Motorcycle riders love the excitement, and endorphins of riding- it’s why we get on the bike in the first place. However, most riders realize we aren’t immune to some risk every time we go on an adventure – or a quick trip to the store, for that matter. One of the dreaded scenarios is the possibility of getting into a motorcycle accident, but we have to acknowledge that possibility and plan for how to deal with it in advance. We’re going to go over some motorcycle injury and accident statistics, what to do should you or a loved one find yourself in an accident, and how to treat the physical, emotional, and legal follow-up.
Injury Concerns and Prevention
While collisions and other road incidences can cause financial damage, the true concern is protecting you, your passengers, and any other people involved. As a rider, you should always follow ATGATT (All the Gear, All the Time). This means you should be wearing a full face helmet, proper riding gloves, a protective vest, riding pants, and motorcycle boots. Do not substitute non-riding specific versions of these, as they are not made to stand up to road rash and other trauma stress.
While this may seem like an excessive amount of caution (trust us, we understand the notion of the wind whipping in your face on the open road), proper protection can reduce risk of injury or fatality by 37 percent and 68 percent, respectively. When the most prevalent injuries in major motorcycle crashes include nerve damage, spinal cord injury, foot injuries, broken bones, and head trauma, this level of increased protection is well worth paying attention to.
If you or another person involved in an accident are in need of medical attention, do not waste time, call the paramedics and the proper authorities. Often, there is an element of shock even if you aren’t seemingly injured, and short-term decision making is difficult. It is important to breathe, relax, and let medical professionals assess everyone before you depart from any moderate-to-serious incident. Even if it is a single-vehicle incident, you need to be sure that you are fully healthy and there is no damage to report to you or your bike, as an insurance claim will often be rejected without proper proof and documentation.
What to Do in the Event of an Accident
The likelihood of being involved in a motorcycle accident over the course of one’s riding career statistically outweighs that of being involved in a car accident. However, studies have also shown that this is due to a skew in personality type and safety precautions among a select group of riders. The statistics won’t matter if you are involved in an accident- what you do next will, though.
In the event you are conscious and able to move, the first thing you need to do is make sure you are safe, no matter what type of accident you are in. This means getting yourself out of harm’s way and making sure that you are stable and able to appraise the situation. Next, call 911 and report the accident.
From there, if there is another party involved, go check on them. If they are ok, size up the damage to your respective vehicles. Make sure you haven’t damaged their property before attending to yours- this is an annoying detail in the moment, but one that will help you avoid further incidents.
Finally, you will want to be documenting everything for legal purposes, insurance claims, and any other follow-up necessary. Take photos, write down key information, and get statements from witnesses if possible. We know it will be a stressful time, and you may be dealing with injury and mental distress, but if you take the time for these steps, your insurance and lawyers will have the best information possible to support your case.
Who to Call After a Motorcycle Accident
After an accident, it can be scary, shocking, and humbling. It is perfectly normal to take your time trying to sort out what happened, and hopefully count your blessings that you were wearing gear and are not severely injured. Once the moment has slowed down, we recommend you contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.
When speaking to the law firm, you will need to get them the details of the motorcycle crash: who was involved, the claim of fault, and any damage to the bike and other vehicle(s) that is necessary to report. Preserve evidence by taking pictures and making a list of things you described on the phone. If there is an insurance or legal dispute, it is important to maintain consistent information, which can be difficult during the aftermath of a crash if you try to do it by memory.
If there is another party involved, you should have documentation of what they claimed for personal injury and damage to their property. The same consistency in that reporting will be key for settling disputes between insurance companies.
In the event you are an accident victim and the other party has fled, you should look to get any eyewitness accounts or information that may help your case. Law Tigers offers a $10,000 hit-and-run reward to help find and prosecute these reckless people.
Recovery After a Motorcycle Accident
One of the most difficult parts of a motorcycle accident is the recovery and subsequent confidence to get back on the bike. There can be chronic physical injuries that prohibit or change your riding style, and PTSD from the accident. To help you physical and emotional recovery:
- Consult professionals for any injuries or emotional trauma you have.
- Don’t dwell on things that weren’t your fault, and learn from actions that were.
- Take medical treatments seriously- riding is tough enough on your body already.
- Take your time in recovery if necessary. Often we can exacerbate the injuries or lingering PTSD from a crash by trying to push through them.
If you follow safety procedures before rides, know what to do in a high-stress collision situation, and are willing to follow proper recovery protocols, it will make a lifetime of motorcycle riding much easier to navigate.
How to Find a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer
Dealing with legal cases is not exciting for anyone who has just been in a motorcycle accident. However, it is often necessary, and you need to have the best representation. If you are looking for motorcycle injury lawyers, you have to know who to trust and should choose a qualified law firm.
The Law Tigers is a national association of local personal injury law firms, industry professionals, and riders that support the motorcycle riding community, and advocate for all riders and their families when impacted by an injury. We’ve spent decades working with the community we love, and nothing is more important than keeping you safe in every respect. If you need representation following a collision, please reach out today – let’s get through this together.