Motorcycle accidents are one of the most prevalent causes of injuries and deaths among Kansas motorists. According to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KSDOT), in 2011 there were more than 1,100 motorcycle accidents across the state. Greater than 800 of these accidents caused injuries, and there were 45 reported deaths due to motorcycle accidents. Statistics in 2011 indicate a significant increase in motorcycle accidents in a ten-year period, with just over 700 motorcycle accidents having occurred in 2001.
One of the most common contributors to motorcycle accident injuries and deaths is failing to wear a helmet. Helmets are designed to reduce impact to the brain should an accident occur, which can be lifesaving for the individual involved in an accident. KSDOT estimates that of the 45 deaths that occurred in 2011 as a result of motorcycle accidents, only 12 individuals were wearing a helmet. Of the greater than 800 people injured, less than 50-percent of those injured was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Failing to use a helmet may be just one of multiple factors that resulted in fatal injuries to a Kansas motorcyclist recently. According to media reports, the motorcyclist, a 49-year-old man, was traveling near U.S. 24 on his Harley Davidson motorcycle when he was struck by a sport utility vehicle (SUV). The motorcyclist sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the accident scene. Investigators indicated that he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
While the motorcyclist’s injuries may have been lessened had he been wearing a helmet, the accident was caused by the SUV driver’s failure to yield to the oncoming motorcycle. According to investigators, the SUV driver, another 49-year-old man, was attempting a left turn when he struck the motorcycle. The motorcyclist reportedly attempted to avoid the turning SUV but was unsuccessful and struck the fender. The driver of the SUV was unharmed. It is unclear if charges are pending against him.
Tragic accidents like this one highlight the importance of safety for motorcyclists on Kansas roadways. Wearing a helmet is a great tool to help protect the fragile human body, but it cannot protect motorcyclists from the unexpected and often negligent actions of other drivers. For the family of the motorcyclist who was killed in this accident, there is likely no match for their grief and loss. In addition to funeral expenses, this victim’s family may suffer from a loss of valuable income, companionship, and support. Fortunately, some of their burden may be lifted if they are able to seek recovery against the driver believed to be responsible for their loss.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, or you have lost a loved one in a tragic motorcycle accident, contact a Kansas motorcycle accident attorney that you can trust. With more than 27 years of legal experience, the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. can help you navigate a civil claim and seek the recovery that you need. Let our team of skilled personal injury attorneys work for you and the interests of your family. We take pride in providing every client with individualized service designed to suit the needs of individualized, complex matters. Contact the Kansas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the law office of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. today by calling our office at (913) 681-5566 locally, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You also have the option of sending us an electronic message via our website, which will be returned as soon as possible.