Missouri is a popular motorcycle riding destination for residents and visitors alike. Unfortunately, Missouri also happens to be one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists. According to recent statistical analyses, Missouri ranks 9th among the most dangerous states for U.S. motorcyclists, with 8.75 fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles in one year.
If you were injured in a Clayton motorcycle accident, you might be dealing with painful and potentially disabling injuries, medical bills, lost wages, a damaged or totaled motorcycle and more. If someone else’s negligence caused your crash, however, you might be entitled to significant compensation. With the help of an experienced motorcycle attorney from Sumner Law Group, LLC, you could hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries and losses.
For a free consultation, contact our office and speak with a member of our team today.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Clayton
Although drivers should always be on the alert, a motorcycle’s relatively small size can make it more difficult to see on the road, especially in dense traffic or low-visibility conditions. As a result, some common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Distractions are always dangerous on the road, but distracted drivers pose an especially big risk to motorcyclists. When drivers are focused on phone calls, text messages, or other distractions, they are much more likely to overlook motorcycles in traffic.
- Impaired driving – The intoxicating effects of alcohol and other drugs can severely impair safe driving abilities, such as depth perception and reaction time. Impaired drivers often have difficulty gauging how close motorcyclists are or reacting quickly enough to avoid collisions with motorcycles.
- Fatigued driving – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), driving while seriously tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Drowsy drivers can cause motorcycle accidents when they unintentionally drift into neighboring lanes or even fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Speeding – Exceeding speed limits or driving too fast for conditions makes it difficult to avoid crashes and increases the severity of accidents. Speeding drivers have less time to react when they recognize motorcyclists on the road. High-speed motorcycle wrecks are more likely to be catastrophic than those at more moderate speeds.
- Driver error – When inexperienced, confused, or negligent drivers make errors, they can substantially increase the risk of motorcycle wrecks. Common driving mistakes contributing to motorcycle accidents include failure to monitor blind spots, failure to yield the right of way, and failure to signal before turning.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Here are some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents:
- Head-on collisions – A head-on collision occurs when the front end of a vehicle crashes into the front end of a motorcycle going the opposite way. Head-on crashes can result in catastrophic injuries, disability, and even death.
- Rear-end accidents – A rear-end accident occurs when the front end of a vehicle collides with the rear end of a motorcycle, or vice versa. Depending on the circumstances, a rear-end collision can result in a motorcyclist slamming into the back of another vehicle or even being ejected from their bike.
- Blindspot accidents – A blind spot accident occurs when a negligent motorist collides with a motorcyclist in their blind spot after the motorist fails to properly monitor their surroundings. Many blind spot motorcycle accidents happen when negligent drivers turn or merge into neighboring lanes.
- Side-impact crashes – A side-impact crash occurs when the side or front end of a vehicle collides with a motorcyclist from the side. Common causes of side-impact crashes include failure to yield the right of way at intersections, running red lights or stop signs, and failure to signal before turning.
- Dooring accidents – A dooring accident occurs when a negligent vehicle occupant opens their car door into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. When a motorcyclist collides with an opening car door, they can sustain severe blunt-force trauma or even be thrown from their motorcycles.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Unlike the occupants in passenger vehicles, motorcyclists do not have seatbelts, airbags, or steel vehicle frames to protect them when an accident occurs.
As a result, motorcyclists often sustain severe and potentially life-changing crash injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial injuries and dental trauma
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or total paralysis
- Back and shoulder injuries
- Fractured and dislocated bones
- Abdominal injuries and internal bleeding
- Bruises, lacerations, and puncture wounds
- Thermal burns and road rash
- Traumatic amputations and loss of limbs
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other emotional injuries
What Compensation Can Be Recovered?
If you were injured in a Clayton motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could demand money for your losses from the at-fault party. Depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses you incur for accident-related treatment
- Lost wages from missed time at work
- Future medical expenses and losses in future earning potential
- The intangible costs of the pain and suffering you endure due to the accident
- Incidental costs, such as the cost of traveling to medical appointments
- Repair or replacement costs for damage to your motorcycle
When to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you need to seek compensation for severe injuries from a motorcycle accident, it’s important to understand Missouri’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Under § 516.120 of the Missouri Civil Code, you have five years from the date you were injured to file a lawsuit.
If you wait until after the five-year deadline has passed, the court will refuse to hear your case, and you will likely miss out on recovering the compensation you need and deserve. That is why working with a knowledgeable Missouri motorcycle accident attorney is vital. Your attorney can advise you of all relevant deadlines, work quickly to prepare your case, and ensure your recovery doesn’t get derailed by avoidable administrative mistakes.
Contact Our Experienced Clayton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
When you’re suffering from painful injuries and struggling to pay the bills after a Clayton motorcycle accident, you need help from a skilled injury attorney. Contact us online or call Sumner Law Group, LLC, today for a free case review to learn how we can help you get back on your feet.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, in one recent year, 2,177 motorcycle accidents occurred in the state, resulting in a total of 118 fatalities and 1,899 injured individuals.
Under Missouri’s statute of limitations, you have up to five years to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Filing a personal injury lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired will most likely result in dismissal.
To prove that another party’s negligence caused the motorcycle accident, your claim might require evidence such as:
- Police accident reports
- Surveillance and traffic camera footage
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Post-accident vehicle inspection
- Eyewitness statements
- Accident reconstruction reports
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Failing to give a motorcycle the entire lane
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Unsafe turns and lane changes
- Defective vehicles and auto parts
- Poor road conditions
A motorcycle accident claim could allow you to obtain financial compensation for:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment and quality of life
- Motorcycle repair or replacement
While you are not required to have a lawyer to file a claim for compensation after a motorcycle crash, being represented will likely give you a better chance at maximizing your compensation. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney has the skills and resources necessary to recover fair compensation.
This process requires experience, knowledge, and resources that most non-lawyers do not have. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a lawyer to represent you if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash.
When you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to help you with your claim for compensation, some of the steps that your lawyer can handle for you include:
- Investigating the crash to secure the evidence needed to build your case
- Documenting your injuries and losses to know how much compensation to demand
- Identifying potentially liable parties and applicable insurance coverage
- Preparing and filing your insurance claims and negotiating with adjusters for a settlement
- Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party and litigating your case in court
Motorcycle riders often suffer severe injuries in crashes, including:
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries
- Facial injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic amputation
Steps to take after being involved in a motorcycle accident include:
- Get medical attention as soon as possible after the crash.
- Take pictures and videos of the accident scene.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions.
- Keep copies of bills and gather your income records.
- Avoid discussing the accident or your injuries on social media.
- Talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer about your legal options.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Missouri, contact Sumner Law Group, LLC, today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Missouri motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to discuss your case.