Motorcycle accidents occur much more frequently than car accidents do, with the US Department of Transportation reporting that in 2013, there were approximately 4 million motorcycle crashes, which resulted in approximately 4,500 deaths and about 88,000 injuries. Motorcycle drivers are also much more likely to sustain injuries and death than car drivers are. But why? How are motorcycle accidents different from car accidents? Let’s take a look at some of the top differences you can expect to see between car and motorcycle crashes.
1) Insurance Claims
When you are in a car accident, you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. But if you’re in a motorcycle accident, you would file a claim with your own insurance company. The at-fault driver’s insurance company would then reimburse you for your damages. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy, it will cover some of these costs as well. If there is no insurance on either side of the accident, you can use MedPay to help cover medical expenses.
2) Medical Expenses
When you’re in a car accident, your medical expenses are typically covered by your health insurance. But if you’re in a motorcycle accident, your health insurance might not cover all of your medical expenses. This is because motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe than car accidents. As a result, you might have to pay for some of your medical expenses out of pocket. The time it takes to recover from an injury may also be different: For example, car accident victims will likely heal faster than those involved in motorcycle accidents.
However, even if the time it takes to recover from an injury is the same between a car and motorcycle accident victim, their quality of life during that recovery period may differ: Car accident victims can still drive themselves around during their recovery process while those recovering from motorcycle accidents must rely on friends or family members for transportation or ride public transportation.
3) Loss of Earning Capacity
If you’re in a car accident, you may not be able to work for a period of time, but you can still receive workers’ compensation. However, if you’re in a motorcycle accident, you may not be able to work at all. This is because the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are often much more severe than those in car accidents. There’s also less protection: Drivers in cars wear seat belts and have an airbag, while motorcyclists don’t. And finally, motorcycles are harder to see when they pass on the left or right side of a car, so there’s a greater chance that one will collide with them head-on.
4) Vehicle Replacement
If your car is totaled in an accident, your insurance company will pay to replace it. However, if your motorcycle is totaled, you’re out of luck. The insurance company will only pay you what the bike is worth, which is often much less than what it would cost to replace it. Insurance for motorcycles can be prohibitively expensive because they are far more likely to get into accidents. You have different recovery time: When someone is injured in a car accident, their recovery time depends on how badly they were hurt. But when someone is injured in a motorcycle accident, their recovery time will depend on whether or not they were wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
5) Treatment Choices
When you’re in a car accident, you have the option of seeking medical attention right away or waiting until you get home. With a motorcycle accident, however, you usually don’t have that choice. You will most likely be taken to the hospital in an ambulance right away. Motorcycle accidents tend to produce more severe injuries than car accidents. A person in a car can get up and move around after their collision whereas someone on a motorcycle cannot.
It is not uncommon for people who were injured on motorcycles to also sustain fractures or breaks from other parts of their body as well as brain trauma from hitting their head against the pavement.