That Idaho is home to some of the nation’s most stunning scenery isn’t news to those who live here. In fact, it’s iconic, mountain-to-desert beauty is part of what makes this entire state such a great place for motorcycle riding. The thrill of a quick turn and the breathtaking beauty around every corner make an afternoon ride sound pretty irresistible. Idaho has some of the best routes in the country too, beloved both by residents and by the just-passing-through crowd.
Unfortunately, though, motorcycles aren’t all joy riding and wind in your hair. They are one of the most dangerous vehicles to drive, mostly due to the lack of surrounding protection when disaster does occur. As CheatSheet points out, “at least cars have crumple zones and seatbelts. When a distracted driver rear-ends a motorcycle, there isn’t much to protect the rider even in a low-speed crash.”
This makes it more likely that motorcycles will result in injury or fatality. If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash that ended with injury or death, you need the help of an attorney to assess whether or not you have a case and could receive compensation. In some cases, you may be able to bring a claim against another driver or against the property on which the crash occurred.
First, though, it’s important to know the basics.
Motorcycle Dangers 101
Motorcycles present several other dangers that cars do not, such as a disproportionately high number of single-vehicle accidents … and crash numbers seem to be rising. According to the Idaho Transportation Department’s 2015 stats, the most recently available, “The number of motorcycle crashes increased in 2015 by 7 percent, while the number of motorcycle fatalities increased 12 percent.”
When crashes occur, they are extremely likely to result in injury: 88 percent, according to ITD. They are also likelier to be single-vehicle crashes. Single-vehicle accidents account for only 30 percent of all vehicles, but 45 percent of motorcycle crashes. Moreover, while they account for 57 percent of fatal accidents overall, they represent 64 percent of motorcycle crashes.
Motorcycle accidents are also unique in that “64 percent were 40 years of age or older.” This stands in stark contrast to the fact that “Youthful drivers, ages 15 to 19, continue to be involved in motor vehicle crashes. In 2015, youthful drivers were 2.6 times as likely as all other drivers to be involved in a fatal or injury crash.”
Hazardous Road Conditions for Idaho Bikers
There are many road conditions in Boise and surrounding Idaho areas that present significant dangers to motorcyclists. These include:
- Icy roads: Idaho experiences cold winters and black ice is common on shaded roads.
- Bad roads: Roads are often torn up by snow plows that come through in winter.
- Narrow roads: Roads that are too narrow result in greater numbers of crashes, especially with other vehicles.
- Foliage overgrowth: Poor visibility leads to many crashes.
- Blind curves: Going around curves where you can’t see other vehicles or obstructions is often a cause of crashes.
In some of these cases, no one is at fault. In others, however, entities responsible for poor road conditions must answer for crashes. Sometimes other drivers are at fault, too. It’s important to assess whether road conditions were hazardous as a result of acts of nature, or because someone was negligent.
What Kinds of Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
As with cars, a number of different types of crashes may occur when you’re driving a motorcycle:
- Distracted Driving
- Uninsured Motorist
- Head-On Collision
- Multiple Vehicle Accidents
- Single Vehicle Accidents
As long as you were obeying the rules of the road, as dictated for motorcycles by the Idaho Transportation Department, you have a good chance of bringing a claim against another driver or entity.
Where Does Insurance Come In?
After you have called the police and filed a report, it’s critical you address the damages caused by the crash and start gathering evidence. You should not only file the obvious claim for damages to your vehicle, but also for any medical expenses incurred as a result of the crash. Even if these are minor, they need to be accounted for. That includes primary care physician visits, diagnostics, chiropractic treatments and any other visit that directly results from the crash.
Motorcycle accidents often result in broken bones, brain injury, facial fractures, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and – one of the most common – road rash. This is a superficial (but nonetheless painful and potentially limiting) injury wherein surface layers are scraped off your body (often limbs and face) by contact with the road at high speeds.
If you have experienced any of these injuries, it’s important you see a medical provider right away. You must also gather records to ensure you can paint a complete picture of what happened and what you went through when it’s time to bring your claim.
You will file claims with one of two insurance companies: either yours or the insurance company of the other party if they were at fault. Note that Idaho employs the comparative negligence rule, which means if you played some part in the accident, you may still receive damages, but they may be less than if you did not.
Insurance claims can get quite complicated, so you may need help not only enforcing them later on but filing the claims in the first place. That’s why it’s often a good idea to meet with an attorney right after the accident occurs, especially if you or a loved one has serious injuries.
Who Can Help Me with a Car Accident Claim?
If you have recently been involved in a crash, it’s important to find legal help today. You may be able to bring a claim against another driver, against a construction company or against an insurance company for failing to pay in a timely fashion … or at all. Whether your injuries have resulted in lost time at work, lost mobility, pain or other damages, you deserve to have them accounted for.
That’s where Litster Frost Injury Lawyers come in. Give us a call at (208) 333-3330 or contact us through our website today. We look forward to helping you get what you deserve.