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The high cost of motorcycle accidents in the U.S. (1 of 2)

According to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle fatalities were up by 7 percent in 2012 from the year before, which represents the most recent data available.

In 2012, close to 5,000 people lost their lives in fatal motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle injuries were also up from 81,000 in 2011 to 93,000 in 2012, the NHTSA reported.

However, some good news is that the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that motorcycle fatalities are expected to decrease by 7 percent in 2013, due to bad riding weather across the country. But the report also suggested that fatalities could rise again because of the lack of safety improvements, including declining helmet use.

All too often following a serious or fatal motorcycle accident, the motorcycle rider is unfairly blamed. For that reason, it can be difficult for the injured rider or the rider's family to obtain financial compensation without assistance from personal injury lawyers who know what they are doing.

Obtaining fair compensation following a serious motorcycle accident is crucial to the injured rider or the family the rider left behind. Accident victims and their families should not be left to foot the bills for medical treatment, lost wages and other expenses, which add up very quickly.

In fact, the Government Accounting Office has estimated that motorcycle crashes cost $16 billion in 2010 alone after considering direct costs like medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, lost household productivity and insurance costs. Long term medical costs were not included in the estimate.

Check back later this week for more eye-opening information from the NHTSA's recent motorcycle accident report.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Motorcycle Crashes," August 2014

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