Mark A. Simon
Motorcycles and Auto Accidents - What You Need to Know
Motorcycles. You may have seen them on the road, and they might even cause some anxiety. Driving in itself is unpredictable, while you might be the best defensive driver around...you can’t prevent others from driving recklessly. However, vigilance is key, particularly when it comes to motorcycles. Motorcycle accidents involving cars can be deadly, and sometimes can be some of the most unexpected. Here are some common causes of auto and motorcycle accidents to watch out for:
Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of traffic on a road or highway, and is highly dangerous because the motorcycle has less space in which to maneuver and therefore ends up in close proximity to cars. What’s worse, the cars in both lanes aren’t expecting a motorcycle to drive between them and could make a sudden lane change without seeing the motorcyclist. Bottom line: If you’re driving a car, be aware of the space around you at all times, and don’t change lanes unless the way is absolutely clear. If you’re a motorcyclist, avoid this tactic altogether—it’s just not worth the risk.
Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards than cars. Anything from a pot hole to a dead animal to uneven lanes to road construction can be dangerous to a motorcyclist. Bottom line: If you’re driving a car, be aware of any road hazards around you as well as any motorcyclists nearby; one wrong move on their part could cause an accident on your part. If you’re a motorcyclist, be sure to drive the legal speed limit and slow down if you can see debris or objects on the roadsides or road itself; you just never know what you may have to suddenly avoid or how much time you’ll have to avoid it.
Left-hand turns require more caution in a car than right-hand turns, but throw a motorcycle into the mix and it can become downright dangerous. If a car doesn’t use its left turn signal properly, a passing motorcyclist could crash right into the car, especially if that motorcyclist isn’t paying attention. And because a motorcycle is smaller in size than a car, it’s much less noticeable and therefore harder for the car to avoid. Bottom line: If you’re driving a car, stay vigilant as to what and who is next to you before making a left-hand turn. If you’re driving a motorcycle, make sure you’re in the appropriate lane and driving at the legal speed limit, and never pass a car that you suspect may be getting ready to make a turn.
No matter how careful you are, sometimes you can’t prevent an accident. It’s important to remember that no matter what you should never leave the scene of an accident. This will reflect poorly on you in any legal proceeding, and you may deal with negative ramifications after the fact as a result. You will also want to protect the scene to allow police to properly document the scene of the accident. Finally, call the police to get a police report. Even if no one is seriously injured, it can be a good idea to have legal documentation of the incident for your records in the future, in the event that you do need to prove anything.
In the course of a legal investigation and case, documenting everything is absolutely critical to making your case. If you end up pursuing legal action against any other parties, you will want to have as much evidence to back up your claims. The sooner you begin documenting these facts, the better. Take pictures of the scene, document your physical symptoms following the accident, both on the day of the incident and in the weeks following.
Anything that will help prove your case is worth writing down and documenting as thoroughly as possible, as this will show the court the extent of what occurred. After you’ve exchanged information with all parties involved, report the accident to everyone’s insurance. Some policies require you to immediately report any incident, so you will certainly want to report the event as soon as you possibly can to ensure you are fully covered by your coverage. If necessary, seek medical attention to address any issues which may have been the result of the accident.
This is just a few of the things you need, but your Denver personal injury attorney can give you a full list. Ultimately, you’ll end up speaking to an adjuster as well to help support your personal injury case. We recommend you approach this knowing you’ll need to convince the adjuster it was the other driver’s fault, and that the bills incurred from the accident were substantial and there was additional pain/discomfort.
If you’re ever involved in a traffic accident while driving a motorcycle, contact Denver motorcycle accident attorney Mark A. Simon. I routinely handle these types of claims and can help you find medical coverage after an accident has happened. Call for more information.