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Determining Fault After a Motorcycle Accident

The “cool” appeal of operating a motorcycle has received plenty of media attention. For example, Geico made motorcycle riding the primary selling point of a highly successful commercial.

However, motorcycle operators are the most vulnerable motor vehicle operator on American roads and highways. In 2019, more than 5,000 motorcyclists died and that number makes motorcycle operators 29 times more likely to die in a crash than any of the occupants of a passenger vehicle.

If you have suffered injuries because of a motorcycle accident, get the legal and insurance claim help you deserve by working with a personal injury attorney.

Examples of Motorcycle Accidents

You might have heard about the illegal practice called lane-splitting, which involves a motorcyclist moving in slow or stalled traffic between two vehicle lanes. Although lane splitting is a problem especially in Southern California, the fact remains that other drivers are the most common reason why motorcyclists crash their bikes.

A driver of a passenger vehicle running a red light is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. This is particularly true at an intersection where a motorcyclist has the right of way and a passenger vehicle blows by a red light.

Distracted drivers of passenger vehicles present a potentially grave threat to unprotected motorcyclists. Just a glance at an electronic device sitting on a driver’s lap can lead to a violent collision with a motorcycle.

Motorcyclists are vulnerable to receiving serious, if not life-threatening injuries such as severe brain trauma, spinal cord damage, and damage to one or more internal organs. Minor injuries can include road rash and bruised muscles.

How to Handle a Motorcycle Accident

The most important thing to do after a motorcycle accident is to take care of your health. Even if you feel fine, you should visit with your physician to determine if you have sustained any long-term adverse impacts to the head. Concussions often do not immediately develop, which means you should take steps to mitigate the symptoms of a head injury.

If you are healthy enough to remain at the site of the crash, take photographs of the scene with a focus on the damage done to your bike and the condition of the road. Motorcyclists can lose control of their bikes because of slippery road conditions.

Ask the law enforcement officer who completed the official police report to send a copy to your lawyer and your insurance company. Make sure to contact your insurance company as quickly as possible after a motorcycle accident.

One important thing to do that is often neglected after a motorbike crash is to exchange contact information with the other driver(s). You not only want the name, address, and phone number of every driver that was involved in the crash, but also the contact information for each driver’s auto insurance company.

Determining Fault After a Motorcycle Accident

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Getting legal help for a motorcycle accident is a good idea for several reasons. First, your attorney can gather and organize the evidence presented by you and the police report to determine fault. If the other driver is at fault, your lawyer will contact the driver’s insurance company, as well as consider filing a civil lawsuit for negligence.

Second, your attorney conducts a thorough investigation to determine whether a defective part and/or poor road conditions played a role in the crash. Finally, your lawyer ensures you meet the statute of limitations for filing an insurance claim and/or a civil lawsuit.

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