What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Stephen M. Smith
Last Updated:
September 15, 2021
A man sitting on his motorcycle thinking about what to do after a motorcycle accident.

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating both physically and psychologically. What should be your priorities after an accident or crash? What causes motorcycle accidents? How many riders experience a crash, and how often do motorcycle accidents result in a fatality? When is it appropriate to call an attorney if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident?

The Smith Law Center has provided answers to these general questions below. However, if you need specific information about your rights or know you require legal advice, call us right away at (757) 244-7000.

The most important thing to do after a motorcycle accident is to get medical treatment. The next vital step is to call an attorney who will represent your best interests against insurance companies, irresponsible drivers, and/or avoidable legal missteps. Contacting professional legal counsel is the best way to ensure all of your options are being thoroughly explored while you heal.

What Is the Main Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?

The leading causes of motorcycle accidents are the same as those which cause most car accidents, including:

  • Reckless driving: Distinct from careless driving, reckless driving is a criminal offense that covers such behaviors as ignoring traffic lights or stop signs, swerving into oncoming traffic, or driving in off-road areas such as sidewalks.
  • Speeding: Driving over the speed limit is one of the most common causes of preventable vehicular accidents, especially at night or during adverse weather conditions.
  • Aggressive driving: Cutting off other drivers, slowing but not stopping for traffic lights or stop signs, and tailgating other vehicles are forms of dangerously aggressive driving.
  • Distracted driving: When drivers take their eyes off the road, hand off the steering wheel, or their minds off of driving, such distractions (no matter how brief) could lead to catastrophic injuries for a motorcyclist.
  • Driving under the influence: Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, mind-altering substances like drugs (illegal or prescription), or while dangerously fatigued can impair a driver’s perceptions. Reduced reaction times increase the risk of accidents drastically.

The point of road safety rules is to prevent as many accidents as possible. Unfortunately, some amount of motorcycle accidents are bound to occur.

What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the statistics on motorcycle accidents show that motorbikes are far less crashworthy than closed vehicles like cars and trucks.For those injured in motorcycle accidents, the first steps to take are:

  • Seek or allow medical treatment, and follow the doctor’s/medic’s instructions carefully
  • Document your injuries and property damages to the best of your ability
  • Do not admit any fault in the accident before you consult with an attorney
  • Call a motorcycle accident lawyer for legal advice
  • File a claim through your attorney before the evidence disappears

Motorcycle accidents can cause significant injuries, including concussions, brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as broken bones, amputations, tissue lacerations, and road rash. If you need help gathering evidence, or need someone authorized to act in your best interests while you’re hospitalized, empower a motorcycle accident lawyer to be your advocate.

Once you’ve sought the emergency medical care your injuries require, contacting an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer is the best way to ensure all of your options are being thoroughly explored while you heal.

What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Get in Accidents?

The statistics on motorcycle accidents are hard to pin down, mostly because not all riders are registered or licensed, and not all accidents are reported. Assuming every registered bike had only one rider, the amount of reported motorcycle crashes each year hovers around 1%. However, due to unreported accidents, the real number is likely higher.

Though 1% seems like a small number of accidents, the injuries that can result are far more disastrous than those that commonly occur in closed-vehicle accidents.

What Percentage of Motorcycle Accidents Are Fatal?

The National Safety Council’s analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data concerning motorcycles shows that:

  • Motorcyclists make up only about 3% of registered road vehicles, but
  • Motorcycle drivers and passengers account for roughly 14-17% of all traffic and occupant fatalities

That discrepancy is due to the unprotected nature of a motorcycle’s design — motorcyclists are far more at risk of injury during a crash than those who are inside closed vehicles. The Council also points out that wearing a helmet significantly reduces the likelihood of traumatic brain injury and death.

A young woman wearing a face mask checks her phone on her parked red motorbike.

What Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Do for You?

The results from a successful settlement or damages award could help cover:

  • Medical bills and long-term aftercare
  • Lost wages or job opportunities
  • Additional punitive funds meant to punish the negligence or recklessness of others
  • Financial payouts for the pain and suffering you’ve endured
  • Wrongful death support for surviving loved ones and families after a fatal crash

Contacting an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer could allow us to start investigating and pursuing your case right away.

Contact the Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Smith Law Center

Evidence of motorcycle accidents begins to degrade immediately after a crash. Insurance companies jump into action right away to minimize their financial responsibility. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will help make sure your rights aren’t trampled on while you’re recovering.

The Smith Law Center is led by Stephen M. Smith, a graduate of Marquette University’s Neuro Anatomical Program, and a widely recognized and awarded attorney for his work in car accident and brain injury cases. This dual experience is the kind you need if you or your loved one has been impacted by the consequences of a motorcycle accident.

Reach out to the Smith Law Center today by calling (757) 244-7000 or by filling out our online contact form. We are ready to help you access all the recovery resources available to you, beyond standard vehicle collision insurance.

A free, confidential consultation today could mean a world of difference for your ability to heal and provide for your family’s financial stability going forward.

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About Smith Law Center

Our lawyers are more than lawyers. They are people who understand your injuries and the law that surrounds your options when it comes to holding others accountable.

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