While most people drive cars to get around daily, many opt for the convenience and exhilaration that riding a motorcycle provides. Motorcycles offer many benefits to riders, including fuel efficiency and ease of travel. Unfortunately, with these benefits also comes risks. Motorcyclists are at higher risk of accidents while out on the roadway. When struck or involved in a collision, motorcyclists often suffer severe injuries due to the imbalance of protection afforded to a driver in a car versus a motorcyclist. If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder about a motorcyclist right of way and who is at fault in your collision. Read on to learn more about motorcycle laws and what an injured victim can recover in compensation from a negligent driver.
When Does a Motorcycle Have the Right of Way?
Motorcyclists occupy roadways in the same manner as vehicles. Therefore, motorcyclist right-of-way laws operate similarly to those applied to drivers. As a general rule, it’s advised for all motorcyclists and drivers to use the same right-of-way laws to each other when out on the road. For example, standard right-of-way rules include the following:
- The first vehicle to arrive at an intersection with a stop sign and no signal,
- Approaching a car that is attempting to make a left turn, or
- A car or motorcyclist coming into an intersection and entering from an unpaved or secondary road.
If a driver and a motorcyclist arrive at an intersection simultaneously, the motorcyclist has the right-of-way if the motorcyclist is to the driver’s right. It’s always advised to read up on driving and motorcycle laws if you have questions about right-of-way rules.
What Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?
Victims injured in a motorcycle accident may recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages seek to make a victim whole after suffering injuries and other losses in a collision. Two common types of recoverable compensatory damages are available to all victims, including economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are direct financial losses stemming from a person’s injury. Examples of economic damages include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Your attorney uses receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and other documentation to accurately calculate economic damages for your lawsuit.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, represent intangible losses usually connected to the pain and suffering resulting from your injuries. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent disfigurement or injury.
Though challenging to prove, noneconomic damages should never be overlooked. Many victims find that recovering noneconomic damages assists them in their path forward after suffering a severe injury in a collision.
Tips for Riding a Motorcycle Safely
While no one can control the actions of others, there are steps that we can take to keep ourselves safe while traveling on roads and highways.
- Wear a helmet and eye protection. Most states require motorcyclists to wear helmets and eye protection when riding. However, even if your state is silent on this requirement, operating a motorcycle with protective headgear is always advised to protect yourself from traumatic brain injuries and other injuries while riding.
- Lane splitting. Carefully read the laws in your state regarding lane splitting. A state may permit a motorcyclist to lane split; however, it’s best to use caution when engaging in this risky behavior.
- Lane sharing. A motorcyclist is entitled to the entire lane, so all drivers should not attempt to share a lane with a motorcyclist.
- Tailgating. Leave plenty of space between you and the motorcyclists or vehicles in front of you. Traffic conditions can change without warning, creating a great instance of rear-end collisions.
- Pay attention. Do not engage in distracted driving while operating a vehicle or motorcycle. Texting, talking to passengers, eating, or fiddling with your GPS or radio may only take your attention away from the road for a few seconds but can cause devastating consequences.
If you suffered injuries due to a driver’s negligent behavior, contact a personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident.
At James Horne Law PA, our primary value is our commitment to our clients in personal injury matters. We never view any client as a file number. Instead, we take the time to understand your case’s specific facts and circumstances. We work tirelessly for each client to achieve the best possible outcome in their case. We understand the difficulties you must be enduring after facing injuries in an accident. The stakes are high, and we enjoy the challenge. Our legal team thrives in this environment and knows what is required to be successful and obtain the best possible judgment or settlement for you. Contact James Horne Law PA today by phone or email to request a consultation and learn how we can assist you.