Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Breaking Down a Motorcycle Crash in Burien

Posted Friday, April 7, 2023 by Chris Thayer

Mostly because motorcyclists have so little personal protection, the motorcycle rider fatality rate is 30 times higher than the four-wheel vehicle occupant collision fatality rate. Even if these victims survive, they usually sustain serious injuries, like severe broken bones and head injuries. Riders generally sustain these injuries when the force of an impact propels them off their biles and onto the ground.

The medical bills in a catastrophic (life-threatening) injury case often exceed $100,000. Furthermore, these victims understandably have a hard time putting these accidents behind them and moving on with their lives. A Burien personal injury lawyer obtains compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses in court. Perhaps more importantly, an attorney forces tortfeasors (negligent drivers) to accept responsibility for the mistakes they make.

*What Causes Motorcycle Wrecks?*These mistakes, which include aggressive and impaired driving, cause over 98% of vehicle collisions in Washington.

Illegal turning, speeding, and other forms of aggressive driving affect motorcyclists a lot more than four-wheel vehicles. Motorcycle riders cannot swerve or stop suddenly to avoid aggressive drivers. If they do so, they usually lose control of their bikes, causing a worse crash than the one they prevented.

Aggressive driving behaviors accelerated during coronavirus lockdowns since traffic enforcement dropped to nearly nothing and roads mostly emptied.

Pandemic lockdowns created some other bad driving habits as well, such as driving while intoxicated. Alcohol is a depressant that clouds judgment and slows reaction time. People need to be 100% in both areas to safely operate motor vehicles and other heavy machinery.

Other kinds of impaired driving include driving while fatigued, under the influence of drugs, or while distracted. Usually, these tortfeasors consciously make such decisions and therefore deliberately put other people at risk. As a result, a Burien personal injury lawyer can usually obtain higher compensation in these matters.

*Establishing Liability*Aggressive and impaired driving usually violates safety laws. If a safety law violation caused injury, the tortfeasor might be responsible for damages as a matter of law.

However, the negligence per se rule only applies if emergency responders gave the tortfeasor a citation. That often doesn’t happen. Frequently, car crashes are civil matters, as far as most officers are concerned. So, they rarely issue citations and get involved in these disputes.

The ordinary negligence rule is available in these cases. Liability for the crash attaches if the tortfeasor:

Some exceptions apply. For example, the negligent infliction of emotional distress doctrine sometimes applies in near-miss collisions.

Overcoming Defenses

Comparative fault and assumption of the risk are the two most common insurance company defenses in motorcycle crash claims.

Contributory negligence basically shifts blame for an accident from the tortfeasor to the victim. Attorneys use evidence to blunt this defense. This evidence must emphasize the things the victim did right and the things the tortfeasor did wrong.

Assumption of the risk, or the motorcycle helmet defense, is effective in some states. Generally, if victims don’t wear helmets, insurance company lawyers can blame the victims for their own injuries. But in King County, evidence of motorcycle helmet non-use is inadmissible in civil proceedings.

*Connect With a Tough-Minded King County Attorney*Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Renton, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start fighting for you.