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Hurt in an accident? Follow this motorcycle accident guide
Motorcycle enthusiasts know the appeal of heading out to enjoy some time alone or with friends, experiencing the freedom of the open road. It can be an exhilarating feeling, but not everyone respects the challenges and risks that motorcycle riders face when dealing with other motorists or the varying conditions of freeways and busy streets.
Your chances of getting hurt on a motorcycle are much greater than when driving in a car or truck. In 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes, which is down slightly from 5,038 in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2019, motorcyclists were nearly 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle miles traveled. Even time of day plays a big part in the likelihood of when you might have an accident. For example, your chances of getting hurt on a motorcycle increase in the evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. — that time of day when visibility is reduced and other motorists may not see you, even with lights on when wearing reflective gear. The reality is that the majority of motorcycle fatalities — 89 percent — occur in good weather and on urban roads.
Motorcycle riders are often less visible to other drivers and more prone to having accidents that can affect them physically and mentally due to poor road conditions posed by inclement weather, loose gravel or uneven pavement.
Accidents can also occur while vehicles are changing lanes, due to speeding or erratic driving, lane splitting, a collision with other vehicles or impaired driving.
The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- traumatic brain injury
- spinal cord injuries
- fractures and broken bones
- road burn
As a result of your accident you may also experience long-term affects such as:
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- catastrophic or other permanent injury
- loss of income and /or earning ability over the term of your life
To make sure you consider all the possible actions to take, consider the following information a motorcycle accident guide:
What happens if I have a motorcycle accident?
Car and motorcycle accident victims are often unaware that they can seek help from a personal injury attorney after experiencing an accident with their vehicle. If you have a motorcycle accident the most important first step is to make sure you are safe and get out of the way of traffic and obtain proper medical attention. If you were involved in an incident involving another driver or multiple drivers, be sure to get their license plate information, personal contact information and insurance details, if possible. Try to remain calm and don't speak at length with the individuals. Avoid any confrontations and simply walk away if others become hostile with you. This is not the time for you to put yourself at further risk.
How do I proceed after my accident?
You may want to call 911 if you are hurt and so that the police can attend, especially if the other people involved have left the scene, so that the authorities can record any details about the accident, including where skid marks exist, any evidence of a collision, or other indications of what happened during the accident may appear. If there were witnesses to your accident it's good to get their contact information as well.
Don't brush off what might feel like a few bumps and bruises. Too often people who have motorcycle accident injuries may think they are okay, but in reality there could be long-term physical or emotional damage that could affect your health and ability to live well in the years to come. In some cases injuries and symptoms of certain conditions may actually be delayed.
Once you have been seen by a medical professional, you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney. Depending on how your accident occurred, you may be able to seek compensation for injury and damages you incurred as a result of the accident. You may be able to claim accident benefits through your insurance company or sue a driver who was negligent.
If you have been injured it's best to keep the details of your injury private and not post on social media about the accident or any activities you are involved in as this could be recorded by your insurance company or attorneys acting for those who may have been responsible for your accident.
Always refrain from speaking to an insurance company or an opposing party's legal counsel about agreeing to a settlement until you have spoken to an attorney.
Contact a top motorcycle accident attorney at Steelhorse Law to help understand your rights and determine if you may be eligible for compensation that could contribute to your care as you recover from your injuries.