Vancouver, WA Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Representing riders, passengers, and families in Washington
It’s great to hop on your motorcycle and enjoy a beautiful day. Unfortunately, motorcycles can be dangerous. Even the best-trained and most experienced operators can be killed or seriously injured, in an instant, by a distracted driver or a driver who doesn’t respect the rights of the motorcycle rider.
At Philbrook Law Office, PS, our Vancouver motorcycle accident lawyers have the experience and resources to hold vehicle drivers and owners accountable for striking any motorcycle. We guide victims and families through the difficult trauma of litigation. We work aggressively to obtain full compensation so injured victims can get back up on their motorcycles, and so both they and more severely injured victims get the full compensation they deserve – for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and property damage.
Why are motorcycle accidents so dangerous?
Motorcycle crashes cause a high percentage of deadly and catastrophic injuries. According to the 2017 data from the National Safety Council (NSC):
- There were 5,172 fatalities involving motorcycle riders and passengers
- Nearly one in seven fatal vehicle crashes involved a motorcycle
- More than 25% of motorcycle crashes involve alcohol impairment
- More than 90% of motorcycle riders who died were male
- More than 33% of the drivers and passengers who died were older than 50
At the top of the “reasons why” list is that motorcycles simply don’t offer riders any protection in the event of an accident. They don’t have a hood, side doors, or a trunk. When riders crash, they are likely to dive into the ground or fly into other objects.
What are the common causes of Vancouver motorcycle accidents?
Riding a motorcycle is much different than riding a bicycle or driving a car. All new riders need to take educational courses to learn how to ride and share the road with others. Experienced riders can also benefit from regular courses, especially as laws can change.
Motorcycles are in constant danger because car and truck drivers don’t always respect the right of motorcycles to be on the road. Common reasons other drivers cause motorcycle accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driver distraction
- Drivers who don’t give a motorcycle the right of way
- Blind spots
- Not understanding motorcycle hand signals
- Not properly judging where the motorcycle is on the road
Some of the reasons the motorcycle drivers themselves cause crashes include:
- Defective roadways
- Driving on uneven surfaces
- Not handling curves correctly
- Improper passing and merging
- Bad preparation for rain, sun, and other weather factors
- Not making sure the passenger is secured
- Not making sure the motorcycle is equipped to carry the passenger
- Not being trained properly
- Improper passing
Injured passengers and operators can file a claim against negligent drivers when those drivers cause them harm.
What types of motorcycle injuries do riders suffer in accidents?
In the most tragic cases, the driver or passenger dies. When death occurs, the beneficiaries (typically close family members) have the right to demand wrongful death benefits from negligent drivers and other faulty parties.
Survivors of motorcycle accidents suffer:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Riders, especially if they don’t have a helmet on, who hit the asphalt or an object headfirst are likely to suffer a concussion or severe brain injury. A TBI causes a loss of cognitive skills, motor function, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
- Spinal cord damage. Riders can suffer severe damage to the neck, back, and spine. These injuries can result in partial or full paralysis. Many victims live with a lifetime of chronic pain. Many spinal cord injury victims need a lifetime of medical care.
- Road rash. This injury occurs when the driver or passenger slides along the asphalt. If the driver isn’t properly dressed, the skin and nerves can be severely damaged.
- Fractured and shattered bones. Broken arms, hands, and legs are common motorcycle accident injuries.
- Other injuries including:
- Burn injuries
- Cuts, bruises, and lacerations
- Damage to kidneys, lungs, and other internal organs
- Shoulder injuries
- Crush injuries
A quick word about “road rash”
“Road rash” is an innocent-sounding name for a pretty serious condition. When a rider is thrown off his or her bike, sliding across the ground can lead to abrasions and open wounds, which can lead to the skin and nerve damage we mentioned. Those wounds can also easily be infected because dirt and other debris can enter the bloodstream. Victims many need plastic surgery and skin grafts in severe cases. If you are hit by a car, or get into a collision with another rider, a pedestrian, or a cyclist, you should seek immediate medical attention if you suffer road rash injuries.
What damages can you seek in a motorcycle accident claim?
The Vancouver personal injury attorneys of Philbrook Law Office have represented motorcycle accident clients throughout the state. If you are hurt by someone’s negligence, you can make a claim for:
- Medical expenses. This includes surgeries, doctor visits, all types of therapy, emotional counseling, medications, and medical devices. It covers all the medical costs the victim may need for the rest of their lives.
- Lost income. This includes income loss through the date of settlement or trial and any future income loss due to a disability. Income loss includes wage loss and lost business income.
- Pain and suffering. Justice demands the motorcycle accident victims be compensated for their daily aches and pains, their inability to perform daily tasks, loss of function, loss of enjoyment of life’s pleasures, and any anxiety or emotional suffering.
- Scarring and disfigurement. Motorcycle victims may be entitled to additional payments if the crash causes scarring or disfigurement.
- Property damage. This is generally the cost to repair or replace the motorcycle.
In cases of malicious or severely reckless misconduct, victims may also be entitled to punitive damages. These claims can be made against the person who caused the accident, and potentially even the government (in the case of defective roadway claims). If the driver who hit you was drunk, our dram shop laws may allow you to make a claim against the bar or restaurant who served the negligent party. If the crash was caused by a defective bike part, you can file a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one dies
Motorcycle wrecks can be deadly. If a loved one dies, eligible family members of deceased victims who are entitled to wrongful death damages, including:
- The funeral and burial costs
- Any medical bills on behalf of the deceased
- The lost income/wages the deceased would have earned but for the death
- The loss of companionship and care the beneficiaries lost
We can work to settle your claim after a thorough evaluation of the cause of the accident and a full understanding of your medical needs and pain and suffering. If we cannot settle your claim, we will take it to court and try it before a jury.
Talk with Philbrook Law Office about your motorcycle accident injury claim
At Philbrook Law Office, our seasoned motorcycle accident lawyers represent injury victims and families in Vancouver, Battle Ground, Portland, and throughout Washington and Oregon. We understand how devastating and, sometimes, tragic a motorcycle crash can be. Our lawyers fight aggressively to get our clients all the compensation they deserve. We work with your doctors, and independent physicians, when necessary, to verify and show the full extent of your medical needs and your pain and suffering. We handle Washington injury cases on a contingency fee basis. For help now, please call 360-695-3309 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free appointment.