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Motor vehicle crashes hit motorcyclists hard

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable drivers on the road: less visible than car drivers and lacking hard barrier protection from collisions, they often feel the worst of the injuries when motor vehicle crashes occur. In fact, when an accident occurs, motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die than the occupants of a passenger car and five times more likely to be injured.

A Maryland motorcyclist recently had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital because he was struck by a car in an after-midnight collision. The driver of the car was uninjured. At night, as during the day, car and truck drivers may claim that the reason they crashed into a motorcycle rider was because they didn't see the motorcyclist on the road. However, in two thirds of motorcycle accidents that involve another vehicle, the accident was actually caused by that other driver failing to give the motorcyclist the right of way. A distracted driver can easily overlook a motorcyclist, even when the latter is obeying all the appropriate traffic laws.

As with all road accidents, if a driver's negligence causes someone to be injured, the negligent party is responsible for paying compensation for those injuries. If a driver did not act with a reasonable level of care under the circumstances towards other drivers, including motorcyclists, then that driver was negligent. An injured motorcyclist can go to court to get compensation for hospital bills, ambulance fees, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages incurred by the crash.

While motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to injury on the road, they do have the right to receive compensation when they are injured by another's neglect.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Five injured in three Harford crashes over weekend," Bryna Zumer, Dec. 18, 2012

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