Purchasing a brand-new motorcycle can be quite exciting; but, before you go joyriding, there are some safety precautions you need to take. According to iihs.org, people on motorcycles on motorcycles are more likely to be injured or killed than those in cars. In fact, the fatality rate was twenty-nine times higher than cars! While this statistic isn't meant to put a downer on your purchase, it should encourage you to take actions before an accident. You should also educate yourself on what to do after an accident, should it occur.
Before a Motorcycle Accident Occurs
Two of the biggest actions you can take to avoid an accident are outfitting yourself in the appropriate gear and driving defensively.
Wear the Appropriate Gear
While some states require a helmet at all times, there are some that only require it in certain areas. There are even a handful of states that don't require it at all. While it isn't as fun as letting the wind rip through your hair, helmets are your best defense for avoiding serious brain injuries and death.
Along with a good helmet, you should also equip yourself with good leather riding jacket. This jacket will help protect you from injuries—especially road rash. You may want to look into riding pants, gloves, and boots as well.
Drive Defensively and Avoid These Situations
While it may seem unfair to be the one that has to drive more defensively all the time, it's necessary since a crash with a vehicle will do the most damage to you and your bike. One of the most common—if not the most common—accident that cyclists get into are crashes where they are driving straight and an oncoming vehicle makes a left turn in front of them. This happens because of blind spots and because motorcyclists are smaller than cars and can be harder to see clearly. Ultimately, you need to be very aware of your surroundings to avoid this problem. Make sure you make contact with the other driver and are prepared to brake safely if need be.
Avoid lane splitting (driving between the lanes) so that you don't hit a car changing lanes. Also be sure to give cars enough space; they are bigger, so if they suddenly stop, you'll be the one that gets hurt if you hit them.
After a Motorcycle Accident Occurs
The most important thing after an accident occurs is for you to go get medical help, even if you think your injuries aren't serious. If you are injured severely, make sure that you have a friend or family member interview any witnesses and take pictures of the scene for you.
After receiving first aid and gathering evidence, the next step should be to contact a motorcycle accident attorney. You need an attorney by your side to get compensated for any damages. While an insurance company may pay you the minimum for damages, attorneys can help you get compensated for things like lost wages and emotional damages.
Your lawyer will help you draft a demand letter, where you will lay out your claims to the at-fault party and the insurance adjuster. This letter could help you get a larger settlement and avoid court.
Even if you were the one at fault, it's still important to retain a lawyer. For instance, there are crashes called "no-contact accidents," where even if the other vehicle didn't hit you, they acted in a negligent way as to make you crash. It's important to get a lawyer for these special cases since they will have a better understanding of these crashes occur. Lastly, an attorney is important because he or she can fight any prejudices received on your part. Motorcyclists can sometimes get a bad rap for being reckless, but a lawyer can sort through physical evidence, police reports, and witness statements to get to the truth.
As you can see, there are things you can do both before and after accidents to mitigate damages and receive the help you need. Contact a firm,like The Jaklitsch Law Group, for more help.