Riding a motorcycle along a winding scenic highway offers riders a feeling of freedom and exhilaration that other vehicles cannot replicate. In addition to this sense of euphoria, a motorcycle also provides a more economical mode of transportation. However, motorcycles also present a much greater degree of risk than other types of vehicles. A motorcyclist has nothing between themselves and the road or another vehicle. Therefore, when an accident occurs, the motorcyclist usually suffers more severe injuries. These injuries are typically accompanied by significant medical bills, recovery time, and lost income.
A motorcyclist injured because of another’s negligence has every right to seek financial compensation through an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit. However, because of the reputation motorcyclists have generally, an injured rider might believe they have been dealt a poor hand of cards. Our experienced Sebastian County, AR motorcycle accident lawyers have been fighting for the rights of injured riders for over two decades.
Our law offices have the staff and resources to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Just because a motorcycle case presents additional challenges does not mean it is impossible. To discuss your legal options, call (479) 316-0438.
Common Causes of Sebastian County Motorcycle Accidents
Accidents happen for a broad range of reasons. When another driver’s conduct causes an accident, they could be held financially liable for any injuries or damages. While motorcyclists often have a reputation for being reckless, many crashes involving motorcycles are caused by motorists in larger vehicles. Below are some of the behaviors that could result in a devasting motorcycle crash.
Cars or other larger vehicles that make left-hand turns across traffic present a danger to motorcycles. Because motorcycles have smaller profiles, many drivers will turn without seeing an oncoming motorcycle. When a collision occurs, the driver making the left-hand turn could be held at fault for the crash.
Because of the frequency of the type of accident, the reason listed above deserves special attention. However, its underlying cause is usually a driver not paying proper attention to the task at hand. Distracted driving is a leading cause of automotive vehicle accidents. When someone decides to text, eat, or fiddle with their radio, their focus shifts from safely operating their vehicle. Because a motorcycle could easily be lost from sight, the slightest distraction could result in a catastrophic or fatal accident.
Aggressive or Reckless Driving
While all motorists have a duty to safely operate their vehicles, not all drivers comply with this obligation. Behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, or reckless lane changes put other motorists in the vicinity at an unreasonable risk of harm. Once again, because of its size, a motorcycle is often difficult to see. Aggressive or reckless driving poses a grave danger to motorcyclists.
Debris and Poor Road Conditions
When a car or truck drivers over gravel or a wet area of road, the driver will likely experience no threat to their ability to control the vehicle. However, that is not the case for a motorcyclist. Debris or poor road conditions present a significant danger to riders on lighter two-wheeled vehicles. Gravel or water on the road surface could cause a motorcyclist to lose control of their bike. It might be possible to hold the municipality charged with maintaining the roads liable for any injuries.
Sebastian County, Arkansas Motorcycle Laws
There are specific laws aimed at protecting motorcycle riders in Sebastian County. If an accident occurred and you violated any of these laws, your ability to seek financial compensation through a personal injury claim could be jeopardized.
Some states have helmets laws. Arkansas has a less restrictive law than some other states. Only motorcyclists under the age of twenty-one must wear a helmet whether they are operating the motorcycle or are a passenger. However, just because you could legally ride without a helmet does not mean you should. A helmet could prevent or limit the severity of a head injury if you were in an accident. This could prove important if you are seeking monetary compensation after an accident.
There are no prohibitions under Arkansas law against lane splitting or lane sharing. Lane splitting is the practice of motorcyclists driving between two lanes of moving traffic. Another similar practice is called lane filtering. When a motorcyclist lane filters, they drive between lanes of traffic that are at a standstill. Riders are also permitted to lane share, or ride alongside one another in one lane, under the current law. Again, while these behaviors are not restricted under the law, it does not mean they are not dangerous.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule in Sebastian County Motorcycle Accident Cases
There are legal reasons why it is important to practice safe habits when operating a motorcycle. If you file an injury lawsuit, you will not only have to provide evidence that another party caused the accident, you will have to contend with Arkansas’ modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, a jury is charged with determining the percentage of fault each party contributed to an accident. If you are the plaintiff, this means that your compensation could be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Because motorcyclists have a reputation for recklessness, a jury may hold you also accountable for an accident. This is especially the case if you were engaged in any dangerous or risky conduct, such as lane splitting or filtering. A defense attorney could also argue that some of your injuries were preventable if you wore a helmet. Should a jury find that you were more than 50% at fault, you will be barred from recovering any compensation.
Our Sebastian County, AR Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash, do not rely on the sympathy and goodwill of an insurance company. You have to fight for your just compensation. Our Sebastian County, AR motorcycle accident lawyers have fought for and with people like you for over twenty years. Call (479) 316-0438 to book a free consultation.