and a higher risk of fatalities compared to car accidents.

Handling of Claims: Insurance companies may handle motorcycle accident claims differently than car accident claims, as they may view motorcyclists as being at higher risk for accidents and injuries. This can affect the amount of compensation offered and the process for resolving the claim.

Laws and Regulations: Motorcycles are subject to different laws and regulations than cars, including helmet laws, lane-splitting rules, and licensing requirements. These differences can impact liability and legal considerations in the event of an accident.

Overall, while there are similarities between accidents involving motorcycles and cars, there are also important differences to consider. If you've been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Morgan & Morgan to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the unique aspects of motorcycle accidents and can help you navigate the legal process to pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.


What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle and Vehicle Accidents?

Vehicle accidents can occur due to various factors, but some causes are more common than others. Understanding these common causes can help drivers take precautions to reduce the risk of accidents. Here are some of the most common causes of vehicle accidents:

Distracted Driving: Distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or using GPS devices can take a driver's attention away from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.

Speeding: Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for road conditions can reduce a driver's ability to react to hazards, increase stopping distances, and lead to more severe accidents.

Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time, significantly increasing the risk of accidents.

Reckless Driving: Reckless behaviors such as aggressive driving, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and disregarding traffic signals and signs can lead to collisions and endanger other road users.

Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, fog, and strong winds can reduce visibility, decrease traction, and make roads slippery, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Drowsy Driving: Fatigue and drowsiness can impair a driver's ability to stay alert, react quickly, and make sound decisions, leading to accidents, especially during late-night or early-morning hours.

Poor Road Conditions: Road hazards such as potholes, uneven pavement, debris, construction zones, and inadequate signage or lighting can contribute to accidents, particularly if drivers fail to adjust their speed or navigate safely.

Vehicle Defects: Mechanical failures such as brake failure, tire blowouts, steering problems, or malfunctioning safety systems can cause accidents, especially if drivers are unaware of or unable to control these issues.

Inexperienced Drivers: Inexperienced or novice drivers may lack the skills, knowledge, and confidence to handle challenging driving situations, increasing the risk of accidents, particularly among young drivers.

Failure to Yield Right-of-Way: Failing to yield the right-of-way at intersections, during lane changes, or when merging onto highways can result in collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians.


Can an Attorney Help With My Motorcycle or Car Accident?

Absolutely. Here’s how.

If you were injured in a motorcycle or car accident due to someone else’s negligence, then you shouldn’t be responsible for your injuries and relevant expenses—the at-fault party should be.

If you were injured due to no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation that will cover medical bills, damaged vehicles, lost wages from missed work while recovering, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Hiring an attorney after a motorcycle or car accident can significantly increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and losses. An experienced attorney can navigate the legal process on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries and moving forward with your life.

An attorney can provide you with legal advice and guidance on your rights and options following the accident. They can explain the legal process, assess the strength of your case, and help you understand the steps you need to take to protect your interests.

Outside of the courtroom, insurance companies may use tactics to minimize payouts and protect their bottom line. An attorney can even handle communications with insurance companies on your behalf, negotiate a fair settlement, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the claims process.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, however, attorneys can represent you in litigation and pursue your case through the court system. They can file a lawsuit on your behalf, conduct discovery, present evidence, and argue your case in court to seek the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been injured in any kind of accident because of someone’s negligence, contact Morgan & Morgan for help. Hiring one of our lawyers is easy, and you can get started right now with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.