Motorcycle Accident Q&A

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, brain injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle collisions. A non-helmeted motorcyclist is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal brain injury and 15 percent more likely to suffer a non-fatal brain injury than a helmeted motorcyclist. Motorcycle helmets are 37 percent effective at preventing fatality and save approximately 1500 lives each year.

What is the safest way to operate a motorcycle?

First, keep your motorcycle in good running order with regular maintenance and repair. Second, you need to be sure that you understand the risks of riding a motorcycle before you ever get on one. Be familiar with its operation, control, and braking. Ride within your abilities. If you are uncomfortable going beyond a certain speed, then don’t do it. Proper riding can only be achieved through practice. Finally, obey the rules of the road and be aware of your surroundings. A lot of drivers do not like motorcyclists and may engage in aggressive driving around you. Be aware of this and use extra caution. Don’t assume you can be seen by other drivers. Drive defensively. For further information on the proper operation of a motorcycle, the Missouri Department of Revenue offers a very informative motorcycle operator manual that can be accessed online here.

Do helmets really make a difference?

According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration, an unhelmeted motorcyclist is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury and 15 percent more likely to suffer a non-fatal injury than a helmeted motorcyclist when involved in a crash. NHTSA estimates that motorcycle helmets reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality by 37 percent. A study conducted at the University of Southern California, which analyzed 3,600 traffic crash reports covering motorcycle crashes, concluded that wearing helmets was the single most important factor in surviving motorcycle accidents.

What should I look for when purchasing a helmet?

Keep in mind that all motorcycles sold in the United States are required to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 218, which establishes the minimum level of protection a helmet must provide each helmet user. When purchasing a helmet, please be sure that the helmet complies with this regulation.

Is wearing a helmet required in Missouri?

Yes. Missouri is among 20 states that require use for all riders.

Who can I sue if I am injured in a motor vehicle accident?

Anyone who contributes to cause a motor vehicle accident can be sued for damages. Missouri is a pure comparative fault state. This means that even if someone is 99% at fault, he or she can still recover 1% of his or her damages. Oftentimes, vehicles are owned or operated by businesses or used during the scope or course of employment. Under such circumstances, the owners of the vehicle can be pursued for damages via vicarious liability.

How much is my motorcycle accident case worth?

Many factors affect the value of your personal injury claim. These factors include the nature and extent of your injuries; the amount of your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other financial losses; pain and suffering; and present and future disability. Even when those factors are considered, there can be significant variations in the value of a claim based on the amount of insurance available or the assets of the defendant, any comparative fault, and more. Unfortunately, there is no mathematical formula that computes the value of your case. However, when your damages become reasonably certain, Mr. Cox will discuss potential values with you.

When should I call a motorcycle accident lawyer?

Your first priority should always be receiving appropriate medical treatment. After this, it’s never too soon to contact an attorney. You must keep in mind that your case has a statute of limitations, or a time period within which you must file suit in court or be forever barred from any recovery. Even if you are well within the limitations period timely legal advice can be critical.