Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd.
When Your Future is at Stake

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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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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Green Bay motorcycle crash lawyersOf all the vehicle users on the road, motorcyclists have the highest risk of fatality and serious injury during a crash. Unfortunately, they are also far more likely to experience an accident than other road users. Helmets and leather gear offer some form of protection, but they are far from sufficient. Perhaps that is why the technology sector is stepping in to help. Learn more about their potentially game-changing invention and discover what sort of compensation that you or a loved one may be entitled to after a motorcycle crash.

Understanding Why Current Protection is Inadequate

Helmets are one of the most widely used motorcycle safety devices – and for good reason. They are designed to protect the head, face, and brain, which reduces the rider’s overall risk of a serious or fatal injury to one of the body’s most vital organs. Yet, a large percentage of serious injuries and fatalities in motorcyclists are the result of injuries to the trunk. This part of the body, save for perhaps leather gear, is mostly unprotected. There is nothing to absorb the impact, so riders are at risk for serious and life-threatening injuries in a crash. Examples of some of the most commonly experienced trunk injuries include internal bleeding, broken bones, puncturing of vital organs, and spinal injuries. High speed crashes, multiple vehicle crashes, and accidents with large vehicles even further increase the odds of a fatality or serious injury.

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Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyersMost motorcycle riders have a story, a moment when they were sure an accident would happen because someone else did not see them. Some have lost their lives because of this phenomenon. Others have had their lives irrevocably altered. Thankfully, there are ways that motorcyclists can reduce their risk of an accident. However, if one does occur because of someone else’s negligence, they may be entitled to compensation. Learn more about the defensive driving and safety measures that could save your life, and what you can do if you or someone you love is injured or killed in a motorcycle accident.

Wear the Right Gear

Although motorcycles can maneuver out of dangerous situations, the rider may still find themselves thrown from their bike. Alternatively, they may be required to “lay the bike down” to avoid a collision. This action, in and of itself, can cause injury – especially if the rider is not wearing the right gear. Always wear long pants and sleeves, preferably made of leather (it does not tear as easily as other fabrics). Also, strive for wearing a helmet whenever you ride. While an insurance company cannot (in most instances) reduce a claim for not wearing one, it could be the one thing that prevents a serious or fatal head injury.

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Appleton Office
800 North Lynndale Drive
Appleton, WI
54914-3017
(920) 739-7366
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Green Bay Office
2740 South Oneida Street
Green Bay, WI
54304-5751
(920) 468-7366
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New London Office
105 East Waupaca Street
New London, WI
54961-1227
(920) 982-9652
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Oshkosh Office
510 North Koeller Street
Oshkosh, WI
54902
(920) 385-0616
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  • Wisconsin Association for Justice
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. is located in Appleton, Wisconsin, and serves clients in Fox Valley, Outagamie County, Brown County, Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, Sheboygan County, Fond du Lac County, Calumet County, Winnebago County, including Appleton, New London, Clintonville, Neenah, Oshkosh, DePere, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay, Marinette, Neenah, Chilton, Menasha, Shawano, Waupaca, Wausau, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
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