What to Do Next When Caught in a Motorcycle Accident
A 57-year-old motorcyclist was killed and another injured in a crash in Raleigh recently when a woman drove her work van into them. Motorcycle accidents are nasty, and we sincerely hope you never find yourself in one ever. If, however, it does happen, here is what to do next to contain the damage and receive quick help.
Who was at fault?
Eventually, this is what everything boils down to.
Statistically speaking, it’s the cars and other bigger vehicles that are usually at fault in crashes involving motorcycles.
When a car or a truck comes from behind and knocks you down, they are clearly at fault. They are also in violation of the law that states that motorcyclists are entitled to the full use of a lane and no vehicle can be driven in a manner that deprives the motorcyclists of such access to the lane.
A vehicle approaching you from the behind or knocking you sideways because they passed you by very closely will be held responsible for the accident.
• Hopefully you are geared up when you are on your motorbike, which will cushion the fall to some extent. Give yourself time to recover from the accident. Chances are you’d be shaking and unable to focus, though your helmet would likely protect you from grave injury to the head.
• If no one stops by to help you, call the cops the first thing. Ring your insurer the next, and inform them about your accident, along with who caused it.
• If you’re in the condition to, take pictures of your wrecked motorcycle and any other damage with your smartphone.
• If the car/truck driver who caused you to fall does stop, take pictures of their vehicle too, especially of the license place. Snap it so that you can capture a clear view of their vehicle next to yours. Note down the driver’s name and contact number.
Did you have a passenger with you?
Things become more complicated when you have company when riding. Now it’s two persons injured instead of one.
If you are in the position to, immediately assess the severity of their injuries.
• If the accident was your fault, and the passenger sustained grave injuries as a consequence, you’ll be held liable for them.
• The law requires all motorcyclists to carry adequate insurance cover. One of the provisions in this policy is paying those whom you’ve caused harm in situations like this for which you’re responsible. If your fault causes harm to another person, driver, pedestrian, or even your co-passenger, this provision will help you (through your insurer) compensate them for the damage/injuries suffered by them.
• If it was the fault of the other driver that caused you to crash, they will be liable for paying both you and the person riding with you at the time of the accident.
Speak to a Lawyer Soon As You Can
You will have to find a lawyer if you want fair representation in this case because you can rest assured that the insurance company of the person who knocked you down will do its best to pin the blame on you and absolve their client of any wrongdoing so as to pay out as low a sum as possible to you, if any.
Insurance companies rarely like the idea of parting with loads of money by way of compensation, and their lawyers are skilled in trapping unwary and inexperienced victims. Having a lawyer by your side will ensure that you get good legal counsel and that you do not agree to anything you shouldn’t be agreeing to.
What the North Carolina law requires of motorcyclists:-
• North Carolina has had a universal helmet law since 1968. Both the rider and the passenger should wear helmet each time they get on the bike, regardless of their age or the length of distance to be covered. Helmets are proven to protect you against severe head injuries, bringing down your chances of sustaining one by as much as 69%.
• All motorcycles plying on North Carolina roads should have a rearview mirror providing a clear view of up to 200 ft in the rear, and have a working headlamp to be kept on whenever the bike is on the road.
• Motorcycle riders cannot carry more passengers with them than allowed by the motorcycle manufacturer, and only two motorcycles can ride parallel to each other on a lane, not more than that.
Riding on a motorcycle under open skies and on smooth roads feels like heaven until you run into an accident or trip yourself somehow.
Given the size and the mass of motorcycles, any kind of fall is likely to cause injuries. It’s best to put on protective gear before you set out, observe all the laws and the rules, and get in touch with an attorney soon as you find yourself in trouble.
Here’s a link to the official motorcyclist’s handbook issued by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which all the motorcyclists in the state should read. Make a note of the important points, and pass it on to all those you know who may need it.