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Motorcycle Riding Under the Influence

Colburn Law

Driving while under the influence is extremely dangerous and reckless. Alcohol and drugs inhibit many of the functions that we need to drive safely, such as concentration, judgement, and motor skills. In accidents involving motorcycles, driving under the influence can result in catastrophic injuries and devastating fatalities. If you have been injured in an accident, speak to our Seattle motorcycle accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.

The Dangers of Impaired Drivers and Motorcyclists

Drunk or drugged driving is highly illegal for anyone operating a motor vehicle or a motorcycle. Unfortunately, not everyone follows these laws. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), 50% of roadway fatalities occur due to impaired driving. In fact, 25,619 people in Washington were arrested for driving under the influence in 2017 alone.

Between 2019 and 2020, 90 motorcyclists died in accidents across Washington state. In two-thirds of these cases, the motorcyclist’s dangerous actions caused the accident. Speeding, improper passing, and driving under the influence were the main contributing factors.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents Involving Impaired Drivers

Motorcyclists and motor vehicle drivers alike can cause accidents while intoxicated. However, motorcyclists are more likely to die or sustain severe injuries than a driver in a motor vehicle. Cars have large metal bodies and frames that protect the people inside. Motorcyclists lack the same protections.

Common types of injuries in DUI motorcycle collisions include the following.

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Cuts, bruises, and sprains
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding
  • Facial injuries
  • Burn injuries and scarring

Filing a Claim After a DUI Motorcycle Accident

If you are injured by an impaired driver or motorcyclist, you have the right to pursue financial compensation. Washington is a fault accident state and requires any negligent driver or motorcyclist to pay for the collisions they cause. You could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Through your claim, you can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to your collision. To secure a settlement, you will need to prove to the insurance company that the at-fault driver caused the accident. In a lawsuit, you will need to prove the following four elements.

  • The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. All motorcyclists and drivers have a duty to drive safely and follow traffic rules—including DUI laws.
  • The at-fault party breached his or her duty care by driving under the influence.
  • The breach of duty caused your accident and your resulting injuries.
  • You sustained damages in the collision that you can recover in your lawsuit.

You can use multiple pieces of evidence to prove your claim, including medical bills, surveillance footage, and witness testimony. A DUI accident lawyer could also enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, who can support your case.

Hire a Washington Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Injured? Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers today

Securing compensation can be difficult after a DUI accident—especially if you are a motorcyclist. Insurance representatives can perpetuate unfair stereotypes against motorcycle riders, which could affect your right to recovery.

If you or a loved one were injured by an intoxicated driver or motorcyclist, you may be eligible for legal action. In these situations, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. After receiving medical care after the accident, contact a Washington personal injury lawyer to discuss your next steps.