While most people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, not everyone knows the risks involved with operating motorcycles while intoxicated. Motorcycle operators are just as dangerous as drunken drivers because both can cause innocent people to suffer from unnecessary injuries as well as claim innocent lives. Operating a motorcycle while intoxicated is against the law in the state of California. But in spite of this law, many people still operate motorcycles on our roadways when they’ve been drinking.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that every year, about 1,500 motorcyclists are killed due to drunken riding. Intoxicated motorcycle riders put themselves at risk for severe injuries and death as well as other motorists and pedestrians.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that happened because the operator of the motorcycle was intoxicated, you should speak to a California personal injury attorney at Hogan Injury. You may be able to claim compensation for your injuries and other damages you suffered.
Common Physical Injuries Suffered by Victims of Intoxicated Motorcycle Operators
Accident victims of intoxicated motorcyclists commonly sustain serious injuries including:
Spinal cord injuries – Among the most serious injuries suffered by victims of drunken motorcyclists are spinal cord injuries. A spinal cord injury or SCI is an injury that does damage to the spinal cord which often results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling. Approximately 11,000 people in the United States suffer from spinal cord injuries each year with many of those being very severe in nature.
Traumatic brain injuries – A traumatic brain injury or TBI is caused by a forceful blow to the head. Even rapid movement of the head can cause a serious brain injury as can falling off the back of a motorcycle wherein the head strikes something hard like asphalt. Traumatic brain injuries are often life-changing as many TBI patients have to relearn how to speak, read and process information. Many TBI patients require long-term treatment which often involves living in special facilities staffed by personnel trained in caring for and treating brain-injured individuals.
Bone fractures – Bone fractures are common injuries suffered by victims of motorcycle accidents. A bone fracture can be very serious if it’s an open fracture that breaks the skin as surgery is most often necessary and infection is always a concern. Some bone fractures lead to complications which includes a condition known as compartment syndrome. If not treated, this condition can require amputation of the affected limb.
Abrasions – When a motorcycle rider falls off or is thrown from a motorcycle, he/she can suffer from what is called “road burn”. This type of abrasion is not only painful but it also can easily lead to a serious infection. It is common for victims of motorcycle accidents to suffer from deep abrasions to the face which may require cosmetic surgery to repair. Hands, arms, knees, legs, elbows, torsos and buttocks also can be affected by serious abrasions which require plenty of healing time and treatment.
Partial or Complete Paralysis – Because motorcycle riders are not protected in the same way automobile riders are, they are at risk for paralysis. Being suddenly and violently thrown off a bike can result in an awkward landing wherein the spinal cord is severed, leading to partial or full paralysis. Motorcycles that strike automobiles, other bikes or pedestrians also can cause innocent victims to become paralyzed wherein they require specialized care for the rest of their lives.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in California. Motorcycle operators found in offense of DUI laws face criminal penalties and drastic consequences. The blood alcohol limit in California is 0.08%. However, a motorcyclist can be charged with impaired driving regardless of the blood alcohol reading if law enforcement can prove they were affected by alcohol.
Intoxicated motorcycle operators who cause accidents often injure innocent victims who are traveling in motor vehicles, riding other motorcycles or who may be simply walking wherein they happen to be in the wrong place at the right time. Unfortunately, many victims of intoxicated motorcycle operators lose their lives. Wrongful death claims can be filed by family members who’ve lost their loved ones unnecessarily at the hands of a drunk driver regardless if he or she was operating a vehicle with two wheels or four.
What can be Included in Compensation
If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an accident caused by an intoxicated motorcycle operator, Hogan Injury attorneys can help you recover damages for:
- Current medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain & suffering
- Loss of future earnings
In the case of wrongful death of a family member, you may be able to recover damages for funeral and burial costs, any medical expenses related to the accident, loss of earnings including retirement benefits and more.