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Who’s at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
There is a lot to love about spending time out on the open road on your motorcycle. From the feeling of freedom to the wind in your hair, there’s nothing quite like this experience. Unfortunately, things can sometimes go wrong when you are on the road, and many bikers will experience an accident at least once in their biking journey. Often times, the biker does nothing to cause the accident, but it can have lifelong consequences. If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you likely have a lot of questions. The most common question centers around determining fault in an accident, since this will greatly influence the insurance decisions moving forward.
What Causes Motorcycle Crashes?
Every time you drive out onto the road, there is a possibility that you could be involved in an accident. Even if you do everything right, you can’t control everyone else who is behind the wheel. Sadly, many drivers are not aware of how to safely share the road with motorcyclists, which often causes crashes.
Every driver and each accident is unique, but here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Everett, WA and beyond.
Failure to leave enough room between vehicles and/or bikes
Swerving in front of a motorcycle
Distracted driving, especially texting while driving
Failure to yield to a motorcycle
Not checking blind spots before changing lanes
Opening the car door into the path of an approaching motorcycle
What Should I Do if I Get in an Accident?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, there is nothing more important than your safety that of your passengers, and anyone else involved in the experience. First, protect yourself from any further harm by moving to a safe area off the road if possible. Next, call 911, even if you are not sure if your injuries are serious enough to warrant care. An accident gets your adrenaline pumping, which can temporarily mask pain. When you are on a motorcycle, you don’t have much protection from the road and other vehicles, so it is always wise to get checked out by medical professionals.
While you are waiting, do not remove your helmet or any other protective gear. If your head, neck, or spine has sustained injuries, removing the gear and changing positions can cause further harm.
If your injuries do not require you to proceed to the hospital, it is a good idea to take a thorough look at your surroundings. Collect the insurance information from all parties involved, and gather contact information from any witnesses. If you have your phone handy, snap as many pictures as you can from different angles.
Regardless of the severity of the accident, do not leave the scene before the police arrive. In addition to facing potential criminal charges for leaving, you will also not have a chance to share your account of the accident with the police if you are not present.
How is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?
One of the main reasons it’s important to gather documentation at the accident scene is that fault will be determined in the accident. Sometimes this process can be relatively quick and easy. For instance, if a vehicle runs a red light and hits a motorcycle, and the incident is caught on a red-light camera, the vehicle driver is clearly at fault.
However, in many cases, determining fault is a more complicated process. From multiple insurance companies to police reports, numerous parties are involved. To protect yourself, you want to make sure that the truth is shown. In some cases, you might need to get the court system involved in determining fault and making appropriate financial judgments.
How Can an Everett Attorney Help?
Whether you are at fault or not in a motorcycle accident, you do not want to try to navigate the legal system on your own. The insurance company has a team of legal experts working for them, and you deserve to have the same.
The Law Office of Martin W. Hodges has the experience and expertise necessary to ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance companies and other parties involved. If the other driver’s negligence caused your accident, we will help you collect the compensation you deserve to get treatment for your injuries and restore your property. As a local law firm, we understand the unique needs of motorcyclists in Everett, WA and the surrounding areas, and we have helped many bikers like you achieve fair settlements.
Please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. We will be happy to take a look at your case, answer your questions, and let you know how we can assist you.