There is no doubt that riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience. Yet, despite the feelings of freedom that come with cruising on two wheels, the fact remains that motorcycles are dangerous — or, rather, that motorcycle riding is. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 5,000 motorcycle accidents in the United States in 2019. Of those, 80% resulted in serious injury or death. In New Mexico — which is regularly touted as one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists — 42 motorcyclists lost their lives in collisions that same year. Motorcycle accidents account for roughly 2.3% of all crashes each year and 14.2% of all fatal accidents.
Though alarming in and of themselves, what makes these statistics even more dismal is the fact that most motorcycle accidents are preventable. The overwhelming majority of motorcycle crashes are the result of inattentive, distracted or careless driving. Though no amount of compensation can undo the damage you or a loved one suffered at the hands of a negligent driver, you can seek justice via a civil lawsuit. If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle crash in Albuquerque, contact the team at Hinkle Law Offices, LLC, to schedule a case evaluation right away.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle accidents happen because of negligence, plain and simple. Though drivers are not always responsible for motorcycle crashes, statistics indicate that they are at fault more often than not. Below are the top causes of motorcycle crashes:
- Cars making left hand turns (these accidents make up 42% of all motorcycle crashes involving a vehicle)
- Head-on collisions
- Motorcycle lane splitting
- Poor road conditions
- Speeding, reckless driving and alcohol use (46.2% of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol or drug use)
- Corner turning
- Failure of motorists to see or recognize motorcyclists ahead
Pursuing Damages Following a Motorcycle Crash
Despite how a motorcycle crash occurs or who is at fault, it will almost always result in significant damages for the motorcyclist. If you are the motorcyclist in question, you may wonder if you can pursue a civil claim for damages and, if so, against whom.
In response to the first half of your question, the answer is almost always going to be “yes.” New Mexico adheres to a pure comparative fault theory. Under this rule, accident victims can collect damages as long as they are not 100% at fault for the incident. Whether you assume no fault for a motorcycle crash, 50% fault or 99% fault, you can recover compensation. However, your settlement or award amount will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
In response to the second half of your query regarding who is liable for damages … The answer depends on how your accident occurred. If a negligent or reckless driver caused your accident, you would pursue damages from him or her. However, if your accident was the result of poor road conditions, a bike defect or some other issue beyond your control, you may be able to seek compensation from a government entity, the bike manufacturer or another third-party.
Damages You Can Claim in a Motorcycle Accident Case
For many motorcycle accident victims, the monetary, physical and emotional toll of a crash is astronomical. In addition to sky high medical bills and extensive repair costs, many accident victims are unable to work. This leaves them with increasing amounts of debt and no way to pay it off. If you can relate, the good news is that a personal injury claim can reimburse you for your losses, which may include but are not limited to the following:
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental duress
With the right legal help, you may be able to recover six to seven figures in compensation.
Connect With Our Law Office Today
At Hinkle Law Offices, LLC, we have extensive experience helping motorcycle accident victims and their families fight for the compensation they need to recover from their injuries and move forward with their lives. If yours or a loved one’s life was turned upside down in a motorcycle crash, do not delay your pursuit of justice.