Fatal Motorcycle Accident St Louis
Losing a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. You may be feeling depressed, angry, too tired to fight for justice, and stressed. Hipskind & McAninch, LLC understands that you are struggling with grief, which is why our passionate wrongful death attorneys take on your legal issues so that you have space to grieve.
Facts About Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Statistics for the state of Missouri over the last 20 years show troubling trends. Motorcycle crashes have become more deadly and injurious. Since January 2021, there has been a 27 percent increase in motorcyclist fatalities in Missouri.
Motorcycles are much smaller than your average passenger vehicle, making them harder to spot in traffic. Suppose a driver attempts to change lanes without noticing that a motorcyclist is present. In that case, the vehicle could sideswipe the motorcyclist or force the motorcyclist off the road causing a motorcycle crash.
The CDC says motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of death by 37 percent and the risk of head injury by 69 percent. In late August 2020, a Missouri law went into effect that allows motorcycle riders age 26 and older to decide whether to wear a helmet if they have proof of medical insurance.
15% of helmeted motorcyclists who were treated in a hospital suffered traumatic brain injury compared to 21% of unhelmeted motorcyclists who were treated in the hospital. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the majority of motorcyclists who were admitted to the hospital with TBI were likely to die of their injuries: although 17 percent of all hospital-admitted motorcyclists had TBI, they account for 54% of riders who consequently died at the hospital.
Common Fatal Injuries In Motorcycle Accidents
Cars provide protection in accidents – from airbags to seatbelts – that motorcycles don’t. Because motorcycles lack this protection, motorcyclists can suffer from severe injuries in accidents that leave victims with permanent disabilities that require long-term care.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries occur when there has been a sudden jolt or force to the head that causes the brain to hit one of the inner walls of the skull and, in some cases, to rebound and hit another wall, causing damage to tissue and intracranial bleeding. The brain can also twist inside of the skull, shearing the axons and disrupting communication between brain cells.
TBI can cause seizures, one or both pupils to dilate, extreme headaches, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, concussion, bruises on the brain, or coma. Skull fractures can lead to shards of bone penetrating the brain and causing injuries.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries from motorcycle accidents can injure multiple areas of the spine, which can prevent the victim from ever living independently again. The spinal cord is a column of nerve fibers that run from the top of the neck down to the tailbone and allow the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. The back is broken up into four sections: the cervical spine at the top, the thoracic spine, the lumbar spine (otherwise known as the lower back), and the sacral spine, or the coccyx. The majority of injuries occurred in the thoracic spine, which prevents communication and mobility from the chest down. Spinal cord injuries can result in permanent paralysis, permanent neurological injuries, or even death.
Internal bleeding is caused by blunt force or penetrating trauma that bursts the capillaries and causes internal organ damage and bleeding. When the body hits the front of the motorcycle, pavement, car, or another hard surface in an accident, the victim must be treated immediately at the nearest emergency room.
Broken bones are common in motorcycle accidents. Broken vertebrae in the spine, a broken skull, rib fractures, and multiple breaks throughout the body can tear surrounding nerves and soft tissues. Fractured vertebrae can cause spinal cord injury, and a fractured skull can pierce the brain.
If your loved one died from their motorcycle accident injuries, then a wrongful death claim can be filed against the person or entity whose negligent, reckless or intentional actions caused your loved one’s death. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors or representatives of the deceased’s estate seek compensation on the deceased person’s behalf. The individuals who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri include:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s parents
- The decedent’s children, whether adopted, biological, or stepchildren
- Their grandchildren, if their children are deceased
- A surviving sibling or their descendant if there are no other surviving family members
The court can order the liable party to pay damages to the decedent’s surviving loved ones or their estate. The amount awarded in a wrongful death case depends on the facts of the individual circumstances.
How An Attorney Helps
Our motorcycle accident attorneys are ready to thoroughly investigate the fatal motorcycle accident to determine what caused your family member’s death and who should be held liable. Your initial consultation with us is 100% free, and we advise that you bring any documentation you have to your complimentary case evaluation. If we believe that you have a valid fatal motorcycle accident claim, then we proceed and inform you of your rights, challenges, and the success we’ve had with other cases that are similar to yours. We interview eyewitnesses, bring in expert witnesses to testify and expound on the facts of your case, and we talk to the insurance company for you. Hipskind & McAninch, LLC has recovered millions of dollars in personal injury settlements for families in St. Louis, and we can help you. Call 314-293-4803 now.