After a fatal motorcycle accident, it will be important to determine if someone else’s negligence was the cause. For help with your case and to discuss the circumstances of the accident, contact an attorney in Arvada.
Common Causes of a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
Certain types of crashes may be more likely to result in death, and the responsibility for the accident may lie with the biker or another driver depending on the specific circumstances.
Head-on collisions involving a bike and a car or another vehicle can be deadly. Meanwhile, accidents at intersections such as when another vehicle makes a left turn in front of a motorcycle can cause fatalities as well.
Lane splitting, which is passing or overtaking a vehicle in the same lane can be another cause of fatalities. In Colorado, lane splitting is illegal.
Bikers or drivers may be responsible for actions that cause fatal accidents:
- alcohol impairment; and
- taking unnecessary risks.
Motorcycle fatalities may also be caused by a rider who loses control of the bike and collides with a fixed object, such as a building, tree or pole.
Factors in Motorcycle Accidents
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that in 2010, riders 40 and older accounted for over half of motorcycle accident fatalities. Most motorcyclists who are killed in accidents are men, although most motorcycle passengers who are killed are women.
Another factor is that many of these crashes (about half) occur on rural roads. High speeds and poor road conditions may contribute to accidents on these roads, or any other road for that matter.
How the Use of a Helmet Impacts a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
Although it’s important to establish who was at fault in an accident, what cannot be ignored is the importance of wearing a helmet. Although helmets are not required by law in Colorado for motorcyclists 18 years of age and up, they may save lives and reduce the severity of a head injury.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 there were 78 motorcycle fatalities in Colorado. Of these, 49 victims weren’t wearing a helmet, 28 were and in one case it was unknown whether a helmet was worn.
Meanwhile, the CDC reports that in 2010 nearly half of the motorcycle fatalities in the U.S. involved a rider not wearing a helmet (42 percent). And although 1,500 lives were saved as a result of wearing one, an additional 700 lives could have been saved.
Proving Negligence in a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
While use of a helmet may factor into an injury or wrongful death case in some cases, even if it’s discovered that your loved one wasn’t wearing a helmet, it doesn’t mean the negligent actions of someone else are discounted. If it can be proven that another motorist was at fault, he or she can be held liable.
You will need ample evidence that establishes negligence and examples include:
- a police report;
- witness statements;
- photographs of the accident scene; and in some cases
- legal counsel may call on an accident reconstruction expert.
Talk to D.J. Banovitz About an Accident in Arvada
Surviving family members could be entitled to damages that address medical expenses, earning potential, pain and suffering, funeral costs and more. Discuss your case with D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060. He will take the time to review your case and determine if another may be held liable for your loved one’s fatal motorcycle accident.