Motorcycle accidents can be much more dangerous than car accidents, with serious injury or death more common. On average, there are more than 3,500 motorcycle accidents in Ohio yearly. Nationally, over 4,500 motorcycle riders are killed each year, and roughly 5% of those deaths occur in Ohio. If you’re involved in an accident as a motorcycle driver, what steps should you take?
If you are able to walk, get off of the road and away from traffic. Your safety, and the safety of anyone else involved in the accident, is of paramount importance. Call 9-1-1 if they haven’t already been called. It’s also a good idea to keep your helmet and any other protective gear on until help arrives. You may be in shock, with injuries more serious than you think, and removing your helmet could exacerbate those injuries.
In Ohio, motorcyclists over the age of 18 are not required to wear a helmet. But, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, even if the accident is not fatal, riders without helmets incur longer hospitalizations with higher associated health care costs, and longer recover times.
Whether you think you’re injured or not, seek medical attention. Injuries, particularly internal ones, may not be apparent, and in fact may not manifest symptoms for days or even weeks. Traumatic brain injuries, for instance, can occur even with a helmet, and may not show up immediately. Plus, a medical record is just that, a record of your injuries and subsequent treatment, and evidence that can be used should you choose to pursue a claim.
Be sure to get a copy of the police report, but even with that, if you’re able to take your own photos at the scene of the accident, do so. If you have visible injuries (bruises, etc.) photograph those, too. Write your own detailed account of what happened while your memories are fresh. Gather contact information from all those involved in the accident and any witnesses as well. This includes their insurance info.
Let your insurance carrier know about the accident. However, do not admit fault to them or anyone else, and don’t overshare information. They may be your insurance carrier, but your best interests could very well take a back seat to theirs. This goes double for the insurance carrier of the other party.
Don’t talk about the accident with anyone. Don’t post about it on social media. Anything you say, even casually, could be used against you in court.
If your motorcycle accident was caused by another driver, they may be liable for damages. Should that be the case, Ohio law allows you to sue for general damages, including pain and suffering, medical care, and any needed future treatment. However, motorcycle accident claims can be complicated and hard to prove. As soon as possible after the incident, contact a personal injury attorney experienced with motorcycle accident claims. Remember, in Ohio, the statute of limitations during which you can file a claim for compensation is two years from the date of the accident.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, contact LaSalvia Law. We will fight to win you the compensation you deserve.
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