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Tragic accidents put spotlight on vulnerability of motorcyclists

In May, two motorcyclists were killed in a terrible accident here in New Mexico. More recently, another terrible crash has brought the nation's attention once again to the dangers faced by motorcyclists.

In the recent tragedy, seven people were killed and three more injured when a pickup truck towing a trailer plowed into a group of 10 motorcycles traveling in New Hampshire, police said. The victims were mostly former U.S. Marines who were members of a motorcycle club.

Police have released few details about the crash. The pickup driver was later arrested and charged with seven counts of negligent homicide.

For many of us in New Mexico, this news brought back fresh memories of a terrible crash in Taos County in May, when two riders were killed in a collision at the popular Red River Memorial Motorcycle Rally.

The design of motorcycles makes them inherently unstable, and because motorcyclists are exposed to the elements, they are incredibly vulnerable in any accident. Good riders exercise caution and wear protective gear when on their bikes, but there is only so much they can do to protect themselves against the hazards posed by negligent drivers.

In fact, researchers have found that in most accidents between a motorcycle and another vehicle, the accident was caused by the other vehicle violating the motorcyclist's right of way.

When an accident is caused by another driver's negligence, the injured or their family members may be able to recover compensation for their damages through a personal injury claim. In cases of fatal accidents, the family members of the deceased may have a claim for wrongful death. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages and more. Since the injuries in a motorcycle accident are likely to be severe, the resulting damages can be extremely high.

The injured and their families can speak to a lawyer with experience in motorcycle accident cases to find out about their legal options for recovering compensation.

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