Contrary to Rumor, Motorcyclists Are Not Social Burdens
Motorcycle Accident Attorney in San Jose, CA
Motorcycle riders conjure many images, from outlaws to professionals enjoying a weekend ride through the countryside. Whether these images come from history or personal knowledge, the images are usually grounded in fact. For some, though, motorcycle riders conjure another image, an image of a social burden, a burden on taxpayers.
The theory that motorcyclists are a burden on society essentially states that motorcyclists who are injured in accidents accumulate large medical bills, medical bills that they cannot pay for or do not have insurance to help cover the costs. Thus, taxpayers end up paying these medical debts.
The theory that motorcyclists are a burden on society is false, however.
The social burden theory was born from a study in the 1980s at the Seattle area Harborville Medical Center. The study reported that 63.4 percent of injured motorcyclists put the burden of paying for their medical expenses on taxpayers. While this number appears to be extremely high, what the study failed to mention was that the percentage of motorcyclists that relied on taxpayers to pay for medical expenses was actually lower than the percentage of all patients (67 percent) that relied on taxpayers to pay expenses at this trauma center.
Further, a study by the University of North Carolinas Highway Safety Research Center reported that the number of riders injured in motorcycle accidents that had insurance (49.5 percent) to pay for their medical expenses was nearly identical the number of other injured motorists that had insurance (50.4 percent) to pay for their medical expenses.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the most recently available National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics, 90,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in 2009. This was a 6.3 percent reduction in the number of injured motorcyclists from the previous year. However, motorcyclist fatalities still accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in 2009.
Even though the number of injured motorcyclists may have declined in 2009, accidents still occur. And, while many riders have insurance to help cover their medical costs, medical bills and rehabilitation are expensive. Injured motorcyclists should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about seeking compensation from those who may be responsible for their injuries. Compensation can be sought to cover expenses such as medical bills, rehabilitation, long-term care, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Contact a San Jose personal injury lawyer at 408-293-7777. We offer convenient appointment times and will come to your home or hospital if you are unable to travel.