Two seconds. That’s the average amount of time a motorcyclist has to avoid an accident. In about the time it takes to read this sentence, a rider will need to react or risk colliding with a vehicle or road hazard. Some motorcyclists will be fortunate enough to course correct in time; but many others will not. And when they are involved in an accident, they are much more exposed to injury than occupants of other motor vehicles.
Statistics of motorcycle accidents in Edmonton reveal that drivers and passengers of these vehicles were injured in more than half of these collisions. About 25% of the time, their injuries were serious. And on average, motorcyclists are 13.5 times more likely to die in a collision than car drivers. Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you are entitled to Section B health benefits to help with your recovery. If you were not at fault for the accident, or only partially at fault, you may also be able to claim compensation for pain, suffering, losses and damages.
Litco Law Edmonton motorcycle accident lawyers have the expertise and experience to help you launch and manage these claims. And we provide the kind of compassionate care and attentiveness to your needs that will show you how you are always much more than just a file to us.
Keeping Yourself Safe On Your Motorcycle
Practicing good motorcycle safety can significantly lower your odds of being involved in a collision and your chances of sustaining a serious injury. While there are always risks when you’re out on the road, by following these tips you can reduce these risks for you and your passengers.
- Wear the proper gear: Helmets, boots, gloves, goggles, pads and clothing (leather or body armour) that shields your body if you skid or are thrown from your motorcycle better protect you from injury in the event of an accident. Full helmets are especially important because they reduce risk of injury from an accident by 69% and fatalities by almost 50%.
- Defensive driving: Imagine that none of the cars on the road can see you. If, as a result, you give them more space, avoid blind spots, and heighten your own awareness of hazards, you increase your odds of a safe drive. Taking motorcycle safety courses has also been shown to reduce a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident. Some statistics suggest over 90% of riders involved in crashes are self-taught.
- Choose the right bike: Modern safety features such as traction control and automatic braking systems provide for safer drives. But, if you are driving a new motorcycle, be careful. More than half of riders involved in a crash have less than five months experience on the bike they are riding.
- Don’t be reckless: Taking unnecessary risks such as weaving through traffic, making sharp turns, exceeding the speed limit or driving while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol are never advisable.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been In An Accident?
Even if you are the safest motorcyclist on the road, sharing the streets with other drivers and pedestrians means accidents can and do still happen. Since we don’t spend much, if any, time thinking about what we would do if an accident could happen to us, when it does many people are left unprepared.
If you are not injured to the point of being incapacitated, your first duty is to prevent any future risk of injury by ensuring you are safe from any hazards on the road. Next, make sure someone has called for police and first responders to examine you and determine if you have any injuries that require immediate treatment or hospitalization. If you have no obvious injuries you may not think you need to be evaluated; but looks can be deceiving. People in a state of shock may not feel the true extent of their injuries until hours later and some internal injuries such as head trauma or internal bleeding will not be apparent to the naked eye.
If or when you are able, collect the contact information (and insurance) of everyone involved in the accident and any witnesses present. A police report should have this information if you are unable to get it at the scene. Try to write down or record important facts about how the crash happened, the road conditions, the weather, the time of day, and anything you think might be relevant to what happened. Take photos of the scene and any visible injuries.
Once you’ve left the scene, call your insurer to report the accident and to start the process of claiming benefits. Take notes during your conversation and if anything the insurance representative makes you feel uncomfortable or concerned, speak to a personal injury lawyer to ensure you are being treated fairly.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Since motorcycles don’t have seatbelts or airbags, motorcyclists can often be thrown from their bikes during collisions. While special gear can offer some protection, the human body is generally no match for pavement, other vehicles, or hard obstacles when a collision results in a strong impact – particularly if higher speeds are involved.
As a result, motorcyclists frequently experience road rash and other soft tissue damage (cuts, scrapes and bruising), broken bones, and damage to muscles or internal organs. More seriously, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or nerve damage can cause permanent disability. Finally, an accident or bodily injury can lead to debilitating emotional trauma.
Healing and rehabilitation takes time and money. But if your injuries require you to take time off work (or your disability means you cannot return to work), how will you be able to afford to pay medical and living costs?
Resources For Motorcycle Accident Victims
Every person involved in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to draw on Section B benefits to cover health care costs, income replacement, and other expenses or losses. These no-fault benefits offer up to $50,000 for health care services, income replacements totaling $400 per week or 80% of pre-tax weekly earnings (whichever is lower), $6,150 in funeral expenses, and $500 for grief counselling.
Unfortunately, these sums often do not provide victims with all that they need or deserve to assist in their recovery and certain restrictions limit the amounts Section B provides for popular treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy or chiropractic treatments. If a motorcycle accident victim has additional private insurance coverage from self-purchased policies or through their employment, they may be required to exhaust these policies first.
If you were not at fault for the accident, you can also file a lawsuit to claim compensation for pain, suffering and damages from the at-fault party’s insurer. More than two-thirds of collisions involving motorcycles occur when the motorcyclist has the right-of-way. Many times this occurs when another vehicle is making a left-hand turn and does not see the smaller bike.
Sometimes your own negligence may have contributed to your injuries. You may think this will prevent you from making a claim. It is always worth consulting a motorcycle accident lawyer to help you determine if this is the case, because often you can still receive significant compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance. Contributory negligence can reduce the amount you receive in a damages award or settlement based on the proportion of your fault, but a skilled personal injury lawyer can help you dispute suggestions that you were negligent or the extent of your negligence.
How Can Litco Law Edmonton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Help?
In a perfect world the process for getting the benefits and compensation you deserve following an accident would be simple, quick and painless. Sadly, some people discover that dealing with insurers can be a traumatic ordeal all on its own. Deserving claims may be denied or delayed if the insurer disagrees with your doctor’s medical assessment. They may float lowball offers hoping a person preoccupied with recovering from an injury chooses to accept less than what they deserve to avoid a long, drawn out process. And, if there are multiple insurers who may be responsible, disputes between providers can end up giving a claimant the run-around.
Litco Law has over 40 years of experience dealing with insurance companies who aren’t treating motorcycle accident victims fairly. When you contact us for a free consultation, we’ll listen to your story with compassion, explain how we can help negotiate with insurance companies or litigate to ensure your needs are met.
As advocates of victims of personal injuries, we know how overwhelming the legal process can appear to be for people who are unfamiliar with it. That’s why we make sure we speak in a way that’s understandable, always take time to address questions or concerns you may have, and provide advice and options that show we always make your best interests our top priority. Our attention to high quality client care means we benefit from many referrals from people we’ve helped in the past.
A Strong Reputation For Results
Litco Law has been recognized by our legal peers in Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of Canada’s top boutique personal injury firms in recent years. But what really matters to us, and what we hope will matter to you, is what our past clients say about our work.
Many of the same themes come up again and again in these comments. Clients like Peggy explain that they feel we treat them like family and not just numbers. Others, like Lorna, notes that Litco Law could be counted on to answer any question she needed an answer for. Nick says he felt confident in our case management because we kept him informed every step of the way. While getting our clients the compensation they deserve is extremely important to us, clients like Stella tell us they appreciate that we don’t just focus on numbers, but also care about helping families heal from the trauma of a serious accident. Finally, clients like Gerald are thankful that we not only provide top notch client service, but also that we get results.
A Law Firm You Can Count On
The road to recovery following a motorcycle accident can be a long and lonely one. With Litco Law Edmonton motorcycle accident lawyers on your team, you will have a dependable, trustworthy and compassionate partner to encourage you along the way. We cannot change the past and take away the pain, suffering and losses motorcycle accident victims have experienced, but we can be there for you as you claim what you need and deserve to help you rebuild your life and create a better future.
Looking For A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Edmonton? Contact Us.
We service the Edmonton and surrounding area, including the counties of Parkland, Leduc, Strathcona, Sturgeon. When you need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Edmonton, think Litco Law Personal Injury Lawyers.