Motorcycle Helmets Do Not Always Provide Protection from Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can happen anywhere, and the results oftentimes result in catastrophic injuries. The many busy multi-lane highways and roadways in and around Clearwater, Florida are prime territories for motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycles are so dangerous because the operators (and the passengers, if any) do not have the body of a car surrounding them and protecting them in the event of a crash. Though motorcycle riders and their passengers may wear helmets, these helmets do not protect against all serious head injuries—including traumatic brain injuries. When a motorcycle crash occurs, the operator and any passengers are likely to make direct contact with the ground (or another vehicle) and seriously injure themselves.
Motorcycle accidents are typically caused by other motor vehicles, and in some cases by motorcycle riders. If you have been injured in an accident as a motorcycle operator or passenger, the skilled and compassionate motorcycle accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group are here to help. Our experienced attorneys can review the unique facts and circumstances of your motorcycle accident case and can assist you with maximizing its value.
Motorcycle Helmet Statistics
Motorcycle helmets do save lives. Statistically, according to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent in motorcycle crashes and reduce the risk of head injuries by 69 percent.
Motorcycle helmets can help to prevent—or significantly lessen—the injuries a person sustains in the event of a crash in the following ways:
- By providing eye protection
- By eliminating wind noise, allowing motorcycle operators to see and hear better, thereby reducing fatigue or “highway hypnosis”
- By providing a protective barrier between the operator’s head and the ground
More importantly, the simple act of putting on a motorcycle helmet is a reminder to motorcycle operators and passengers that riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous business, placing them in the proper mindset for when they ride on the road.
Problems With Motorcycle Helmets
Although motorcycle helmets do lessen the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents, even when motorcycle operators and their passengers wear helmets, they can still sustain serious injuries in the collision.
Depending upon the force involved in the collision, motorcycle helmets can crack, likely resulting in severe head injuries or concussions. Moreover, motorcycle helmets are open in the front, leaving the wearer’s face fully or partially exposed. If the motorcycle operator or passenger strikes the ground face-first, the helmet offers little, if any, protection. In that instance, the motorcycle operator or passenger can still sustain a head injury, not to mention cuts or abrasions to the face.
Finally, motorcycle helmets only cover the head, and the rest of the motorcycle operator or passenger’s body remains exposed to the ground and other vehicles traveling on the road—oftentimes at high rates of speed. Motorcyclists can still sustain serious and potentially catastrophic injuries to other body parts in motorcycle accidents, including injuries to the hands, limbs, feet, and hips.
Proving Liability in Motorcycle Accident Cases
In order to prove liability (or fault) in a Florida motorcycle accident case, the injured motorcycle operator or passenger will need to show that another driver (or the motorcycle operator) failed to drive in a reasonable and prudent manner, bringing about the injuries and damages. Injured motorcyclists may also have products liability claims against helmet manufacturers or distributors if helmets fail to hold up in collisions.
Catastrophic Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Motorcycle helmets only offer limited protection in an accident. High-speed accidents involving motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles are likely to result in catastrophic injuries and damages, especially when riders and operators strike other vehicles or strike the ground directly.
Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries and damages sustained in Clearwater, Florida motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Abrasions and scarring (especially facial scarring)
- Soft tissue injuries (for example, injuries not requiring surgeries or invasive medical treatment to correct)
- Permanent injuries
Proving Catastrophic Injuries in Motorcycle Accident Cases
- Previous surgeries
- Degenerative changes on MRIs and other imaging studies
- Preexisting medical conditions
- Previous injuries
Previous Motor Vehicle or Motorcycle Accidents
The only effective way of proving catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accident cases is to offer the expert medical testimony of a doctor or other healthcare provider. A medical expert can testify about the injured plaintiff’s medical treatment, the permanent nature of the injury or injuries sustained, and objective findings garnered from observations and permanency evaluations. Doctors must provide their opinions “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.” All of this medical evidence can potentially increase the value of a personal injury motorcycle accident case.
Contact a Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries, and in the worst cases, death. Operators and riders, therefore, should take every possible precaution and remain aware that motorcycle helmets do not make you totally injury-proof.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida law. Remember, however, that the insurance company is not on your side. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group are skilled negotiators and have the necessary legal knowledge to help you to obtain a fair value for your case. If a favorable settlement offer is not forthcoming, our attorneys are not afraid to litigate your case or take it to trial.