Motorcycle accidents are common in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. Motorcycle accident injuries are frequently more severe than those resulting from car accidents, and the financial costs of a motorcycle crash can be extensive as well.
In many cases, the cause of the motorcycle crash has nothing to do with the motorcyclist. Often another motorist is at fault for an accident that injures a motorcyclist in St. Louis.
The Sumner Law Group, LLC can help you pursue compensation for your injuries if a St. Louis motorcycle accident injures you. Our Missouri motorcycle accident lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience, and we have recovered significant awards for our clients.
Get a free initial consultation today to learn more about our services.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Some of the most common ways that motorcycle accidents occur in St. Louis include:
- Failure to “Share the Road” – Motorcycles have the same rights and responsibilities as any vehicle on the road, yet other drivers frequently treat motorcycle riders with disdain. They may refuse to let a motorcyclist merge into their lane, cut off a motorcycle when attempting to change lanes, or make other risky maneuvers that can cause a crash.
- Failure to Yield to Oncoming Motorcycles When Turning – When making left turns, many drivers fail to yield to oncoming motorcycles, either because they misjudge the distance and speed of the motorcycle or they fail to look to see if another vehicle is coming toward them. That can cause a motorcyclist to collide with a turning car or lose control while attempting to avoid the car in their path.
- Pulling Out in Front of Motorcycles – Drivers must be careful to leave enough space for oncoming motorcycles when pulling out of a driveway or entering other traffic.
- Motorcycle Lane-Splitting – Lane-splitting is when a motorcycle moves between lanes of stopped or slowed traffic. While it’s not encouraged in Missouri, it’s not explicitly prohibited by Missouri law. Drivers who fail to check their mirrors may change lanes or drift too close to a motorcycle and sideswipe them.
- Distracted Driving – Drivers who are distracted by talking on a cellphone, texting, snacking, playing music, adjusting in-car controls, or looking at a navigation device may fail to see a motorcycle in their path. A distracted driver may also be unable to avoid a potential crash because they have one or both hands off the wheel.
- Drivers Failing to “See” Motorcycles – Because motorcycles are smaller than other motor vehicles, other drivers may have difficulty noticing them if they’re not careful. For instance, many drivers end up sideswiping motorcycles because they didn’t do a “head check” before changing lanes or merging.
- Difficulty Judging Speed of Motorcycles – The smaller size of motorcycles can make an accident more likely because drivers sometimes have difficulty judging how fast a motorcycle is moving. That may lead a driver to make a turn or pull out in front of a motorcycle when there isn’t enough room for them to do so safely.
- Speeding – The faster a vehicle is moving, the less of a margin for error if the driver makes a mistake, as the driver will have less time and space to react. Speeding drivers might not notice a motorcycle in the lane next to them, or they may misjudge the distance between themselves and a nearby motorcycle. Speeding also exacerbates injuries in a crash because a vehicle hits with more force the faster it’s moving at impact.
- Alcohol Use – Drivers who drink before driving are much more likely to be involved in an accident because their reflexes are slowed, their judgment is impaired, they’re more likely to make mistakes, and their coordination is diminished. All of these factors make it more likely that they’ll end up hitting another vehicle, especially smaller vehicles like motorcycles.
- Tailgating – You should always leave plenty of room between your vehicle and vehicles in front of you, but it’s especially true if you’re following behind a motorcycle. Motorcycles often stop much more quickly than cars because they weigh much less, so if you’re tailgating a motorcycle, it’s easy to rear-end them if you can’t come to a sudden stop.
- Failure to Check Blind Spots for Motorcycles – Drivers who don’t turn their heads to fully scan their blind spots before merging might miss a motorcycle next to them and sideswipe it as they’re merging. Truck drivers making wide turns also might run into a motorcycle if they don’t check their blind spots.
- Defective Motorcycles – Defects with any of a motorcycle’s key components — brakes, tires, wheels, engine, etc. – can make it difficult or impossible for the motorcyclist to maintain control, leading to an accident.
- Road Hazards – Motorcycles are especially susceptible to accidents caused by road hazards because they have fewer wheels touching the road surface. Rain, snow, ice, and other precipitation on the roads can send motorcyclists careening out of control. The same is true of loose sand or gravel on the roadway, potholes, a deteriorated road surface, and other hazards.
Get Help from an Experienced St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hurt in a St. Louis motorcycle accident, our lawyers are ready to review your situation and tell you if you may be entitled to compensation. A motorcycle accident lawyer from the Sumner Law Group, LLC can examine the evidence to determine if someone else can be held liable for your injuries and what types of compensation you could recover.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash and the extent of your injuries, you could receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Damaged property
The Sumner Law Group, LLC offers free initial consultations for people hurt in motorcycle crashes in St. Louis. You won’t owe us any fees unless and until we help you collect compensation for your losses.
Contact our office for more information about our services.