According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,600 motorcycle accident fatalities occurred in 2011 (the most recent year for which motorcycle accident statistics are available). This represented a 2 percent increase in motorcycle accident deaths from the previous year. While this increase in fatal motorcycle accidents may be alarming enough, what’s potentially more shocking is the fact that motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than occupants of passenger vehicles and trucks. Some of the primary reasons that motorcycle accidents are far more likely to result in fatalities to riders are the facts that:
- Motorcyclists have far less protections than occupants of passenger vehicles and trucks. This means that, upon impact, the rider will sustain impact to his body, rather than to the vehicle he’s riding.
- Motorcycles weigh far less than other vehicles on the roads. This means that, even at relatively lower speeds, other cars and trucks can cause significant damage to riders.
Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Although some fatal motorcycle accidents may be caused by unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances, such as poor weather conditions, in other cases, the negligence of another driver or party may cause these accidents. Some specific examples of negligence that can result in fatal motorcycle accidents include (but are not limited to):
- Other drivers failing to obey traffic laws by, for example, speeding, failing to yield rights-of-way to riders and/or failing to check blind spots or use indicators before changing lanes
- Other drivers being intoxicated, distracted or fatigued when driving (all of which may prevent drivers from seeing motorcyclists or may slow their reaction times when they do see riders)
- Vehicle equipment manufacturers installing defective or faulty equipment on motorcycles
- Cities, counties or other entities failing to properly maintain roadways by, for example, failing to fix potholes, failing to have proper signage at signals and/or failing to properly set up construction zones.
In the event that any of these factors plays a role in causing a fatal motorcycle accident, victims’ families can hold the negligent party liable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Although no sum of money can ever truly make up for the loss of a loved one, the compensation victims’ families receive from wrongful death lawsuits can help them to pay for their loved ones’ funeral costs and otherwise provide financial support during such tragic times.
St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The St. Louis fatal motorcycle accident lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting. Our goal is to preserve and promote the rights and welfare of individuals and families who have suffered injuries and losses and/or who need help navigating through the complexities of the court system.
Since 1993, our lawyers have been successfully representing our clients in traffic accident cases, workers’ compensation cases, wrongful death cases, defective product and dangerous drug cases and various other areas of personal injury litigation. Our unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice in every case we handle means that we will work relentlessly to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes to their cases.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident and are currently in need of a Missouri or Illinois wrongful death lawyer, we encourage you to email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen and/or to call us at (573) 333-3333 for our Missouri office or at (618) 888-8888 for our Illinois office. We offer free consultations.