St. Louis Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycles are a great way to get around and take advantage of the wonderful summer weather in St. Louis. That said, there are a variety of risks inherent with this type of transportation, no matter how safe and experienced the individual driving the motorcycle is. Distracted driving is a growing problem in Missouri and beyond, with many drivers succumbing to the temptation to use their smartphones to check emails, read text messages, browse social media, and more while they are driving. In addition to these dangerous distractions, motorcycles can be easily missed in blind spots while drivers change lanes or turn at intersections.
To complicate safety matters, motorcycles offer little to no protection for passengers in the event of a collision, and riders may suffer additional injuries after being thrown from the vehicle and making contact with either the ground or another object. In total, motorcycles can create a complicated set of injuries for the rider and any passengers, while also creating a somewhat unclear situation about who was responsible for the initial accident and the associated injuries.
Contact the team at Hipskind & McAninch now to request a free initial consultation, where you can speak with a personal injury attorney about your accident, the steps that you have taken so far, and how we can help you get the money that you rightfully deserve for your injuries. Our experience with representing clients after motorcycle accidents in St. Louis will be a significant asset to you throughout this entire process. Read more below to learn a bit more about what to expect from the upcoming claims process.
Some Sobering Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The following statistics are from the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Statistical Analysis Center and offer some context about why knowing your rights as a motorcycle rider is important. Even the safety motorcyclist is at risk of an accident due to the carelessness, recklessness, or inexperience of other drivers, and knowing that there is someone who is ready to take your case on today is important.
- In 2017 (the most recent year available via MSHP), there were 113 fatal accidents involving motorcycles in the state of Missouri with a total of 117 deaths
- These 113 fatalities accounted for nearly 4.5% of the 2,474 reported motorcycle accidents that year
- There was a total of 1,852 total personal injury accidents reported involving motorcycles in the same year
- There were an additional 509 motorcycle crashes in 2017 that only reported property damage
- For comparison, there were a total of 147,743 motor vehicle accidents NOT involving motorcycles in 2017, meaning that motorcycle accidents accounted for ~1.6% of all motor vehicle accidents in Missouri in 2017.
- While only accounting for 1.6% of all accidents, motorcycles were involved in nearly 12% of all fatal accidents
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Motorcycle Accident
After you have addressed all of your immediate medical concerns after a motorcycle accident, the next step is to file a claim with your insurance company in order to get the compensation that you deserve. The company will assign an adjuster to investigate your claim, identify all of the relevant details, and return to the insurance company with a recommendation about how much they should offer for a settlement. While this seems fairly straightforward, the issue is that the insurance company is focused on paying as little as possible, NOT what you actually deserve.
As such, having an attorney in your corner to manage negotiations on your behalf is an important way to get what you rightfully deserve after an accident. Once the insurance company makes its initial settlement offer, your attorney will take the opportunity to start negotiating aggressively based on the amount that they have calculated as your rightful damages and settlement amount. If they are unable to reach an agreement during negotiations, the next step will be to file a lawsuit.
Calculating Damages In a Motorcycle Accident
Personal injury damages are divided into economic and non-economic, in order to calculate the amounts owed for both the measurable financial impacts of the accident as well as the psychological, physical, and emotional impacts. Here are a few examples of each type of damage.
These damages cover all of the actual financial impacts that an accident has, including all of the associated medical expenses. In addition to injury- and treatment-related costs and expenses, economic damages also address things like lost wages, impacts to your earning ability, and all other measurable costs and losses. These damages are typically the foundation of your settlement.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate, since they are applied to more abstract injuries, but they are no less important for your case. They address things such as the pain and suffering that you endure as a result of your injuries, as well as anything like depression, fear, or loss of enjoyment in your life as a result of the accident.
There are a variety of methods that an attorney will use in order to determine the true amount of these damages, and we will use the most appropriate method in order to get you the money that you truly deserve. These types of damages are typically the most contested from the insurance company because of their abstract nature, but we will fight to make your rights clear and get you what you truly deserve.
Determining Comparative Negligence After a Motorcycle Accident
After any accident or personal injury in Missouri, there will be an initial process to determine who is at fault for the accident, and therefore who is liable to pay for the damages in the accident. However, Missouri has what is known as a “comparative fault” law, which states that “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.”
Essentially, this means that each party has some degree of responsibility for the accident, which is assigned as a percentage during the claims process. If the victim of an accident is determined to have been 10% responsible for the accident, their final settlement amount will be reduced by 10%, meaning that if their total damages are found to be $100,000, that only $90,000 will need to be paid to them as a result of their comparative negligence.
It is important that your attorney is able to build a comprehensive picture of the accident to clearly prove that your level of comparative negligence was either low or non-existent in order to get the money you need and deserve after your accident.