A motorcycle provides a significant number of safety tools to avoid accident and injury such as powerful breaks, obstruction free vision, great handling and ‘grippy’ tires.
However, there is no safety precaution that can account for all possible dangers on the road, including the negligence of another driver. Car drivers often get distracted while driving and some even go as far as to willingly distract themselves by texting or keeping their hands busy while they are behind the wheel. Drunk driving is also another potential issue that attributes to many car accidents and serious injuries.
Motorcycle safety is a paramount concern for bikers because quite simply, we do not have any other real protection to withstand the bulk of a car or larger vehicle. We must rely on our tools and our brains to avoid an accident.
Many bikers share their passion for motorcycles with their family, including their children. It is important that all bikers know the following accident scenarios and how to avoid them:
T-Bone: A car turning in front of you
A T-Bone accident is arguably one of the most common motorcycle accidents. It mostly occurs when a driver fails to see your or does not take into account their speed in a proper way. This failure may result in liability in a civil claim. When a T-Bone accident occurs, the result is often an improper turn in front of you at an intersection.
A car driver has the same responsibilities on the road as a biker. Both have a duty to operate their vehicle in a way that is reasonably safe, skilful and diligent. Some instances where car drivers fail in this duty includes:
- Failing to check blind spots
- Being distracted
- A psychological component where drivers only ‘see what they want to see’. They are on the lookout for cars on the road and merely conclude an absence of cars, but not motorcycles.
In potential situations that may risk a T-Bone collision, it is important the bikers pay attention at all times and prepare for evasive action by slowing down, covering the brakes and getting ready to move out of the way if required.
A good tip is to look at the wheels of the car to determine its direction of movement. Also, be aware of any vehicles behind you that may potentially rear-end if they too are not paying attention.
The weather and road conditions, such as rain or if there are obstructions on the road, should also be taken into consideration when deciding an evasive course of action.
Turning a blind corner and hitting gravel
This usually occurs with younger bikers who drive recklessly around blind corners without taking into consideration the road conditions.
They may hit a slippery patch with their front tire during the turn, which can result in an accident.
Unfortunately, the biker may be at fault for not properly avoiding the risk. However, this may not always be the case under certain legal circumstances. Please consider:
- Is it a public road or on private property?
- Are the conditions of the road properly maintained?
- Is there adequate lighting in the area?
- Was the impediment caused by another driver who pulled over the side of the road?
Sideswipe: A car changes lanes into you
A car driver who yet again fails to pay attention may change lanes into you and collide with you while you are driving.
Always wear a helmet while driving! These kinds of accidents can be potentially catastrophic to bikers and can lead to severe head trauma without a helmet, as well as injuries to the neck, legs, arms and joints.
Rear End: A car hitting you from behind
A motorbike is small and can be hard for car drivers to see.
Cars are also larger and bulkier than motorcycles so being hit from behind can cause significant injury, especially if the motorcyclist is unaware and does not brace for impact. Whiplash injuries are the most common injuries that result from this kind of accident, but it is also possible that more severe injuries can arise. Psychological injuries are also possible such as fear of driving since being hit from behind is so unexpected and puts the biker in a vulnerable state. They may lose their confidence in their ability to drive or trust other road users.
Front Brake Lock or Faulty Design
This mostly happens when a biker does not know their vehicle well enough and ends up misusing their front brake. However, this also gives rise to another potential legal issue, which is whether or not the motorcycle itself is defective and the brakes were jammed without error on the biker’s part.
In this case, liability may be apportioned to the bike’s manufacturer for failing to account for these safety considerations. ALWAYS speak to a personal injury lawyer if you suspect that your motorcycle has a faulty design. It can be very difficult to prove these kinds of cases.
Car Opening its Door
‘Dooring’ occurs when either the driver or passenger of a car are not paying attention behind them before they open the door. A biker driving may suddenly run into the door when it is suddenly opened due to the inattention of the driver or passenger. Unfortunately, this kind of accident is very hard to avoid because the sudden swinging of a door may be too sudden for a biker to react. The best way to avoid this kind of accident, or at least mitigate the damage is to just try to slow down or change lanes if possible, when driving past a stationary car.
How can I be compensated for a motorcycle accident?
If you were a victim of a motorcycle accident in Gold Coast then you may be able to claim the following:
- Medical expenses, future medical costs and out of pocket expenses
- Housekeeping, care giving and attendant care costs
- Lost wages due to injury
- Psychological counseling for conditions such as phobia or depression
- Pain and suffering
What Injuries can I claim for in a motorcycle accident?
The most common injuries that arise from a motorcycle accident include:
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Head, neck and back injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Psychological injuries such as stress, depression, phobia, etc.
- Fractures and broken bones
- Strains and Sprains
- Torn ligaments
- Lacerations, serious wounds
- Quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Death (fatal accident claim)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Total and permanent disability (TPD)
- Joint dislocations
Who do I sue in a motorcycle accident claim?
In Queensland and Gold Coast, all operators of motor vehicles must have compulsory third party (CTP) insurance that you may claim against if they are responsible for the accident.
If the driver or vehicle cannot be identified, or if neither have CTP insurance, then you would make your claim against the nominal defendant.
For defective motorcycles, the claim would be made against the manufacturer and possibly the retailer of the motorcycle.
Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer in Gold Coast
How do you choose the right Gold Coast personal injury lawyer for your motor vehicle accident claim?
Simply, consider the following steps:
1) Make sure that they are an accredited specialist in personal injury
2) Take advantage of most law firm offers for a free initial consultation
3) Make sure you understand all of the terms of a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement if it is offered for your claim.
East Coast Injury Lawyers
If you would like to benefit from a completely free, no obligation legal consultation so that you can make the decision on whether or not pursuing a claim is in your best interests, contact East Coast Injury Lawyers today at 1300 720 544 or fill out our case review form. We will get back to you within 24 hours.
Do not delay. Strict time limitations apply to your claim.