While New Hampshire motorcycle enthusiasts may reap the benefits of enjoying the open road, there are definite dangers that affect motorcycles more than others. Being a motorcyclist is risky. It doesn’t help that the type of injuries that even a skilled, defensive motorcyclist can sustain tend to cause a disproportionate amount of damage, pain, and suffering compared to closed-vehicle accidents.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2018, the number of motorcyclist (or motorcycle passenger) deaths was almost 27 times the number of deaths in cars per mile traveled. This is partially because the most common serious injury among motorcyclists tends to be a serious head injury—which can be fatal or trigger lifelong adverse events.
The higher risks that motorcyclists experience do not necessarily translate to understanding or respect during the healing process. When motorcyclists file an insurance claim, for example, there are all kinds of misconceptions surrounding motorcyclists that they need to cut through. It can be very difficult to pursue the compensation you need to support your family and protect your future if you’ve gotten into a motorcycle accident.
At Tenn And Tenn, P.A., we won’t let that happen. We’re motorcyclists, too, and we’re ready to help you move forward after your accident.
Here’s what you need to know.
NH Motorcycle Accidents: It’s Not Whether You Will Crash—But When
Unfortunately, if you’re a motorcyclist, the numbers aren’t exactly in your favor.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that, in the year 2016 alone, almost 5300 people died in motorcycle accidents. Despite advanced applied research in motorcycle tech, recent years have not seen markedly fewer accidents: Injury Facts, a division of the National Safety Council, reported that in 2019 “motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities” despite making up only 3% of vehicles registered in the United States.
Why does this happen? Motorcyclists, no matter how practiced they may be, drive vehicles that come with unique, built-in risks. For example:
- Motorcycles are open vehicles
- Motorcycles are small and hard to see for other drivers
- Motorcycles can often overturn easily
- Motorcycles are more vulnerable to environmental risks like puddles, debris, and potholes
- In a collision, motorcyclists are often thrown from their vehicles
There are many different causes of motorcycle accidents and associated injuries. Some other root causes may include:
- Other drivers’ lack of willingness to share the road with or yield right of way to motorcyclists
- Poorly maintained roads
- Speeding on the part of either the motorcyclist or anyone else on the road
- Violations of traffic laws on the part of anyone involved
- Motorcyclists weaving through traffic, from lane to lane
- Other vehicles failing to check for smaller, harder-to-see motorcyclists
- Anyone on the road driving while eating or texting
- Anyone on the road driving under the influence of stimulants, drugs, or alcohol
The lower levels of protection that open vehicles such as motorcycles confer also lead to heightened, more damaging injuries.
Common Injuries Following New Hampshire Motorcycle Accidents
After a motorcycle accident, both motorcyclists, passengers, and any other involved parties could sustain any of the following injuries:
- Fractured Bones: While these injuries may not be permanent, a victim who has a broken or fractured bone will require medical care and possible physical therapy or rehabilitation.
- Facial Injuries: Flying debris, contact with the road, or a harsh impact can cause facial injuries such as a loss of vision, a broken jaw, a broken nose, or other ailments. While a broken nose may not be life-threatening, a broken jaw can impede a person’s ability to drink and eat—and a loss of vision, depending on the cause, can be permanent.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Any trauma to the head—even a mild concussion—could cause an injury to the brain. This type of damage can lead to lifelong altered mental faculties.
- Road Rash: If a motorcyclist or involved party gets thrown from their vehicle and skids along the road, that person can sustain anything from light abrasions to deep lacerations and associated nerve damage.
- Back or Neck Injuries: If the crash or other impacts result in spinal cord damage, the victim could risk lifelong paralysis or other devastating injuries.
Nearly a quarter of people who get hurt in motorcycle accidents experience a head injury. Whether this injury leads to a concussion or more serious effects, head and brain injuries can necessitate a lifetime of care. In some cases, the victim sustaining these types of injuries may not be able to work or provide for their families.
What Impact do Motorcyclist Stereotypes Have on NH Motorcycle Cases?
Unfortunately, most people—from insurance adjusters to the mourning families of parties involved in motorcycle crashes—have a negative perception of motorcycle riders. Without any proof, many will be willing to assume that the motorcyclist caused the crash. This can have devastating effects on the ability of motorcyclists to heal effectively and pursue the compensation they need to protect their future.
In addition to unhelpful stereotypes, motorcyclists also have to realize that most people don’t know that much about how motorcycles work. In some cases, it can be very clear to people who have a functioning appreciation of the technical workings of motorcycles that there is no way a motorcycle could have functioned as claimed. Yet, because of the prevailing lack of understanding, these types of misunderstandings routinely lead to motorcyclists getting blamed for accidents.
This is why it’s vital to seek out and work with NH attorneys who know motorcycles well to help you win your case.
Rely on Bikers Helping Bikers to Protect Your Post-Accident Future
Many misunderstandings in the motorcycle personal injury arena occur due to a lack of understanding surrounding bikes. Our lawyers will offer you the precise support you need because they ride motorcycles themselves. From the skills needed to operate a bike to the inner mechanisms of motorcycles, our lawyers have demonstrated expertise in this area—expertise and experience that they’re ready to put to use for you.
When we take on an NH motorcycle accident case, it’s our goal to work towards maximum compensation. We serve you and the entire motorcycle community by leveraging our knowledge for your success.
We also know that motorcycle injuries can devastate entire families. The dedicated lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A., are here to help you support your loved ones with the money you deserve. We’ll help you get back on the road! Call our office today for a free and completely confidential initial consultation, or contact us online.