With 8.6 million motorcycles registered in the U.S., over 3,000 registrations come from Washington DC. So, it’s no surprise that there is not a shortage of motorcycle accidents on the road. And with cyclists having little protection from the road and other vehicles, motorcycle accidents are the most dangerous accidents for everyone involved.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 5,000 motorcycle deaths in the U.S. in 2019 and 84,000 injuries. And cyclists are 29 times more likely to die in motor vehicle traffic crashes than occupants of passenger cars.
Motorcycle Crashes in Washington DC
Even though the District of Columbia has the least amount of motorcycles registered in the country, it is not exempt from the dangers of riding a motorcycle. In 2019, three motorcycle riders were involved in fatal crashes.
Helmet Laws in DC
The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of almost 2,000 motorcycle riders in 2017. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, 749 lives could have been saved. In states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets, compared to 9% in states with universal helmet laws.
In Washington DC, all motorcycle riders must wear a DOT-approved helmet when operating their vehicle. This includes both drivers and passengers. In addition to a motorcycle helmet, motorists must wear protective eye gear such as goggles or a windshield.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle accidents occur due to rider error. This can include riding without a valid license, failing to yield the right of way or speeding.
Alcohol consumption is also a significant factor in motorcycle accidents; 42% of motorcycle riders involved in single-vehicle crashes were alcohol-impaired, and 21% in multiple vehicle accidents. Riders under the influence of alcohol are more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than those who are not.
Speed is another major factor in motorcycle accidents, and speeding is often the cause of serious injuries or fatalities. Some other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Road departures and hazardous road conditions
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Defective motorcycle parts
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to die than passenger vehicle occupants. This means that the injuries victims suffer are often more severe and deadly in motorcycle crashes.
The most common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are traumatic brain injuries, followed by fractures and road rash. Head injuries can range from minor concussions to more serious traumatic brain injuries, often fatal.
Fractures are also common in motorcycle accidents, particularly the legs and arms. Road rash is another common injury, and it can occur when a rider is thrown from their motorcycle and slides along the pavement.
DC Motorcycle Laws to Be Aware Of
Before you take your motorcycle out on the road, it’s important to make sure you are aware of the traffic laws and regulations for motorcycles in Washington DC.
- Motorcyclists must have passed a motorcycle rider safety course and have a valid motorcycle license, insurance, and registration to operate a motorcycle in Washington D.C.
- Motorcyclists are required to obey all posted speed limits, use proper turn signals, and yield to pedestrians.
- Motorcyclists cannot park their bikes on the sidewalk
- Motorcycles must have a passenger footrest and seat whenever carrying a passenger
- Motorcycles must have a left-side rear-view mirror
Ways to Avoid a Motorcycle Accident in Washington DC
While avoiding fatal motorcycle crashes is not entirely possible, there are things motorcyclists can do to take precautions and stay safe while riding.
Riders should always wear a helmet and protective clothing and should never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They should also obey the speed limit and be aware of their surroundings. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle collision, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In many cases, injuries from motorcycle accidents can be severe and may require long-term treatment. If you cannot work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your lost wages and medical bills. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The Washington, D.C. motorcycle accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success in helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motorcycle accident, gathering evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
For more than 50 years, the Washington DC lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones due to someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $3.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury when a District of Columbia police officer opened his door into traffic and “doored” him.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury due to a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury due to a doctor’s inappropriate chemical product use.
- $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
- $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
- $600,000 verdict was obtained against the United States Postal Service due to the negligence of one of its drivers, who pulled out from a stop sign in front of our client’s motorcycle.
See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.
Contact a DC Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your motorcycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.