When a motorcycle is involved in a crash with another vehicle, the motorcycle rider does not have the protections of other drivers, such as a steel frame, airbags, or other safety mechanisms. After an accident, motorcycle riders are often not treated fairly by insurance companies because of stereotypes or biases against bikers. As an law firm that is experienced with helping motorcycle accident victims, we know that motorcyclists with years of experience in riding may obey traffic laws and drive defensively but still be involved in a serious motorcycle accident through no fault of their own.
Our legal team represents motorcycle accident victims throughout the states of Missouri and Kansas. If you or a loved one has sustained serious personal injuries after a motorcycle crash, you need to talk to an experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle attorney who can help guide you through the legal process and ensure that you recover the maximum permitted under the law.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents are an all too common occurrence in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Our area's location and interstate system are very popular for motorcycle riders, and there are an increasing number of bikes on our roads. Unfortunately, the frequency of motorcycle collisions has also continued to climb in both Kansas and Missouri. The number of motorcycle accidents taking place has become a major concern for all riders in the Kansas City area.
In 2016, there were more than 2,100 motorcycle accidents in Missouri. More than 1,900 motorcyclists were injured in these accidents in Missouri, and a record high 122 motorcyclists were killed. In Kansas, there were 992 motorcycle crashes in 2016, which resulted in 749 injuries and 50 fatalities.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Kansas & Missouri
Motorcycle accidents can happen very quickly. Very often, an accident victim who has survived will not remember the accident at all and will revive or become conscious at the hospital. As a result, it is important to fully investigate these crashes as soon as possible in order to establish who was at fault and who will pay for the injuries and damages sustained.
Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents in Kansas and Missouri:
- Improper lane changes. Cars and trucks can sideswipe an unsuspecting motorcycle rider during a lane change, especially if the motorcyclist is in the car driver's blind spot.
- Rear-end accidents. Drivers may not see a motorcyclist stopped at an intersection and may collide with the rear tire of the motorcycle, throwing the rider over the car and into cross traffic where additional injuries may be sustained.
- Sudden stops. A car that is driving too fast and then suddenly slams on its brakes can cause a motorcyclist to slam into the rear bumper if he or she doesn't have sufficient time to react.
- Left turns. One of the most deadly and unfortunately most common causes of motorcycle accidents occurs when the driver of a car or truck fails to see an oncoming motorcycle and attempts to take a left-hand turn in front of the motorcycle. This type of accident accounts for 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and car. These types of accidents occur between two cars as well, but the motorcycle's smaller size makes it less visible and more prone to be overlooked.
- Drunk drivers. Intoxicated drivers should not be operating any vehicle at any time, but impaired drivers have a harder time seeing and avoiding motorcycles than cars due to the smaller size of the motorcycle.
- Head-on collisions. Crashes involving motorcycles and other vehicles account for 56% of motorcycle deaths. In the vast majority of these accidents, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front (78% of the time.) Head-on collisions between a car and a motorcycle are very often fatal to the motorcyclist.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
As stated above, since motorcyclists aren't protected by their vehicle like a car or truck driver is, injuries to motorcyclists can result much more severe injuries, even in relatively minor collisions. Below are some of the most common motorcycle injuries:
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are very common, especially when riders aren't wearing helmets.
- Neck, back or spine injuries are also common after a motorcycle makes impact with a car or a truck because motorcyclists are unrestrained and will often be thrown from the bike and onto the car or ground. These can be less severe neck injuries (like whiplash) or serious spinal cord injuries that can result in paralysis or death.
- Leg and foot injuries can result from a side impact when a car crushes the leg against the bike or when the bike falls to the pavement with the rider's leg underneath.
- Road rash is an injury caused by the rider's body sliding or skidding across the ground after being knocked from a bike. This can cause permanent scarring or disfigurement. Protective gear may help the rider mitigate this injury to some extent, but no gear can fully prevent road rash.
There are many other types of motorcycle injuries, including nerve damage, internal bleeding, chest or abdominal injuries, muscular damage or other organ damage.
Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident
Like any vehicle accident, you are entitled to past and future medical bills, lost wages and lost earnings capacity, past and future pain and suffering and damages for any permanent disfigurement or scarring caused by the motorcycle accident accident. There are many factors to consider in determining what your Kansas City injury claim is worth and there are important things you can do to maximize the value of your Kansas City motorcycle claim. Of course, we stand ready to help you both determine the value of your claim and advise you on how to recover the maximum amount.
What Should I Do After Motorcycle Accident in Missouri or Kansas?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, the first thing you need to do is to make sure to call 911 immediately if anyone is injured. After that, you should do the following:
- Move out of the right of way to a safe spot. You want to avoid any other traffic.
- Move your bike as well. If possible, take a picture first. But do not put yourself in danger.
- If the accident is more than minor, you should also request that the police come to create an accident report and document what happened. This accident report will be invaluable in any legal case that may result from the accident.
- Collect information from all parties. You should make sure to get the contact and insurance information from the other driver, the license plate number, the make and model of the vehicles, and any other information from the scene of the accident.
- You should interview and obtain the contact information from any witnesses to the accident as well.
- Protect your rights. You should not apologize to the other driver or admit to any fault. It would be impossible to know exactly what caused the accident unless and until a full investigation is conducted. Any statements that you make could be used against you later and hurt your right to compensation for your injuries. You should be polite, but keep your conversations to a minimum.
Contact Our Kansas City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to contact a personal injury attorney who has experience in motorcycle accidents. Our Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand your rights to compensation and help you determine whether a lawsuit should be pursued. Our legal team can review your individual case with a free, confidential consultation. Call our office at 816-203-0143 or fill out the form below today.