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Green Bay, WI motorcycle accident attorneyAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,985 motorcyclists were fatally injured in motorcycle accidents in 2018. Due to the limited protection that motorcycles provide, the injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents tend to be very serious. In a high percentage of motorcycle accidents, collisions are caused by the negligence of drivers in passenger vehicles or commercial trucks. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing a claim against a negligent driver. 

Negligence Leading to Motorcycle Accidents 

Due to the small size of motorcycles, they can be somewhat difficult to spot on the road. Because of this, drivers should take care to notice motorcycles around them and ensure they are driving in a way that protects the safety of motorcyclists. Failure to do so is considered negligence. Legally speaking, negligence is defined as reckless or careless behavior resulting in injury to another party. In motorcycle accidents, negligence can come in a number of forms. Distracted driving, such as texting while driving, can be especially dangerous, since a driver who takes their attention away from the road is less likely to notice motorcycles.

Violations of traffic laws, such as speeding, running a red light, or illegally changing lanes, are another common cause of motorcycle accidents. However, negligence may occur even if a driver does not commit a traffic violation. For example, if a driver fails to properly check their blind spots when changing lanes, this could lead them to collide with a motorcycle, and they may be liable for the injuries suffered by the motorcyclist.

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Appleton, WI motorcycle passenger injury lawyerMotorcyclists can be seriously injured in a collision with another vehicle or in a single-vehicle accident. The lack of protection afforded to a cyclist means that even what may seem like a minor crash can result in severe bodily harm. However, in addition to the cyclist themselves, a passenger can also be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and due to their lack of control of the situation, these injuries may be even more devastating.

The harm that can come to motorcycle passengers is far from theoretical; two recent incidents demonstrate the potential injuries that can occur. On July 22, 2019, a 61-year-old woman was killed while riding as a passenger on a motorcycle that collided with another vehicle in Ozaukee County, and on August 24, a 40-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman riding on a motorcycle were both seriously injured when the driver lost control and crashed.

Liability for Motorcycle Accidents

When determining how to receive financial compensation for injuries experienced in a motorcycle accident, a passenger will need to determine who was at fault. Liable parties may include:

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Appleton motorcycle accident lawyer lane splitting

Safety should be a top priority for anyone that is operating a vehicle. Auto accidents involving a car or motorcycle can result in property damage, serious injuries, and wrongful deaths. Lane splitting, which is often referred to as traffic filtering or white lining, is the act of driving a motorcycle in between two lanes of traffic. Although lane splitting is illegal in Wisconsin, motorcyclists may violate traffic laws in this manner, and accidents can occur as a result. If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by a motorist who violated the laws, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Safe Driving Tactics

Traffic laws are meant to protect public safety while providing structure as vehicles traverse the roads. When you get behind the wheel, you expect your fellow motorists to obey the traffic laws and follow proper driving etiquette. Similar to speeding or tailgating, lane splitting can be a dangerous act that puts everyone on the road at risk. Driving lanes are designed to provide vehicle operators with enough space to safely control their vehicles. When a motorcyclist drives on the lines separating lanes, they encroach on other vehicles’ space, and this unexpected action can lead to an accident. Drivers may be unable to fully see motorcycles that are in their blind spots, and they may not be able to react in time to avoid a collision. 

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Green Bay motorcycle accident lawyer distracted drivingWhile everyone who uses the road faces some level of danger, motorcyclists are particularly at risk of injury. Since they do not have the protection that cars and trucks provide to their occupants, motorcycle riders and passengers are likely to be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident

Distracted driving is one issue that can endanger motorcyclists, since even when a driver is fully attentive, they may not see motorcycles on the road around them. The increased use of cell phones in recent years has been a factor in many accidents caused by distracted driving. Fortunately, some states have taken steps to address this, and this has had a measurable effect on the safety of motorcyclists.

Improved Safety From Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use

While many people may believe that they can operate a vehicle safely while using a cell phone to make calls or send texts, this type of distraction can be incredibly dangerous. Using a handheld device causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road, and even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to a dangerous collision. Because of these dangers, some states have passed laws restricting the use of cell phones while driving. But have these laws actually improved safety on the roads?

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Green Bay motorcycle accident attorneyMotorcycles offer riders a great deal of freedom, and they are a great way for many people to enjoy traveling throughout Wisconsin and the rest of the country. However, due to the limited protection that motorcycles provide for drivers and passengers, the injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents are often incredibly severe or even fatal. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reported that motorcyclists are approximately 28 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in collisions than drivers or passengers of cars or trucks.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and it provides a great opportunity to remind drivers of the importance of driving safely around motorcycles. This is crucial, because more than half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve multiple vehicles, and more than 85% of motorcyclists who are killed in two-vehicle collisions are involved in a crash with a passenger vehicle.

Driver Negligence Leading to Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists can take steps to protect their own safety by wearing a helmet, avoiding drunk driving, and following the rules of the road. However, even the safest cyclist may be severely injured or killed because of the negligence of other drivers. Motorcycles have the same rights to use the road as other vehicles, and drivers should take care to notice motorcycles around them. Unfortunately, drivers often fail to do so, and the following forms of negligence can lead to fatal motorcycle crashes:

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