It’s risky being a passenger riding on a motorcycle. In fact, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that a passenger of a motorcycle is more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an accident than are passengers of cars.
Part of the problem is that motor vehicle drivers often don’t see motorcycles in a phenomenon called tunneling. It’s where a motor vehicle driver looks right at a motorcycle directly in his or her field of vision and still doesn’t see them. This is one of the primary reasons for motorcycle rider and passenger injuries.
Causes of Motorcycle Passenger Injuries
Passengers suffer the same—if not more severe—fate of the operator of the bike. Both are unprotected compared to car and truck occupants. Another study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows how much more dangerous it is for the lighter of two vehicles that collide. Add to that the motorcycle passenger and operator have no steel cage around them.
Motorcycle Passengers and Risks
Another research study by the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis shows that even when a passenger is wearing a helmet, he or she has a greater risk of a traumatic brain injury than the operator of the motorcycle
Another study shows by the same school shows that motorcycle passengers are often the ones left without a helmet which places them at a greater risk than the operator.
Types of Injuries Common to Passenger of Motorcycles
In some cases, the passenger is ejected when the operator is not because of the bike’s handlebars. This means that in more cases, the passenger is thrown off the bike than the operator. This makes it more likely that the passenger will suffer some of the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Broken bones (facial, wrists, legs and ribs)
- Road Rash
- Deep Bruises
- Thoracic Neck Injury (less significant risk for passenger, but still common)
Who Pays for a Motorcycle Passenger Wreck?
Of course, if the other driver is at fault and has insurance, then the passenger will be compensated for his or her injuries. However, many times a motorcycle accident is the fault of the motorcycle operator. This happens in collisions with other vehicles or when the motorcycle runs off the road or lays down because of operator error.
Then the insurance of the motorcycle operator will cover the passenger’s injuries. If all else fails, if the passenger has his or her own auto policy that has uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage, then this can be used to pay for the passenger’s injuries because a motorcycle is a motor vehicle and is covered by UM/UIM.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to talk to an attorney who is experienced with motorcycle rider and passenger laws and knows how to get fair compensation for the victim.
Contact a Louisville Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Accident victims often wonder if they need an attorney, and the answer is almost always yes. The insurance company agents have years of experience and are good at their job which is to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. You need someone just as experienced to help you level the field.
Talk to a Louisville Motorcycle Accident Attorney you can trust to be on your side and get you what is yours under the law. The attorneys at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, have that knowledge and a combined 100 years’ experience in helping clients get the results they deserve. To discuss your case, contact Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC today, by clicking here to contact them online.