Carl P. DeLuca, Attorney at Law, LLC

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5 Mistakes Motorcyclists Must Avoid After an Accident

Motorcycle Accidents

Summer is kicking into high gear and with it comes an increase in Rhode Island traffic. Whether people are packing up the car and heading to jam-packed South County beaches or taking the motorcycle to Iggy’s for some clam cakes and chowder, the goal is to make the most of these precious sunny days.

While driving conditions tend to be much better in the summer, motor vehicle reports show a surge of accidents in the warmer months. What’s not as surprising is that motorcycle accidents spike in the summer, since there are so many more bikes on the road.

In 2018, thirty-percent of the 58 recorded motor vehicle fatalities in Rhode Island were motorcyclists. This in a state in which there are roughly 14 registered automobiles for every motorcycle.

Additionally, more than 95 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in some kind of injury, with almost half of these consisting of “serious” injury. In general, motorcyclists are about eight times more likely to be injured in motor vehicle accidents than are passenger car occupants.

Motorcyclists Are Usually Not At Fault

If you’re a motorcyclist, you’ve most likely bore the brunt of a stereotype. Whether it’s the assumption that you must have a tattoo, you’re probably a bit wild and of course, you’re driving is to blame for your accident.

The common stereotypes around bikers aren’t only detrimental to your case, they’re often completely wrong. As experienced motorcycle accident lawyers, we work for you. We’re on your side and understand that accidents involving motorcyclists are usually a result of negligence committed by the other driver.

The Real Stats on Motorcycle Accidents

Are motorcyclists responsible for some accidents? Of course. Still, the blame is often greatly exaggerated. Take a look at these statistics or share them with any non-biker you know, guilty of stereotyping you or others who ride.

  • Failure of those operating a motor vehicle to detect or recognize bikes in traffic is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents.
  • Roughly two-thirds of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with other vehicles. In more than 60% of these accidents, the other vehicle (the non-motorcyclist) violated the motorcyclists right of way.
  • Blind spots are a big factor, many times drivers in cars and trucks fail to see a biker at all, or at least in enough time to avoid a crash.
  • Intersections top the list of danger zones. Often, other drivers violate the motorcyclist’s right of way by changing lanes, making unexpected turns or running lights and stop signs.

Whatever the cause of a motorcycle accident, injuries can be severe and sometimes fatal.

Here Are The 5 Mistakes Motorcyclists Make Following an Accident and How To Avoid Them

The initial steps immediately following your accident are critical to your claim. Still, we see the same mistakes happen repeatedly as a result of the stress and emotional turmoil of the accident as well as the obvious problems resulting from the possibility the biker is physically incapacitated. Our goal is to help you minimize these mistakes and, as a result, substantially increase your odds of a successful outcome.  

  1. Don’t Fail to Seek Medical Attention. You must seek medical attention, even if your injuries aren’t severe. Often, the full extent of injuries may not emerge until hours or days, following the incident. If you don’t document your injury and its connection to the accident as soon as possible the insurance company will argue that you can’t establish the connection. The first order of business is your well-being and that of others involved in the crash. Call 911 to get police and any emergency assistance you need at the accident scene and then follow up with doctors as necessary.
  2. Don’t Assume You are at Fault. One issue we see repeatedly is the tendency to be overly apologetic for the accident. Do not admit fault or apologize after the accident. Doing so puts your entire case at risk, should you decide to pursue one. Often, the people involved in an accident aren’t in the best position to determine whose fault it is. The reason you think the accident happened may not be the real reason. It is fine to say that you are sorry that someone is hurt or that the accident happened. Please though, refrain from saying, “Oh my God! I’m so sorry! This is all my fault.” There’s a good chance the accident isn’t your fault even if you think it is.
  3. Don’t Forget to Take Pictures. If you have a camera or smartphone take photos of the accident scene from various angles, along with pictures of any vehicle damages. If at all possible take pictures of the accident scene before you move your bike. Your safety is paramount, so only do this if you can do it without risking further injury to yourself and others. Retain all parts of your damaged motorcycle and do not repair it until it has been examined for possible evidence. Unfortunately, bikers are often too injured after a crash to take pictures. Having a camera or two on your bike to record events can be very helpful. This is highly recommended!
  4. Don’t Talk to the Other Person’s Insurance Company or Lawyer. Do not speak with the other person’s insurance company or attorney at all. Give minimum facts to police and your own insurer until you speak with an attorney. If you say more than is necessary you may harm your case. Remember, do not admit fault to anyone. It may not be your fault even if you think so! If your insurer asks you about your injuries or damage, tell them you’ll get back to them after you’ve been examined by a doctor and/or after your bike is looked at by a professional.
  5. Don’t Wait to Contact an Attorney with Experience with Motorcycle Accidents. When it comes to your accident, you need an attorney that understands the nuances of motorcycle riding including countersteering, distracted driver, visibility issues, using hand signals during group rides and more. Attorney Carl P. DeLuca is not only a successful Rhode Island attorney, but he’s also the founder of the New England Motorcycle Enthusiasts page on Facebook and the New England Motorcycle Safety and Advocacy Forum. He’s helped many Rhode Island riders get the maximum settlement for their accident.

Rhode Island Motorcycle Injury Attorney     

If you or a loved one or friend were in a motorcycle accident, Attorney Carl P. DeLuca can help. If you’ve suffered injuries due to a motorcycle accident, contact us today. We’ll help you protect your legal rights and ensure you receive full compensation for injuries that may have resulted. If the accident didn’t happen in Rhode Island and you’re a member of the New England Motorcycle Enthusiasts, we’ll help you find an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in the appropriate jurisdiction.

To learn more about how we can help you receive compensation for your injury, contact us at 401 384-0355.

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