The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) indicates that there were approximately 2,100 motorcycle accidents in British Columbia in 2013. These accidents can leave victims with extremely serious injuries, as motorcyclists are not protected in any way by the body of the vehicle they are operating. Motorcyclists can easily be thrown from their bikes, often resulting in secondary injury when they come into contact with the ground or other vehicles. In many cases, people injured in motorcycle accidents develop serious medical complications that may affect them for years or even decades after an accident occurred.
In many instances, people who are hurt in motorcycle accidents that occur in BC are legally entitled to financial compensation for both their economic and non-economic losses. In most cases, victims of motorcycle accidents who retain a lawyer obtain significantly more compensation than those who choose to represent themselves, so it is very important for victims to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Types of Motorcycle Injuries
The injuries that people sustain in motorcycle accidents can vary greatly depending how the accident occurred. Some of the more common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Accidental amputations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Nerve injuries
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Once you determine that your condition is stable, contact a lawyer to retain legal representation.
Who can be held liable for a Vancouver motorcycle accident?
Every time that a person rides a motorcycle, he or she is at risk of sustaining serious bodily injuries. In fact, statistics1 compiled by the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that motorcyclists were 5 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be injured per vehicle mile traveled. In 2004, figures from the UK Department for Transport indicated that motorcycles have 16 times the rate of serious injuries compared to cars, and double the rate of bicycles. After a motorcycle accident, many victims are curious to determine whether they can recover compensation for their losses. In many cases, they can, and may be able to do so from a number of different sources. Here are of the parties that are commonly held liable in motorcycle accident cases:
- Other motorists – Statistics indicate that the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by the negligence of other drivers. Motorcycles are often difficult to see for drivers of larger vehicles, and many drivers simply do not give motorcycles an adequate amount of room on the road. When other drivers negligently cause accidents, victims are often able to recover for their injuries through a personal injury claim.
- Property owners or government agencies – A substantial number of motorcycle accidents are caused by defectively designed or poorly maintained roadways. In situations where these roadways are the responsibility of a private party, an injured motorcyclist can often maintain a standard premises liability action against that party. In cases where the roadway at issue is maintained by a governmental entity, a special set of legal rules apply, but victims may still be able to recover.
- Vehicle manufacturers – Many motorcycle accidents are caused by defectively designed or manufactured vehicles. Fortunately, Canadian product liability law often allows people who are injured by defective consumer products to recover. In many cases, these defects may not be apparent to the untrained eye, so any injured in a motorcycle accident should discuss their case with an lawyer even if they do not believe that they have a claim.
Vancouver Motorcycle Safety Laws
If you’ve suffered an injury due to a motorcycle accident, it is essential to have experienced legal help. McLarty Wolf Litigation Lawyers can help you.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics Safety in British Columbia
According to the Government of British Columbia, motorcyclists are estimated to make up three percent of insured vehicles, but motorcycles are involved in approximately ten per cent of road fatalities.
Between 1996 and 2010, there was a 57 per cent increase in motorcycle fatalities in the region. Motorcycles were becoming increasingly popular with the younger population due to its cost efficiency. However, the rate for motorcyclists under the age of 25 involved in fatal motorcycle accidents were 15 times higher than for motorcyclists over the age of 25.
Current Motorcycle Safety Laws in British Columbia
The Motor Vehicle Act amendments for motorcycles went into place in June of 2012 and remains in place as regulation today.
- Both driver and passenger of a motorcycle must wear safety helmets that meet the specific guidelines and safety standards as specified by the law.
- Passengers on motorcycles must be sitting behind the operator, astride the passenger’s seat with their feet on the floorboard or on the foot pedals.
- The operator of the motorcycle must be seated specifically astride the driver’s seat.
- The motorcycle rider and the passenger must give the police officer their helmets if asked.
- A child 16 years of age or younger can only be a passenger on a motorcycle. Additionally, the operator of the motorcycle is responsible for ensuring the minor has the proper helmet in place at all times and that the helmet meets the specifications of current laws.
You can see a breakdown of the proper helmets and current acceptable designs at the Government of British Columbia website.
Contact McLarty Wolf Vancouver motorcycle accident lawyers today
People who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents can be left with substantial medical expenses, lost income, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. The BC motorcycle accident lawyers of McLarty Wolf are committed to helping people who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others recover compensation and move on from their injuries. Ross McLarty has been a motorcyclist for many years and understands how motorcycle accidents can occur as a result of other people’s negligence. To discuss your case with one of our personal injury lawyers, please call our office today at 604-688-9542, or fill out our online form.