Motorcycle accidents are, unfortunately, a fact of life which we cannot ignore. Since many motorcyclists no longer wear helmets, the intensity of injuries has increased. Statistics indicate that many of these accidents are avoidable and, in many cases, are the fault of auto drivers who are distracted or simply didn’t notice the cyclists. However, they probably will continue to happen and injure motorcyclists.
What Should You Do, If You’ve Been Involved and Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
At the scene:
- Get yourself out of harm’s way when your injuries allow you to do it.
Get out of the roadway to safety from other motor vehicles or other hazards you witness.
- Be aware of your bike or another vehicle leaking gasoline.
Never stay around vehicles leaking gasoline that may ignite.
- Get away from roadway drop-offs, cliffs, or other hazards.
Don’t risk making your injuries worse than they are.
- Check others for injuries and dial 9-1-1 right away.
Be sure to first dial 911, then if you are able check others for injuries. If you are in pain, or think you may be injured do not move. Dial 911 and wait for help.
- Try your best to remain calm.
Sure, it’s difficult, but beneficial to not say anything that could anger the other participant(s).
- Report the accident to the local police, if emergency responders are not coming.
If no one else is hurt and your injuries are minor, neither you nor anyone else may need rescue professionals. You still should report the accident to the local police as soon as possible.
- Never leave the accident scene before law enforcement offers come.
Most accidents, whether or not involving personal injury, mean that local police officers will come on scene.
- If your smartphone or available camera still works, take photos of the accident scene.
- Should there be witnesses at the scene, ask them what they saw and record their responses.
After the accident:
- Contact your insurance company to report an accident.
Always contact your insurer, advising them of the accident.
- Never admit fault to ANYONE.
This means If your attorney was with you, he/she would give you identical advice.
- Contact a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accident cases.
Many attorneys have experience with similar cases. They’ll understand how to handle them. At The Moynahan Law Firm we have a great deal of experience representing clients in such matters.
- Always follow your physician’s orders—don’t take rehab “shortcuts.”
Just follow your doctor’s orders exactly. Physicians understand what your injuries need to minimize paid and maximize recovery time.
Take action to minimize future accident injuries:
- Wear protective gear in the future.
You cannot have a do over or a “mulligan.” You can protect yourself better in the future.
- Never ride a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
This action plan should be obvious. No more needs to be said. Drugs include both recreational substances and prescribed medications.
- Adjust your speed/riding style to current weather or road conditions.
Bad weather can arise in an instant. Traffic can increase without warning. Road conditions can turn from smooth and dry, to rough, pothole-infested roadways around almost every turn. Be ready and adjust your speed and riding style to account for current conditions.
- Always exercise caution, good judgment, and practice “defensive riding” techniques.
Do not be a “wildman” on the road. Being too aggressive a rider shows a lack of caution and good judgment when operating your motorcycle. You should exercise even more caution than you do when driving an automobile, since you are much more vulnerable to injury when riding your bike.
- Remain vigilant and identify area motor cars as potential threats.
Not all autos are threats. The problem: You don’t know which vehicles are driven by equally cautious drivers, and which are not. Treating all 2000 to 4000-pound motor cars as potential threats and being forever cautious of all motor vehicles will better safeguard your riding experiences.
- Be honest when estimating your riding skill level, avoiding situations beyond your comfort level.
Even if you’re an experienced, expert rider, never overestimate your skill. If you do so you risk having an accident in complex and uncertain situations. Never extend your comfortability to include potentially hazardous situations. If you can, analyze current conditions and remain aware of possible accident potential.
As you can see, there are many things to do if an accident happens while you’re riding. Even when you’re using wise judgment and caution, some motorcycle accidents are really unavoidable. However, if you follow the above suggestions, you will minimize your injuries and maximize your potential settlement.
You (and your insurance company) hope to keep you out of harm’s way when you’re riding your motorcycle. By adopting a cautious, defensive riding approach, you greatly improve your odds of avoiding crashes that involve injuries to your person (body).