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GAO report reveals high cost of motorcycle accidents

A recently released report by the federal Government Accountability Office demonstrates some of the serious costs of accidents involving motorcycles - both financial and human.

The report found that the average fatal motorcycle crash costs $1.2 million. Non-fatal accidents can come with a wide range of price tags, from a few thousand dollars up to $1.4 million depending on the severity, the parties and their injuries. In 2010, motorcycle accidents cost a total of about $16 billion.

But far more staggering are the human costs of motorcycle crashes. According to the GOA, 82,000 bikers were injured in 2010 and 4,500 were killed. Overall, the office found that motorcycle crashes were about 30 times deadlier than other motor vehicle accidents.

Because motorcycle lack the structural protections of cars, trucks or other motor vehicles, bikers are particularly vulnerable in the event of an accident. Without an airbag to cushion the impact of the body of a car to stop their trajectory, motorcycle riders are at a higher risk of sustaining serious injury or death if they become involved in a collision.

These factors also contribute to higher costs. A motorcyclist who is largely unprotected in a crash will likely have higher costs for medical care, rehabilitation, insurance payments and other damages than someone protected by a car.

Because of this, it is of paramount importance that bikers who are involved in an accident seek expert medical attention and consult with a personal injury attorney. The right lawyer can work with you to review the circumstances of your accident, pursue any appropriate claims for damages - including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering - and allow you to focus on getting back to your life.

Source: Injured, "Motorcycle crashes cost $16B a year: report," Andrew Lu, Dec. 21, 2012

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