What to Do if You Are in a Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident can change your life in an instant. Whether you lay your bike down or are hit by an inattentive driver, the injuries you receive could take years to heal. Many motorcycle accidents are even fatal. Knowing what to do if you are in a motorcycle accident can speed your recovery, both physically and financially.
Auto Accident vs Motorcycle Accident: What to Do Differently
In the moments immediately following an accident, many of the same steps apply regardless of whether you were driving a car or riding a motorcycle. You should still get to safety, prioritize your medical needs, take pictures (if possible, safely), and call 9-1-1. However, there are a few things to remember that specifically apply to motorcycle accidents:
Get Out of the Road
A motorcycle rider who has just been in an accident is immediately at risk of secondary, potentially more severe injuries if another driver doesn’t see where you have fallen. Don’t worry about the bike, but protect yourself by getting to safety as quickly as possible. This is especially true on the highway where vehicles are moving quickly. Move to the median, shoulder, or further if you are able, to shield yourself from oncoming traffic while you wait for police and EMS to arrive.
Keep Your Protective Gear On
After a motorcycle accident, shock and adrenaline may mask pain or serious injuries. Once you are in a safe place, remain still and keep your helmet, biker jacket, and other protective gear on until a paramedic arrives to check you out. Removing gear in contact with road rash, or a helmet when you have a head injury could aggravate the injury, making it even more severe.
Find Out Where Your Bike Will be Towed
It can be hard to track down where your motorcycle is taken after it is removed from the accident site. Talk to the officers on the scene and find out where the bike will be towed. If possible, ask for a card from the towing company, so you and your attorney can find the bike later, inspect it, and document the damage. This will be useful in proving who caused the crash and explaining how your injuries occurred.
Fighting Assumptions of Fault After a Motorcycle Accident
Many people find it easy to blame a motorcyclist for any crash. However, Connecticut motorists have a duty to take reasonable care to watch out for bikers on the road. Often, EMS will take you to the hospital before you have a chance to make your statement to police.
This makes it easy for the driver to claim you “came out of nowhere” or were riding recklessly when in fact, they were the one who caused the crash. Demand to talk to an officer, on site if possible, or as soon as you can in the hospital afterwards to make sure your version of what happened is documented. You and your personal injury attorney can get a copy of the police report from your accident and request amendments if your statement hasn’t been included.
How to Recover for Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents often involve more severe injuries than auto accidents. Connecticut law requires you to maintain minimum insurance coverage of $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident. However, your medical expenses after a biking accident could be far higher. A more reasonable coverage amount might be $250,000 per person or $500,000 per accident. You may also want to consider uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for your bike, to cover cases of hit-and-run drivers.
After you are in a motorcycle accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney right away. That attorney can help you file claims with your insurance provider to cover your medical expenses. Then, if your injuries are serious, they can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver for additional damages, including pain and suffering.
Family’s Options After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are far more likely to be fatal than those between cars, trucks, or SUVs. Bikers are more exposed, and when a crash happens, their bodies end up absorbing more of the impact. Every year, there are more than 5,000 motorcyclist fatalities, nationwide. They made up 14% of all fatal traffic accidents in 2019. Many of these bikers left behind family and loved ones who relied on them for support and companionship.
The silver lining to this cloud is that family members can still collect insurance benefits and personal injury damages in fatal accident cases. The process is slightly more complicated. However, working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you get the financial support you need to carry on in spite of your loss.
Get Help After You are in a Motorcycle Accident
After you have been in a motorcycle accident, once you have gotten medical attention, your very next call should be to a personal injury attorney. Having an experienced lawyer on your side as you navigate insurance claims, police reports, and personal injury lawsuits could be the difference between a long road to recovery and having the funds you need to heal.
At The Lebedevitch Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys understand how serious motorcycle accidents can be. We can help you protect your insurance claims, argue against allegations of fault, and pursue personal injury or wrongful death claims against at-fault drivers, so you receive all the financial support you deserve. Contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.