Posted on February 27, 2023 at 7:00 PM by The Biker Lawyers
What every rider needs to know
Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most devastating and life-altering events. As a personal injury lawyer with over 39 years of experience working as a personal injury lawyer, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects of these accidents on the lives of the victims and their families. That's why I want to share with you some important steps you can take to protect yourself before and after a crash.
Does It Matter How Much Insurance You Have on Your Motorcycle?
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself as a motorcyclist is to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.
In most cases, negligent drivers who injure motorcyclists do not have enough insurance to pay for the damages they cause. Moreover, there are stats that suggest that one out of every ten drivers on the road has no insurance at all.
To protect yourself, it is crucial that you purchase plenty of uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not about helping the insurance industry pad its pockets. It's about being smart by protecting yourself with a very affordable option that most insurance companies won’t tell you about unless you ask.
In my experience, there is often not enough insurance to cover the losses caused to bikers by careless drivers. Therefore, it is important to review your insurance policy and ensure that you have enough UM/UIM coverage.
The amount of UM/UIM coverage that you need will depend on your individual circumstances, but in my opinion, every biker should carry AT LEAST $250,000 in UM/UIM coverage While this may seem like a lot, it is the minimum amount of coverage you should have to protect yourself and your family.
The Aftermath of a Crash: What Should You Do If You're Involved in an Accident (or Witness One)?
Motorcycle accidents can be chaotic and overwhelming, but it is important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to protect your rights and preserve evidence.
Here are 5 things you should do if you are involved in a motorcycle crash or witness one
- Do not move anything. The physical evidence at the scene of the crash will usually tell the story of what happened. If people start moving things around, crucial information about the crash may be lost.
- Take lots of photos. If multiple pictures are taken immediately, even if physical evidence is moved, the photos will preserve the evidence. Take pictures of the scene, the vehicles involved, and any injuries.
- Get names and contact information from all witnesses. Often, people who witness a crash or the aftermath end up leaving the scene without providing their contact information. This information is valuable for your case.
- Seek medical attention immediately. It is important to fully document all injuries after a crash and to make sure that your injuries are not more serious than you think. Even if you do not feel any immediate pain, it is important to be examined by a medical professional.
- Follow through with all recommended medical care. If you fail to do so, it may slow your recovery, and the insurance company may claim that you were not really hurt. This cannot be overstated. It is crucial that you receive full medical treatment for your injuries before settling your case. Do not "tough it out" and avoid going to the doctor. If you do not seek prompt treatment for your injuries, the insurance company will most likely use this against you.
Should You Hire a Lawyer After Being Involved in a Motorcycle-Auto Crash?
If you want to receive fair compensation for the damages and losses caused by the crash, then yes, most likely you will need a lawyer.
Insurance companies are experts in settling claims for as little money as possible, and they are very good at doing so. To ensure that you are treated fairly by an insurance company, you will most likely need a lawyer who has experience in motorcycle injury cases and who can fight against these insurance companies to help you receive fair treatment out of your insurance claims.
Hire a lawyer with motorcycle injury experience
It's no secret that insurance companies try to settle claims for as little money as possible. In order to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses, you will most likely need a lawyer who has experience handling motorcycle injury cases. A good lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
When looking for a lawyer, be sure to choose one who has experience representing motorcycle accident victims. Look for someone who has a proven track record of success in this area and who is willing to fight for your rights. Don't be afraid to ask for references or to check out online reviews to get a sense of what other clients have to say.
In conclusion, protecting yourself before and after a motorcycle accident is crucial. Ensuring that you have enough insurance coverage, taking the right steps after a crash, and seeking legal assistance when necessary can make a big difference in your recovery and your ability to receive fair compensation for your losses.
Stay safe out there on the road, and remember to always ride defensively and be aware of your surroundings.
Additional Motorcycle Safety Resources
The information provided in this guide is based on Iowa motorcycle injury and insurance law, but it is intended to be general enough to be useful in other states as well. For more information about Pete Leehey and The Biker Lawyers, click here to learn about Pete and the crew.
In addition to the useful information and guides you can find on our website, we recommend the following resources for further reading:
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) provides a wealth of information on motorcycle safety, laws, and advocacy efforts.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers training courses for riders of all skill levels.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides statistics and safety information related to all types of motor vehicles, including motorcycles.