motorcycle on the road

Motorcycle Accidents vs. Car Accidents — What’s the Difference?

By Greg Kohn

There are many important differences between motorcycle accidents and car accidents that can be life-changing. This blog will cover motorcycle accidents vs. car accidents – what’s the difference? If you get hurt in either type of accident, you might want to talk to a New Jersey personal injury attorney about pursuing a claim for money damages against the at-fault party.

Factors That Are Worse for Motorcycle Riders

Motorcyclists can face several disadvantages when they seek compensation from the party who caused the motorcycle accident. For example:

  • The jury and insurance company might be less sympathetic toward an injured motorcycle rider than a person riding in a car. It is not fair or accurate, but some people assume that people who ride motorbikes are reckless and make unsafe choices merely because they choose to ride a motorcycle. The jury or insurer might reduce the amount of compensation because they would otherwise award or offer because of this false bias that the motorcycle rider assumed the risk of injury.
  • Motorcycles do not have seat belts or the protection of a strong auto body to shield them from injury. In a collision, the body of the motorcyclist takes the full force of the impact that a bumper on a car would absorb. Upon impact, the motorcycle rider will likely get ejected from the motorbike and fly through the air, suffering a second injury when they land.
  • Motorbikes can go into a skid more easily than a car. Sometimes, a puddle of water or oil or grass clippings on the surface of the road can be enough to cause the motorcycle rider to lose control of the vehicle and crash.
  • Motorcycles are harder to see or notice than cars and trucks. Motorbikes are smaller and move differently than those types of motor vehicles. When a motorcycle weaves in and out of traffic, a car driver might not have time to notice the bike when changing lanes at the same time as the motorcycle.

There are also some issues that can put the driver of a car at a disadvantage.

Factors That Are Worse for Drivers of Cars or Trucks

Although the occupants of a car or truck have more protection from injury than a motorcyclist, people riding in automobiles can face negative treatment.

  • The jury might assume that the driver of the car was automatically at fault, regardless of the police report. Sometimes, motorcycle riders cause collisions. The jurors might subconsciously feel protective toward the motorcyclists because they are more vulnerable to injury than occupants of cars, so the jury feels that drivers of cars should be more careful around motorcycles.
  • Motorcycle riders tend to suffer severe, even debilitating, wounds in crashes. The jury might get caught up in the emotion of the case and want to give the injured motorbike rider some money, despite the lack of negligence on the part of the car driver.
  • Another false assumption is that motorcycles have the right of way with cars and trucks. People who ride motorcycles have to obey the same rules of the road that automobile drivers must follow.

These are just a few examples of the differences between motorcycle accidents and car accidents. You can talk to a New Jersey personal injury attorney about the types of compensation that might be available in your car accident or motorcycle accident. The initial consultation is free, with no obligation. Get in touch with our office today.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.