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Fayetteville and northwest Arkansas are home to some of the best roads and scenery for riding. Motorcycles are known for their open-air nature and ability to provide for an engaging and nimble ride responding deftly to hairpin turns and other aspects of the roadway. Motorcycles and motorcycle riding are an ingrained part of the culture in northwest Arkansas and an activity that many people enjoy participating in. Each year, the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ Festival in Fayetteville attracts enthusiasts from across the nation. The festival brings thousands of motorcycle riders to the area where they can follow an array of trails such as the legendary Pig Trail and an array of others including the Grand Canyon of Arkansas and the Boston Mountains Tour. If you or a family member was injured in a motorcycle accident, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville motorcycle accident lawyer.
Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP is here to help you resolve your motorcycle accident case. Unfortunately, the open and minimalist nature of a motorcycle does create certain drawbacks. For one, when an accident does occur, the rider is not protected by an array of safety features as he or she would be in a car or truck. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your claim, call Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 717-9068.
What are Common Reasons for Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles do not have airbags, seat belts, or other safety features meaning that when accidents do occur the injuries produced are often more serious and potentially life-threatening. Motorcycle accidents are a product of the circumstances and factors that exist at the time of the accident. These circumstances and factors can include an array of factors including decisions made by the motorcycle rider and other drivers.
While it is tempting to think of a motorcycle accident as being caused by a single factor, the reality is that a number of factors are typically in play that makes the crash inevitable. These factors may include:
- Road debris – Road debris ranging from car or truck parts to loose gravel and other debris is significantly more dangerous for a motorcycle rider than the occupants of a vehicle. As two-wheeled vehicles, motorcycles can have stability issues when they hit or run over debris in the road.
- Distracted driver – The nature of a motorcycle encourages and in some cases forces a rider to remain engaged with the road or highway, the same cannot be said for passenger vehicles with their in-vehicle entertainment systems and other features. Distracted drivers increase the risk of accident for all.
- Intoxicated drivers – A driver who consumes alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel increases the risk of injury for all individuals on the road. Alcohol and drugs dull the senses increase the odds of poor decision-making.
- Poor weather conditions – While many motorcycle riders avoid riding in rain and poor weather conditions; even fog can increase the odds of an accident. Most adverse weather conditions increase stopping distances while simultaneously reducing visibility and the ability to detect hazards.
- Commercial vehicle traffic – The presence of 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks can also increase the odds of an accident. These vehicles can swerve in their lane when winds are high. Furthermore, their large size compared to a motorcycle often means that they do not see the bike and may merger or take other action.
- Speeding – Speeding is the cause of a large chunk of accidents in Arkansas and across the United States. When drivers travel over the speed limit, they place other motorists in danger because they will not be able to appropriately respond to road hazards in a reasonable time.
The above represents only a few of the hazards motorcycle riders face. Unfortunately, many of these factors can work simultaneously to make an accident unavoidable. To learn more about the types of injuries that may occur during a motorcycle crash, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Fayetteville personal injury attorney.
What Types of Injuries Can Result From a Motorcycle Crash?
When a motorcycle accident does occur, the injuries are often life-altering or catastrophic. The high speeds of travel combined with a relative lack of protection contribute to the severity of injuries. However, the use of a helmet can significantly decrease the likelihood of a fatal injury.
Common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders include:
- Traumatic brain injuries – TBIs are one of the most concerning types of injuries. TBIs affect the brain which is the control center from all bodily organs and functions. Damage to the brain and its structures can result in difficulties in executive functioning, increased aggression, decreased impulse control, and other problems. In severe instances, coma or death can result.
- Broken bones – Motorcycle riders are also vulnerable to suffer broken or fractured bones. When a motorcyclist is in an accident, he or she is susceptible to hitting the pavement at awkward angles or having the bike land on an arm or leg.
- Lacerations and abrasions – While most motorcyclists wear protective road leathers and other gear, anytime a person hits the pavement at 50 to 60 miles an hour or more significant lacerations, and abrasions can result.
- Spinal Injuries – A motorist that is thrown from a motorcycle can land in a number of ways that could injure their back or spinal cord. If this occurs, the motorist can suffer from severe pain or even paralysis.
Many other injuries are possible in a motorcycle accident. The rider may suffer back injuries or even internal organ damage due to the impact and fall from the bike.
Prevailing in a Personal Injury Claim After a Motorcycle Accident
If you were injured in a severe motorcycle accident, you likely want to file a personal injury lawsuit against the reckless driver that caused your injuries. Personal injury claims operate on a theory of negligence. To prove that another drive acted negligently, you must prove the following elements:
- The driver owed a legal duty to the victim to operate their vehicle in a prudent manner
- The driver breached their obligation to the victim by failing to operate their vehicle appropriately
- The driver’s negligent actions caused the victim’s injuries
- The victim suffered injuries or damage to their property that can be reimbursed
It is necessary for a plaintiff to prove all of the above elements if they want to prevail in a personal injury case.
It is also important to note that a personal injury lawsuit is subject to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a personal injury lawsuit or another type of lawsuit. In Arkansas, a plaintiff must file their personal injury claim within three years of their injury. If the case is not filed within this timeframe, the court will bar the plaintiff’s claim.
Work with a Fayetteville, Arkansas Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a motorcycle crash caused by a reckless or careless driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other damages. Call today for a free and confidential consultation with the personal injury lawyers of Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP by calling 479-717-9068 or contact us online.