With thousands of deaths annually and scores of catastrophic injuries, motorcycle accidents can be incredibly serious. The thrill of the open road has glamorized motorcycle culture and yet statistics show that any form of collision has the potential of turning deadly.
We sat down with Larry Huttman, one of Farah & Farah’s most successful accident attorneys, to see why motorcycle accidents are some of the most severe types of cases that we handle.
5,932 Motorcyclists Died in One Year Alone
Motorcyclists are 24X more likely to die in a car crash than passengers in a motor vehicle, according to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That startling statistic may be fairly obvious—of course motorcycle accidents are going to be deadlier and more traumatic as there is nothing between the rider and the elements.
You might go a step further and think that if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, insurance will surely see all of the injuries and medical records and therefore pay a fair amount to help make you whole again. Sadly, that’s not often the case; which is why Farah and Farah has catastrophic injury attorneys who specialize in these types of cases.
What Makes Motorcycle Accidents So Dangerous?
More than 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist, according to the NHTSA. So, why are motorcycle accidents so much more serious than vehicle accidents?
There are a number of factors that raise the danger level in motorcycle crashes including:
- No protection: a motorcycle has no airbags or seat belts. The bike itself provides no injury protection whatsoever for the rider or passenger.
- Ejection is common: during a collision, the rider and passenger are likely to be ejected from the motorcycle. After that sudden stop, the driver and/or passenger can be ejected and strike stationary objects with tremendous force.
- Size difference: a motorcycle is obviously far smaller and less bulky than even a small car on the road. The size difference means that a vehicle carries more force in a collision. As well, their smaller size makes motorcycles less visible.
Why Do You Need a Catastrophic Injury Attorney?
Larry Huttman is a personal injury attorney in Jacksonville. His depth of experience and attention to detail means he gets assigned to some of Farah & Farah’s toughest cases.
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious, if not catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, severe spinal injuries, paralysis, and more. Cases with this level of trauma require an attorney with the skills and experience to help a client through treatment, uncover the details of their case, and present these in a way the other side can’t ignore.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Need a Unique Approach
Over the course of a little more than a decade with our firm, Larry has been able to recover over $92 million dollars in gross recoveries for his clients. His approach is driven by the details. “Because of the devastating injuries and the changes these make in the victim, clients need an attorney who can present those injuries to the insurance company and a jury. That means being on top of the medical files and being able to show how the injuries contributed to a serious change in our clients’ lives before and after the accident,” Larry explains.
“You can’t handle motorcycle accidents like a typical case because you won’t be able to do justice to all the injuries the client likely received.”
Looking at Every Avenue of Recovery Possible
“When the injuries are devastating, you can bet we’ll be looking under every rock to help maximize our clients’ recovery,” says Huttman.
With any accident case, there are a multitude of factors that can come into play that may have contributed to the accident. Each of these needs to be investigated to see how they affected what happened and how they can help maximize a client’s recovery.
Unsafe Roadway Design
If a particular stretch of roadway has seen a large number of accidents, the roadway design may be unsafe. In these instances, Larry is quick to point out that he’ll bring in another attorney like John Thomas, who is well-versed in cases involving faulty engineering designs. Collaboration is just one more aspect of how Farah & Farah does things differently all for the benefit of the client.
The Before and After Are Crucial in Motorcycle Accident Cases
With brain injuries, which are common in motorcycle accident cases, the Mayo Clinic outlines certain testing and evaluations that need to be completed by trained medical specialists. Consequences can worsen rapidly without proper treatment. Some changes are pretty apparent, while others may be subtle.
“With any kind of brain injury case, we may have ten different doctors evaluating our client and able to be called as witnesses. I should point out that these specialists may not be local. We secure evaluations from specialists who are at the top of their field because that’s what’s best for our clients,” Huttman explains.
Huttman’s approach also involves interviewing loved ones, coworkers, friends, and others close to the victim who may notice subtle changes in behavior or cognitive function. With all of this data, Huttman can present a vivid picture of life before and after the accident for the victim. Telling that story effectively in front of a jury is part of the reason Larry has been so successful for so many clients.
What Happens to the Body During a Motorcycle Accident?
“A lot of motorcycle accident cases I see involve a vehicle making a left turn on a straightaway and not seeing an approaching motorcyclist,” Huttman starts. “One case I’ll never forget involved a motorcycle driver and a passenger who were struck in this fashion. My client was the passenger, who was instantly ejected from the bike when it was hit by the oncoming vehicle. Unfortunately, the driver of the motorcycle didn’t survive the collision and his portion of the case was handled on behalf of his estate by another attorney.”
“The case involved an elderly driver with impaired vision making a left turn who never even saw the motorcycle. Worse, after he hit the motorcycle, he backed up and hit them again. My client broke just about every bone in her body and her injuries became terribly infected from the scores of cuts and abrasions she received from the roadway.”
Larry went on to explain that this woman was also from out of state so he had to work through her Michigan auto insurance carrier to help make her as whole as possible. Even though the insurance company repeatedly rejected the demand, Larry proceeded with litigation and was eventually victorious for this poor woman who had already been through so much.
Tough Cases Require Even Tougher Accident Attorneys
When the stakes are high after a devastating accident, you need an attorney who isn’t afraid to pursue every possible avenue to maximize your recovery. Moreover, you need an attorney who has an entire firm behind them with the resources to help you recover both physically and financially.
At Farah & Farah, we sit down with our clients to understand the real human costs of the accident and then fight for every cent they’re due under the law. If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle accident and you’d like to know where to go from here, please reach out to our team any time of the day or night.