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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

At What Speed Do Most Motorcycle Deaths Occur in Indiana?

Whenever fatal motorcycle accidents happen, one of the first things looked at is the speed at which the motorcyclist was traveling. This is because a lot of motorcycle accident statistics point to the fact that speeding plays an important part in motorcycle accidents.

However, is speed the only reason why motorcycle accidents happen? At what speed do most motorcycle deaths occur in Indiana? Are there other reasons that cause fatal accidents? These are valid questions that a good motorcycle accident attorney will always consider when dealing with motorcycle crashes.

While speeding should never be disregarded, focusing entirely on this single possible cause can be dangerous. Other factors also contribute to motorcycle accidents in Indiana, and these also need to be considered.

Far too often, motorcycle riders get blamed for a motorcycle accident because of the speed they were traveling when other drivers are the ones at fault. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will not let that happen. These lawyers will go to war for all victims of motorcycle accidents in Indiana. They can also help with questions like, "What causes a high side motorcycle crash in Indiana?"

Do High Speeds Cause the Most Fatal Motorcycle Accidents?

Do High Speeds Cause the Most Fatal Motorcycle Accidents?

More than one-third of fatalities in motorcycle crashes are a result of riding way above the posted speed limit. When faced with such irrefutable motorcycle accident statistics, it is difficult to dispute the fact that high speeds are responsible for the fatalities in many motorcycle accidents.

However, another way of looking at these statistics is that almost two-thirds of fatal motorcycle crashes are caused by reasons not related to speeding. This means fatalities in most motorcycle accidents will happen even if the median pre-accident speed of the rider is low.

Data from a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the 1980s suggests that most motorcycle accidents happen when the rider is traveling at speeds as low as 30 mph. Shockingly, only a very small percentage of motorcycle accidents occur at speeds of around 85 mph.

This means rather than shining the spotlight on the speed of the motorcycle rider as the only contributing factor, the behavior of other motorists needs to be looked at too. In most cases, the actions of the drivers of passenger vehicles are more to blame than anything else.

However, with the bad reputation that riders have, when most motorcycle accidents in Indiana occur, they are the ones that get blamed first. Winning a personal injury case under such circumstances is not easy without a good a motorcycle accident lawyer in Indianapolis.

This is why whenever motorcycle accidents occur in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, victims should call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Other Common Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

When Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys conducts its case evaluation, the possibility of there being other drivers to blame for the accident is always considered. Usually, the following causes of motorcycle accidents are looked at:

Inattentional Blindness

The term inattentional blindness is used to describe a phenomenon where the driver of a vehicle fails to perceive an object that is in plain sight because of not paying enough attention.

When drivers are on the road, they usually look out for other drivers of passenger vehicles because these are the most common and pose the greater risk. This means even if a motorcycle comes into view, the mind will not register this because it is focused on other cars.

Inattentional blindness results in motorcycle accidents when a driver crashes into a motorcyclist even though the rider is convinced that their bike was visible. It is because of this common problem that motorcyclists are encouraged to always have their headlights on and to wear reflective material when on the road.

Driving/Riding Under the Influence

Operating a car or motorbike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a major contributing factor to motorcycle accidents in Indiana and other states in the US. When a motorcycle rider or driver of a larger vehicle is on the road while impaired, they pose an increased risk to themselves and the lives of other motorists.

This is why, when a police officer arrives on the scene of a motorcycle accident, one of the first things looked at is whether either party was intoxicated when the crash occurred. Other causes of motorcycle accidents, such as speeding or reckless driving, usually stem from the driver being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the moments leading up to the crash.

Failure to Yield Right of Way

Many drivers of larger vehicles are guilty of not giving way to motorcycle riders. While at times this happens due to inattentional blindness, it should be noted that sometimes drivers of passenger cars will do this intentionally.

Issues of road rage where the driver intentionally cuts in front of a motorcycle rider or refuses to give them enough space are quite common. Usually, this kind of road rage comes from the misconception that all motorcyclists are reckless road users who tear down the highway making a lot of noise and disregarding other drivers.

Not Wearing Protection

While riders not wearing helmets or other protective clothing does not cause a motorcycle accident to occur, it does lead to more fatalities happening. When a rider is not wearing a helmet, for example, even a relatively minor accident can result in a traumatic brain injury that will cost the rider their life.

Besides helmets, there are lots of other protective gear that all riders are encouraged to wear. However, some disturbing statistics show that many motorcyclists, especially older riders, do not want to wear helmets when riding on the highway. As a result, a lot of fatalities that could be easily avoided end up occurring in Indiana each year.

Other Common Causes of Fatal Accidents

Besides the causes of motorcycle accidents mentioned above, there are many other factors to consider when analyzing a motorcycle accident case. This only goes to show that getting legal help when dealing with motorcycle accident claims is crucial for victims in Indiana. An experienced lawyer can prove that any of the following is what caused the motorcycle accident to occur:

  • Failure to stop at red lights

  • Poor vehicle maintenance

  • Distracted driving

  • Inclement weather

  • Lane splitting

  • Poor road conditions

  • Changing lanes without looking

  • Rider/driver fatigue

  • Driver error

  • Following too closely

Injuries Suffered by Motorcycle Riders

Victims of motorcycle accidents are at risk of sustaining very serious injuries, especially if they are the ones on the motorcycle. The following are some of the common injuries that riders suffer from after a crash:

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Partial or total paralysis

  • Concussion

  • Nerve damage

  • Internal injuries

  • Soft tissue injuries

  • Disfigurement

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Lacerations

  • Back and neck injuries

  • Dismemberment

  • Burns

  • Road rash

  • Broken bones

  • Death

How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents in Indiana

Looking at all the causes of motorcycle accidents in Indiana, it is clear that, for the most part, they can be prevented if drivers and riders exercise more caution and patience when using the road.

Too much attention is given to speeding motorcyclists without thinking of other things that all road users can do to prevent so many fatalities from occurring each year. Every road user, whether they are driving larger or smaller vehicles, is legally required to obey all traffic laws, and this is just the first step.

The following are some of the other steps that can be taken by road users:

  • Being patient and considerate when sharing the road

  • Avoiding riding or driving at high speeds

  • Staying away from the road during bad weather conditions

  • Paying attention at all times when riding or driving

  • Keeping their vehicles well-maintained

  • Exercising extreme caution at intersections, sharp curves, or other dangerous parts of the road

Who Is at Fault When Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

Determining fault is not always easy when dealing with motorcycle accidents, especially in multi-vehicle crashes when there are so many victims demanding compensation. In the end, it usually takes the skills and expertise of a good attorney to prove negligence and begin the first steps toward helping the victims recover compensation from the at-fault party.

If it is simply a matter of driver error, determining fault is a very quick process. However, there are many times when the cause of the accident is not clear, in which case the attorney will have to do a lot of investigation.

Usually, when a motorcycle accident victim is seeking compensation for the injuries they suffered, liability lies with either of the following parties:

  • The negligent driver or their insurance provider

  • Manufactures of the vehicle, motorcycle, or other components of either vehicle that may have malfunctioned

  • Other negligent parties, such as the local municipality, if it is determined that potholes or other road defects are to blame for the accidents

Damages for Motorcycle Accident Victims

Launching a personal injury lawsuit is all about seeking fair compensation for the damages the accident victims incurred as a result of the negligence of others. The following are the three types of damages that victims can be awarded by an Indiana court:

  • Economic Damages

Economic damages are the easiest to calculate of all the damages that victims can receive. These are direct monetary losses that the victim has suffered as a result of the accident. They include:

  1. Medical bills

  2. Lost wages

  3. Property damage

  4. Cost of rehabilitation and physical therapy

  5. Costs of lifetime care in cases of disability

  • Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages are a lot more difficult to calculate and usually include pain and suffering damages, as well as loss of consortium. In Indiana, there is no cap placed on the amount of money the victims may be awarded for pain and suffering unless the defendant is the state, in which case a cap of $700,000 will apply.

  • Punitive Damages

There are some cases where the courts will feel that the actions of the negligent party were so reckless or malicious that they warrant further punishment on top of the economic and non-economic damages already imposed. In such cases, punitive damages will be handed down to the defendant according to the court's discretion but not exceeding $50,000.

Can a Speeding Motorcycle Rider Recover Compensation?

One of the most common questions that motorcyclists will want to know is whether they can recover compensation if it is found that they were speeding right before the accident happened.

While evidence of speeding or other reckless behavior is not a good look for the rider, they are still entitled to receive compensation. This is because Indiana uses a system called modified comparative fault when determining negligence.

Under this system, a speeding rider will still be able to receive compensation as long as the portion of blame assigned to them is less than 50%. If their portion of the blame goes beyond this threshold, they will no longer be able to recover compensation from the defendant.

Modified comparative negligence laws make dealing with motorcycle accident claims a lot more complicated in Indiana, but with a lawyer that has the required experience, victims can still walk away with damages even if they are partly to blame for the accident.

Five Crucial Steps After Motorcycle Accidents Occur

Five Crucial Steps After Motorcycle Accidents Occur

To safeguard their health and well-being, as well as make it easier for their attorney to win damages for them, victims of motorcycle accidents need to make sure they follow these very important steps:

  • Seek medical attention, even if the injuries are minor.

  • Take pictures of the accident scene to help prove negligence.

  • Obtain a report from the police officer who attended the scene.

  • Gather evidence, including witness statements from passers-by.

  • Hire an experienced attorney with a track record of winning many similar personal injury cases.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Has What It Takes to Win the Case

Over the years, the number of victims that Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have helped to recover damages after suffering motorcycle accidents has steadily grown. The law firm is now one of the top-rated legal teams in Indiana when dealing with motorcycle accident claims. They can also help with questions like, "What is the survival rate for motorcycle crashes in Indiana?"

Victims who want to recover compensation for their injuries and other losses usually face a difficult battle against the negligent driver or their insurance company. With offers of a free consultation, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help win the case against all odds by going to war for their clients.


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