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Vulnerability and liability in motorcycle accidents

It is undeniable that the joys and freedoms of motorcycle riding also come with some significant risks. Because motorcyclists are exposed to the environment, they are far more vulnerable than car drivers if they are involved in an accident. Thus, accidents between a car and a motorcycle often lead to catastrophic injury or death for the motorcyclist even when the car driver suffers minimal injury.

Motorcycles face other circumstances and dangers that have the potential to cause these deadly collisions. For instance, the small size of a motorcycle compared with other vehicles often makes them difficult to see for other drivers. Additionally, as a result of their size and their two-wheel design, they are often far more susceptible to road hazards such as potholes, construction and debris. Many motorcycle accidents may also be caused by design or manufacturing defects, which cause the motorcycle not to function properly or to become unsafe while operating.

If any of these conditions, or any other circumstances cause a rider to be involved in a motorcycle collision, the results can be deadly. Motorcycle riders are far more likely then automobile drivers or passengers to suffer substantial injuries, including head injuries, broken bones, spinal injuries, paralysis and death, after being involved in a collision.

Where a motorcycle accident is caused by the negligence of another party, whether it be distracted driving, a failure to yield the right of way to a motorcycle, impaired driving, obstructed view or any other contributing factor, the injured motorcyclist may be able to recover damages from the negligent party. Likewise, if a design or manufacturing defect played a role in causing the accident the injured party may be able to recover damages in a product liability suit against the manufacturer.

It is thus very important for an injured motorcyclist to be aware of their potential remedies and potential for recovery after being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Source:, "Motorcycle Accidents: Overview," accessed Nov. 30, 2017

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