What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
While motorcycle operators certainly enjoy greater freedom on the road, it can come with a high price in the event of an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as 92,000 motorcycle riders were injured in 2014. Though was a welcome decrease from previous years, the threat of a crash remains a possibility for many motorcyclists. Knowing what to do in advance can help you make the right choices should the need arise.
Possible Motorcycle Injuries
Since motorcycles do not essentially enclose their occupants within a protective metal barrier, motorcycle accident injuries tend to be far more serious than automobile accident injuries. Victims of such accidents often incur:
- Head and neck injuries. While helmets can certainly help, being thrown from a motorcycle in an accident can cause potentially debilitating concussions, brain damage or paralysis.
- Road rash injuries, which are caused by concrete sliding across exposed skin or thin clothing. Some victims may be left with permanent skin damage from infections or tissue destruction.
- Broken bones. The high levels of force in motorcycle accidents can easily cause bones to fracture. Although such injuries may not be life-threatening, they are often expensive and require long-term medical treatment.
Documenting the Scene
There are a number of steps you can take to hopefully make things run smoother with your accident claim, such as:
- Obtaining contact information from witnesses in the area. Legal complications sometimes arise after motorcycle accidents when those involved dispute their liability. Impartial witnesses can make a significant difference in substantiating your claims.
- Photographing the crash scene. If it’s safe to do so, take detailed pictures that capture vehicle positions, the street layout and damage to your bike. These photographs can become invaluable when reconstructing the crash or determining liability.
Handling the Aftermath
Though you’ll likely be required to report the crash to your insurance company immediately, it’s important that you avoid discussing the situation in great detail until you’ve spoken to a motorcycle accident attorney. Recognize that you can’t know the full extent of your injuries without a doctor’s assessment and hastily declaring yourself “unhurt” might come back to haunt you later.
The outcome of your claim may depend on how well you adhere to prescribed therapies, whether you wore adequate motorcycle safety gear at the time of the accident and other such circumstances. Given these complexities, it may be worthwhile to contact a lawyer in Ohio who can assist you with your motorcycle accident case.
Image provided by Oregon Department of Transportation under the creative commons attribution 2.o generic license.
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