A motorcycle accident does not have to cause severe injuries for it to affect the course of your life. Here are the reasons you should hire an attorney even for a minor accident.
Motorcycle accidents are the worst. They happen proportionately more than car accidents do, and they cause greater numbers of fatalities. Bikes are smaller than other vehicles on the road, making them harder to see. Added to this, bikes perform badly in poor weather conditions and your survival depends on the clothes you are wearing at the time. Motorcycle accidents are some of the worst on the road, even the minor ones.
If you have suffered an injury because of a minor accident on your motorbike, you still need legal representation. Let us go into the ins and outs as to why that might be.
What is a Minor Motorcycle Accident?
Not all motorcycle accidents are minor. Some are severe. Any accident where a person came off their bike at high speed cannot be a minor accident. If a biker dies because of falling from their bike, this would obviously be severe. So, what constitutes minor biking accident accidents in the eyes of the law?
Only about a quarter of all motorcycle accidents happened solo. This means that three quarters of them include another vehicle, pedestrian, or driver. Motorcycle accidents that do not cause severe illnesses or serious injuries are therefore rare occurrences. They include things like hitting patches of gravel and coming off your bike or receiving a few bumps and scrapes after being knocked off your bike in a residential area with slow moving traffic. The law will determine the severity of your crash based on the injuries you sustain. If those injuries are mild, they call the accident a minor one.
Around 45% of all motorcycle accidents include injuries that are more than just minor. There is a 45% chance when you come off that bike that you might die. The chances are not in your favor and are made worse by the chilling fact that three quarters of the time it wasn’t even your fault you fell.
Let us talk about statistics to give you a better idea of what you are up against.
What is the Number 1 Cause of Motorcycle Accidents in the US?
Around 75% of all motorcycle accidents in the US are with another vehicle. There are several common causes of this. You may be in a head on collision, but you are far more likely to receive a minor injury another way. Drivers who turn left and do not check their blind spot before they turn are culprits. The Department of Transportation cite 5,579 deaths on motorcycles in 2020. They urge road users to ensure they wear DOT compliant head protection to limit the risk of death or injury.
The fatality rate among motorcyclists is 58.33 people per hundred thousand drivers. While in the 60s and 70s a report claimed that alcohol was a deciding factor, only about 33% of driver deaths on motorcycles are attributed to alcohol. In fact, the size and speed of a motorcycle is what puts its rider in danger. That, and the three times increase in risk in poor weather.
What Can Lawyers do for You After a Minor Motorcycle Accident?
Hiring a lawyer is the wisest course of action after a motorcycle incident, even if the incident was a minor one. Why is this? Because you need to protect both your health and your legal interests. It may be that you were at fault, although the likelihood is low given your vehicle choice. It may be that you suffered minor injuries only for those injuries to get far worse in a week or two. It might be that you become suddenly unwell, and you are unable to defend yourself or gather evidence on your own behalf. A lawyer does all this and more. We suggest hiring a specialist lawyer, such as mannwyatt.com, after an accident. They know this area of law better than anyone else and can therefore give you the most help. Here are some of the things you might expect your motorcycle accident attorney to do for you after an accident.
1. Help you Gather Evidence
Helping you gather evidence is all part of a lawyer’s job. They know what to look for and what insurance companies will look for. They can speak to witnesses if you are in hospital, and they can take pictures on your behalf.
2. Advise you on your Rights
After a motorcycle accident, the opposite party’s insurance company will scrutinize everything that you say or do. Avoid making things worse for yourself by seeking representation to speak on your behalf.
3. Help Prove Fault
Part of evidence gathering as a lawyer is to help you prove who was to blame in the accident. Your lawyer will try to prove you were not at fault but can also defend you if you were. Even minor accidents can run up thousands in compensation, particularly for small injuries like whiplash. Proving you are not at fault protects you from the opposition suing you.
What Happens if I Do not Hire a Lawyer After My Minor Motorcycle Accident?
If you chose not to hire a motorcycle accident attorney for your minor bike accident, you might never hear about it again. On the other hand, you might find that the person driving the car that hit you is claiming it was your fault. They may even try to get compensation for the damage to their car and for any small injuries they sustain. Usually, the guilty party performs this kind of pre-emptive suing to cover their own shortfalls. Unfortunately, with no lawyer, the chances are that this will go against you. You should never settle a motorcycle accident privately, either.
Hiring a lawyer after even the smallest accident means you protect yourself from paying out potentially thousands in damages that you might not be responsible for. Legal advice and protection are just that: it protects you from the long arm of justice, even when that arm is not waving in the right direction.