If ever in a motorcycle accident, make sure to stay on the scene, move your motorcycle to a safe location, call 911, get medical assistance, gather information and do not admit fault.
Motorcycles are cool, but the tradeoff for such coolness is the lack of protection riders have. While you should always take precautions never to be in a motorcycle crash, it is always helpful to have a plan of action for what to do if you find yourself in one.
What Typically Happens in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous for obvious reasons. A person riding such a vehicle has substantially less protection than a person protected fully by a vehicular wall.
Due to this, motorcycle crashes can be extremely life threatening for the motorcycle operator. Worse, due to the danger of motorcycles, injuries and death is not uncommon. Over 80,000 motorcycle crashes resulted in injury in the US, and 5,000 resulted in fatalities. Generally, 20% of the vehicular fatalities every year in Florida come from motorcycle accidents.
This is why, if you plan on driving a motorcycle, you must learn what causes motorcycle accidents, and what you can do to prevent them.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Bumpy roads can be annoying for car drivers but can be downright deadly for motorcycle riders. Add classic Florida weather like torrential downpours, and you find that you can create extremely dangerous conditions for motorcycle drivers very quickly.
Distraction is an issue for all drivers, but it can spell doom for motorcycle drivers. When a motorcycle driver is not paying attention, or where a driver of a vehicle is not paying attention, quick reactions that need to happen, don’t happen, and danger can ensue.
Every driver owes a duty of care to the other drivers around them. This applies to motorcycle drivers as well as other drivers on the road. If someone breaches their duty of care, by either drinking alcohol, failing to pay attention, or driving carelessly, an accident can easily occur.
How to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents?
Just because motorcycle accidents are more dangerous doesn’t mean that they can’t be prevented. To not become a statistic, caution must be taken.
The most important thing a motorcyclist can do is make sure to be careful. Take extra precaution when driving your bike, and do not drive carelessly. Try your best to follow the rules of the road, and keep in mind the location and the speed of the vehicles around you. Defensive driving is safe driving.
Wear the Appropriate Attire
Always wear a full faced helmet. If you don’t have a helmet you are very likely to suffer a cranial or brain injury during a crash. Furthermore, make sure to wear thick clothes that cover most of your body, and wear boots that cover your ankles. Road rash is no joke, especially at 60 mph.
It is also helpful to wear bright colored clothes so that you can be seen easily. The more brightness the better. In addition, adding reflective elements to your bike and clothing is very important.
Follow Road Laws and Regulations
Although it may be tempting not to, it is important to follow all road rules when on a motorcycle. In fact, it is substantially more important because of how easy it is to injure yourself on a motorcycle. A failure to follow road rules could also expose you to legal liability in the event of a crash (or a ticket in the event you don’t get in one).
Avoid Driving During Bad Weather
Do not drive your motorcycle during bad weather. Most motorcycles are not made for heavy rain and driving a motorcycle during heavy rain is much harder than operating a car. The best way to avoid an accident during the rain is to not drive in the rain. If you find yourself in the rain, get off the road. Assume that you are in active danger if you choose to drive during a thunderstorm.
Be Cautious During Dangerous Road Conditions
When driving at night make sure to have bright, regulation approved lights on your vehicle, as well as effective reflectors. It is generally best not to drive during rain, but it is imperative to take extreme caution if you do so. Make sure to keep a consistent speed, and take care to break from far distances.
Be Extra Aware and Cautious at Intersections
Most motorcycle crashes occur at intersections, and so it would pay to be more careful whenever you go through one. As you should with a car, always look both ways before going across even if the light is green, and pay special attention when turning right on red.
Check All Blind Spots
When driving a motorcycle, always make sure to check your blind spots before turning. Cars may not always notice that you are planning to turn so it is important to take extra caution in doing so. In addition, it is important to not be in someone else’s blind spot when turning, especially when your vehicle is as small as it is.
What To Do If You’re In a Motorcycle Accident?
While all of the above should help you stay out of a motorcycle accident, it can also be important to have a plan of action for what to do if in a motorcycle accident. Make sure to follow these steps.
Stay on the scene
Leaving the site early could make you look like the guilty party. Plus, you will want to give your story to the police.
Move your motorcycle to a safe location if you are able to do so
If possible, moving your motorcycle out of the way could make it easier for emergency crews to get into the area. Furthermore, it reduces the chances of further crashes because the roadway will be less obstructed.
Regardless of any injuries, it is important to get cleanup crew and emergency personnel to the scene. Police officers will also be able to document the accident, and the report they produce will be helpful to your attorney at a later date.
Gather information and evidence
While at the scene make sure to take plenty of photographs. The photographs taken will not only prove that the accident happened but will also show the extent of the damage caused. In addition, make sure to acquire all necessary information of the other driver(s) and witnesses involved. Make sure to get their full name, contact information, insurance company, insurance policy number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and the type, color and model of their vehicle. In addition, note the location of the accident.
Don’t apologize or admit anything
Refrain from giving even a nominal apology for the crash. Anything you say can be used against you. The truth of the matter is you likely don’t have all of the facts, and you may not know the law. Yet, a polite apology could be interpreted as you actually knowing what happened and admitting liability.
Get medical assistance
Make sure that all persons at your crash are well taken care of. After the crash, whether you feel seriously hurt or not, you should seek medical assistance. Getting yourself checked out helps erase the possibility of phantom injuries, which are injuries that may not show up until quite a while after an accident.
What if I am Partially at Fault in the Accident?
Florida is a comparative negligence state, so you may still be able to be awarded damages if you were not responsible for the majority of the injuries. Still, you likely are not an expert in the law, and may find that you are legally not responsible for the crash even though you feel like you were. It is important to understand that only a qualified personal injury attorney can give you an honest assessment of your case.
Getting into a motorcycle accident can be extremely stressful. Make it a little less stressful by finding a personal injury attorney who knows how to represent you.
The team at Bulluck Law Group knows how to handle motorcycle accidents and have brought justice for many clients over the years. Furthermore, Bulluck Law Group provides free consultations regarding these accidents, and can help you find the right law firm for your case.
We offer a free case evaluation to see if we’re a good fit as well as a No Recovery, No Fee Promise.
The team at Bulluck law group has years of experience in this area of the law and knows the right way to fight for your compensation. Contact us for a free consultation today.