Motorcycles offer many advantages: ease of movement, economy and a great feeling of freedom on the open road. However, motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than passenger cars, which protect their occupants with a steel cage. They are also smaller objects in motorists’ line of sight. Motorcycle riders must be vigilant at all times, but even so, accidents happen and those accidents tend to be very bad.
If you or a loved one has suffered a devastating motorcycle accident, you can get experienced, dedicated legal representation at Harris, Wyatt & Amala in Salem. Our lawyers work tirelessly to deliver the best results possible in your case.
Call us to discuss your motorcycle injuries or loss of a loved one at 866-364-4872.
Risk-Taking Bikers? Statistics Tell A Different Story.
One obstacle injured motorcyclists must overcome is the perception that bikers are wild and prone to unsafe maneuvers. Oregon traffic accident statistics give a very different impression. The drivers who are usually regarded as highest risk are youngsters, especially males in their teens and twenties. In 2013, passenger car drivers aged 15 to 24 accounted for 18 of 88 fatal auto accidents (20 percent) and 2,812 of 22,036 injury crashes (12.7 percent). But motorcycle riders in the 15 to 24 range accounted for only 134 out of 1,032 injury crashes (less than 13 percent) and three of 32 fatalities (9.37 percent). So, young motorcycle riders actually outperformed young passenger car drivers, despite operating an inherently more dangerous vehicle.
These facts would seem to rebut the supposition that motorcycles attract wild individuals or encourage risky behavior. Our attorneys understand this, and we work to ensure that the jury sees you as an individual, not as a stereotype.
Motorcycle Helmets And The Law
Oregon requires all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear helmets, but does not require eye protection. A defendant can admit evidence that an injured biker was not wearing a helmet to mitigate damages. This means that a biker who suffers a head injury that a helmet might have prevented can have damages reduced by as much as 5 percent.
But what happens when a biker wears a helmet, but it fails to protect against a catastrophic injury? In some cases, the manufacturer of the helmet may be liable for a product defect. However, helmet failure is not necessarily the fault of the manufacturer. Helmets are fragile items. They are meant to destruct on impact, sacrificing their own structural integrity to save the wearer’s skull. That means a helmet is only good for one crash and can break down over time, simply by being mishandled or dropped. If a brand new helmet fails to perform, the wearer may have a cause of action. If a biker was wearing a 5-year-old, secondhand helmet that may or may not have been in an accident, there’s a reduced chance for succeeding in a defective product case.
Get Dedicated Legal Assistance
Victims of motorcycle accidents can trust us to treat their case with the urgency it deserves. We understand the needs of our seriously injured clients and work hard to see that you are fully compensated. Call us at 866-364-4872 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation.