Get Some Insight as to what Compensation You May be Entitled To
Motorcycles can be exciting and fun to ride, for both the driver and their passengers; however, motorcycles are about 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than traditional vehicles. Thankfully, you can observe some rules that can help protect you, such as wearing a helmet and always following driver safety laws. Unfortunately, accidents always seem to happen when we least expect them, so it is essential to know what your options are if this occurs.
When it comes to vehicular accidents, the focus is often solely on the driver. However, the passengers can incur just as much damage physically, emotionally, and mentally following a motorcycle accident.
As a passenger, whether you are involved in a car accident or a two-wheel vehicle, like a motorcycle, it is important to remember you have rights as well. If injured, you may sue for lost wages benefits, compensation for medical bills, and more! However, in cases where, for example, the motorcycle was the sole victim of the crash (meaning no other cars, trucks, or bikes got hit), the case can get complicated. Many victims are afraid of contacting a lawyer because they don’t want to implicate the driver, who is often a friend or loved one. We understand this type of confusion and hesitation, which is why we want to be able to be by your side as legal counsel to help navigate this complicated situation.
What To Do If You Are Involved in a Motorcycle Crash
First things first, if you are involved in a vehicular accident, even if nobody was seriously injured call the police. In Florida, the police must be present to file an accident report. Without a statement, we cannot proceed with seeking fair compensation.
While you wait for the police to arrive:
- Exchange necessary information with the other parties
- Document as much as you can about the other driver, vehicle, accident scene, and situation
- Take photographs of all transportation involved, as well as any injuries and the area around you
- Be sure to note if there are crooked roads, hidden street signs, or something else that may have contributed to the accident
Next, contact a lawyer as soon as possible, even if you believe you are at fault. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this stressful situation and determine whether you, the other party or an external factor is at fault.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
As a motorcycle passenger, it is unlikely that you facilitated the crash or were capable of being in control of the bike. Although you were not the operator of the vehicle, in the event of a collision, there are laws to help protect you.
In the event of a crash, you may be able to recover damages from:
- The motorcycle operator, if their negligence caused the accident
- The driver of a vehicle if their action led to a crash or loss of control
- A cyclist, pedestrian, or motorcyclist, if their actions led directly to the crash
- A public entity, if the streets are damaged and caused the driver to lose control
- The manufacturer of the motorcycle, if the bike was defective or suffered mechanical loss
You can also move forward to file a claim with the operator’s insurance company, to help cover lost wages, medical bills, or emotional damages. To help you further determine the way to move forward and your available options, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. We understand that these cases can be complicated, particularly if with the driver of the motorcycle is a close friend or relative. However, motorcycle injuries can be severe, and leave you with expensive medical bills, future treatments, loss of mobility, and unable to work.
Taking Steps to Prevent Injury
There is no way to guarantee you will be safe from a crash, but you can take safety precautions before riding a motorcycle, both as the driver and the passenger. These tips can help you stay safe while enjoying the excitement that a bike offers:
- Wear protective gear. Not only should you always have a Department of Transportation-approved motorcycle helmet on, but you should also be sporting a protective jacket, gloves, and pants whenever riding.
- Ensure the bike has the right equipment. Before getting on the back of someone’s motorcycle, be sure that it can accommodate a passenger. A seat and footrests are a must-have for any bike that hopes to seat a second rider.
- Never ride with an unlicensed, or untrained driver. If the operator has never taken a course on riding with a passenger – or worse, they are unlicensed – avoid the ride altogether. Putting yourself in the hands of an inexperienced operator can mean the difference between life and death.
- Familiarize yourself with the motorcycle. Before taking off, make sure you know where the footrests are and that you can comfortably reach them. Remember, mechanical parts can be hot, and a muffler burn will undoubtedly leave a mark! It will be helpful to know where things are on the motorcycle before getting on.
- Hold on firmly. Before the motorcycle starts to drive, take a moment to note where the hand grips are. You can hold on to these or wrap your arms securely around the driver’s waist to ensure you don’t fall off while it’s moving.
- Don’t make sudden movements. Jerking motions can distract the driver, or worse, distribute the weight unevenly across the motorcycle. Doing so can cause the operator to lose control, and create an accident that could potentially be fatal.
Need Assistance With A Motorcycle Accident Claim? Call the Experts!
Navigating a legal claim can be confusing, stressful, and challenging without the proper training and expertise. You don’t have to go through it alone! If you or someone you love has sustained injuries relating to a motorcycle accident, contact the DRG Law Firm today! Our firm can help you understand the legal implications, who may be at fault, and what type of compensation you may be eligible to claim. Call us anytime, day or night, at 888-413-8353 for a free consultation from Demian Rafael Goldstraj, Esq.