Motorcycle Accidents Totaled $16 Billion in Claims
In 22 years of practice, Carabin & Shaw’s team of experienced lawyers has helped countless motorcycle accident victims file claims against the negligent drivers responsible for their injuries. We have attorneys within the San Antonio region standing by to provide counsel and defense for motorcyclists affected by another driver’s carelessness. If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident in the San Antonio area, contact the lawyers at Carabin & Shaw today.
The fact of the matter is that a motorcycle does not protect its rider in the same way a car’s enclosure offers resistance for automobile passenger in case of a collision. Even with protective outerwear like a helmet or riding jacket, there is no substantial buffer between rider and concrete after impact. The risk of harm increases dramatically if the collision happens at highway speeds; however, motorcycle accidents occur no matter the speed or circumstance. Even the open roads in a suburban setting such as San Antonio pose a threat for motorcyclists.
The number one cause of motorcycle accidents is other drivers’ inability to notice motorcycles in their periphery, and in cases such as this, serious injuries can be sustained. Another person’s inattentive driving could turn into your misfortune. You deserve to know your options moving forward. Fortunately, a Carabin & Shaw San Antonio motorcycle accident lawyer is always there for you.
According to a government report, motorcycle accidents totaled $16 billion in claims in 2010 alone. Unfortunately, the full cost is likely much higher than that figure, as long-term medical expenses and eventual repercussive costs are difficult to measure.
Motorcyclists are involved in fatal accidents at much higher rates than drivers of other types of vehicles and, according to a Government Accountability Office report, are 30 times more likely to be killed in a traffic crash than occupants of a passenger car. In 2010, over 82,000 motorcyclists were involved in serious accidents. The average cost for a fatal crash involving a motorcycle was estimated at $1.2 million, while the cost for those producing only injuries ranged anywhere from $2,5000 to $1.4 million, depending upon the severity of the claim. Ultimately, motorcycle accidents totaled $16 billion in claims in a single calendar year.
It is difficult to fully determine the entire cost of each claim with complete accuracy, as some types of supplemental costs and long term figures are difficult to measure. Treating serious injuries following motorcycle accidents can be a long, expensive, and ongoing process, but oftentimes follow-up analyses of such costs are conducted for only a few years following the incident. The duration of these follow-ups is often disproportionate to the lengthy repercussions of the collision.
Additionally, many consequences of long term injuries like changes in employment and living status cannot be fully aggregated. Laws requiring all motorists to wear helmets are frankly the only strategy proven effective in reducing fatalities and injuries. In fact, several studies have estimated that helmets can reduce the risk of death in a crash by as much as 39 percent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that helmets saved the lives of over 1,550 motorcyclists in 2010 alone, including riders San Antonio and the surrounding regions. But helmet laws are difficult to enforce, and many riders still do not wear proper headgear, if even just for appearance’s sake.
The biking community and motorcycle groups have met the idea of “universal” helmet laws with strong opposition. Currently, only 19 states have these universal helmet laws firmly in place. An additional 28 states have what are considered “partial” helmet laws that require only some motorcyclists to wear helmets. These laws usually pertain to riders under age 21 or occasionally under the age of 18. Three states, Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire, have no helmet laws at all. Last year, Michigan legislators repealed their own state’s helmet requirements for motorcyclists over the age of 21. Other proposals to repeal mandatory helmet laws have been considered in states like California, Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee.
While many motorcycle groups do indeed endorse the use of helmets, they also often oppose mandatory helmet laws as infringements on personal liberties and their right to assume the risk of riding without a helmet. The National Transportation Safety Board dropped mandatory helmet laws from their list of ten “most wanted” safety improvements earlier this month, a move that angered some safety advocates.
It would certainly appear that mandatory helmet laws would indeed save lives. But unfortunately, the legislation history relating to this subject tells us otherwise. As noted, Motorcycle accidents totaled $16 billion in claims in 2010, and that number continues to grow.
If you or someone you care about has been affected by a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact a Carabin & Shaw lawyer in San Antonio today. Our attorneys understand how best to fight at all costs to obtain the compensation that you deserve. Call us today toll-free at 800-862-1260, day or night, for a free consultation.