Protecting Our Clients Right to Fair Compensation Since 1958
Motorcycle accidents can lead to devastating consequences, significantly impacting a person's physical health and overall wellbeing. From debilitating injuries that require long-term medical care to the emotional trauma of such a life-altering event, the effects are far-reaching. Moreover, these incidents can impose a significant financial burden on the victims and their families due to medical bills, rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and other related expenses.
Navigating the intricate legal landscape of motorcycle accidents and injury claims can be overwhelming without expert guidance. This is where Lawton Cates can step in and help. Our skilled attorneys possess an in-depth understanding of the complexities of such cases, backed by years of experience and a proven track record of securing favorable settlements for our clients.
At Lawton Cates, we believe in turning adversity into opportunity—the opportunity to fight for justice and the compensation you rightly deserve. Our attorneys are prepared to thoroughly investigate your case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if needed, provide representation in court to safeguard your rights.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a motorcycle accident, don't navigate this challenging time alone. Reach out to Lawton Cates today to discuss your legal rights and options. To schedule a free virtual or in office consultation, call (608) 420-4033.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents aren't just common; they're often severe, leading to a high rate of fatalities and debilitating injuries. Here are some recent statistics that underscore the gravity of this issue:
- Fatalities. As per the latest data, the number of motorcycle fatalities has been increasing, with 5,932 deaths recorded in 2021, marking a significant rise from the previous years. According to research from the National Safety Council, motorcycle crashes accounted for 14% of all traffic death and 17% of all occupant fatalities.
- Injury rates. Motorcycle accidents aren't just fatal; they often lead to serious injuries. Astonishingly, around 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in either injury or death, a stark contrast to car accidents, which have a rate of around 20%.
- Age factor. Age also plays a significant role in motorcycle accidents. Riders over the age of 40 are more likely to sustain injuries in accidents, highlighting the importance of safety precautions for older riders.
- More fatal than other types of MVA accidents. The chances of a fatality in a motorcycle accident are approximately 30 times higher than in a car. This statistic underscores the increased risk motorcyclists face every time they hit the road.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Here are ten of the common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Alcohol and drug use. Riding and driving while under the influence are amongst the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Alcohol and drugs impair reaction times, decision-making skills, and overall motor control. Thus, drivers or motorcycle riders should always avoid operating their vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs.
- Speeding. High speeds reduce the time available for a motorcyclist or driver to react to sudden changes in the road or traffic conditions. It is crucial to respect speed limits and adjust your speed based on weather and traffic conditions, and if you notice a driver going at high speeds, give them some distance.
- Inexperience and inattention. Novice riders may lack the skills to handle complex traffic situations. Additionally, not paying full attention to the road can lead to accidents. Regular practice and ongoing learning can help overcome these issues.
- Physical and emotional impairment. Fatigue or emotional stress can affect a person’s ability to concentrate, react quickly, and make good decisions. It is essential to ensure you are in a good physical and emotional state before riding.
- Mechanical problems. Faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or other mechanical issues can lead to accidents. Regular maintenance checks are key to ensuring your motorcycle is in good working order.
- Left turns. Many accidents occur when cars make left turns without noticing oncoming motorcycles. Motorcyclists should be extra cautious at intersections and always signal their intentions.
- Hazardous road conditions. Wet or icy roads, potholes, or other road hazards can cause a motorcyclist to lose control. It is important to adjust your riding style and speed according to road conditions.
- Reckless driving. This includes risky behaviors like tailgating, lane splitting, or aggressive overtaking. Always prioritize safety over speed and maintain a defensive riding approach.
- Lack of experience and/or licensing. Riding without proper training or licensing can result in accidents. It is vital to get a proper motorcycle license and undergo professional training.
- Weather. Poor visibility due to rain, fog, or other weather conditions can increase the risk of accidents. Use appropriate gear and avoid riding in extreme weather if possible.
Wisconsin Comparative Negligence Law | Wisconsin Legislature § 895.045
Wisconsin's modified comparative negligence law, as outlined in Wisconsin Legislature § 895.045, is a critical factor when determining liability in motorcycle accident cases. In the context of a motorcycle accident, if a party is seeking compensation for damages, they must prove that the other party was more at fault than they were. This is because under Wisconsin's law, a party cannot collect damages if they are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident.
For instance, let's consider a scenario where a motorcyclist is speeding, and a car turns left into their path without signaling. If the court determines that the motorcyclist was 40% at fault for speeding and the car driver 60% at fault for not signaling, the motorcyclist can recover damages. However, these damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault, so they would only receive 60% of the total damages awarded.
On the other hand, if the motorcyclist was found to be 60% at fault for the accident due to excessive speeding under dangerous conditions, they would not be able to recover any damages. This is because they bear more than half of the responsibility for the accident under the modified comparative negligence law.
Does Wisconsin Have a Motorcycle Helmet Law?
Yes, legally, Wisconsin motorcycle operators and passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. Anyone with an instructional permit must also wear a health with a chin strap. Motorcycle operators can also get in trouble if they allow a passenger under 18 to ride with them without a helmet.
While you are not legally required to wear a helmet if you are over 18, you are required to wear goggles, glasses, or a protective face shield if your motorcycle does not have a 15-inch-tall windshield. It is also in your best interest to wear a helmet and other protective gear, as they can help mitigate your injuries. According to a 2020 study by NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 40% of the fatal motorcycle crashes in 2020 involved an unhelmeted motorcyclist.
Whether you wear a helmet can also impact your personal injury case. The opposing counsel may try to argue that your lack of helmet is negligent on your part and that you are partially at fault for your injuries (if you sustained head injuries).
Contact Our Madison Attorneys Today
At Lawton Cates, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial tolls a motorcycle accident can inflict. That's why our team is dedicated to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve while navigating the complexities of the legal system on your behalf.
Our attorneys take pride in our client-centered, empathetic approach to cases, understanding that each case is not just about legalities, but about real people and their lives. Known for our dedication to excellence, strategic acumen, and unwavering commitment to our clients, our firm is trusted by our peers and past clients.
Don't face this hardship alone. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a motorcycle accident in Madison, let Lawton Cates be your trusted ally in seeking compensation.
Learn more about how our Madison motorcycle accident lawyer can help you by calling (608) 420-4033 to schedule a free consultation.
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