When you’re riding your motorcycle, you feel free and powerful. But the road can rob you of that power at any moment. 

More than 5,100 American motorcycle riders died in crashes in 2017. Motorcycles make up only three percent of all registered vehicles. Yet motorcyclists constituted 14 percent of all traffic deaths in 2017. 

You don’t have to give up riding your bike. But you should prepare for a motorcycle accident well before one happens. One way you can prepare is by understanding the steps to take after a motorcycle accident. 

Know those steps right away. Here is your guide. 

Practice Good Motorcycle Riding Techniques

The easiest motorcycle accident to avoid is an accident that never takes place. Practice good riding techniques at all times. 

Sit firmly on your seat. Grip handles with both hands, but keep your arms close to your torso. If you have your elbows sticking out, you may hit an object. 

You should wear a helmet with a clear visor. Make sure the helmet wraps around your entire head. 

You can wear specialized clothing, like a motorcycle jacket. But you should wear bright colors so other drivers can see you. If you don’t want bright colors, you can wear a reflective vest. 

Never assume that another driver has seen you. Remain in their field of vision, give them space, and use hand signals to attract their attention.

Always err on the side of caution. If you are uncertain about making a turn, do not make that turn. 

If you are just starting out, practice some essential skills. Practice turning left and right in circles. Once you can do that comfortably, link left and right turns in figure eights. 

Do not ride your motorcycle while you are tired. Fatigue reduces hand-eye coordination and delays your decision-making. 

You should not ride into inclement weather. Slick pavements lead to many accidents. Take public transportation instead. 

Under no circumstances should you drink and ride. 28 percent of riders who died in a crash in 2017 were impaired by alcohol. Get a ride in a car from someone else. 

As Soon as the Motorcycle Accident Occurs

An accident of any kind can be disorientating and unexpected. When you get into an accident, the last thing you should do is panic. 

Remain calm and remain still. Take a deep breath and shut your eyes. Once you have calmed down, you can assess the situation. 

You may not feel pain, but you may have been injured. Avoid moving, especially with your head and neck. You should only get up if there is an immediate threat to you, like a fire. 

Call 911 immediately. If you can’t access your phone, call out for help. Ask for the police and for an ambulance. 

Even if you are certain that you were not injured, get help from a paramedic. You may have internal injuries, which can prove fatal. 

Do not worry about your belongings. Get into an ambulance and head straight to the hospital. 

Make sure that you receive a complete, head-to-toe physical evaluation. Get documentation for all your injuries, with specific descriptions of everything you received. Then get treatment, including surgery. 

Include a psychological and emotional evaluation in addition to a physical one. 30 percent of survivors of motor vehicle accidents develop PTSD. Another 20 percent develop depression. 

The signs of PTSD and/or depression may take time to manifest. Follow up with your doctor after you leave the hospital. Tell them about any pain, limited mobility, or other troubling symptoms you have. 

Keep everything that your doctors and first responders give you. This includes labels for any prescription medications you have to take. 

Moving Forward

After you get into an accident, a lot of thoughts will go through your head. Take time taking care of yourself. Get a lot of rest and eat full meals. 

Seek support for everything you are experiencing. Get physical therapy if you have trouble moving or sitting. Talk to a psychiatrist if you notice signs of a mental disorder. 

Contact your insurer and make sure you get full compensation for your medical bills. If you don’t, you can file a claim against them. 

Make sure you can contact the other parties involved in the accident. Their insurers should give you some degree of compensation.  If they don’t, you can file a claim. You can also pursue a personal injury case against a driver if they struck you. This is especially good if the driver was arrested on the scene and charged with criminal offenses. 

Schedule an initial consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer and give them several documents. You should provide the police report, an initial statement to the police, and your medical records. Be prepared to hand over more documents to your attorney. 

If a motorcycle accident attorney decides to take your case on, they will launch their own investigation into the crash. They will almost certainly ask you questions, even after you give them an initial statement. 

Cooperate with your attorneys as much as possible. They are on your side. Even if you were at fault in the accident, you can get compensation in a civil suit. 

You should return to work as soon as you can. But you don’t have to ride your motorcycle until you feel ready. When you do, return to the same safe driving strategies you practiced previously. 

What to Do After Motorcycle Crash

People panic after they get into a motorcycle accident. You can diminish the confusion by knowing the steps to take. 

Practice good defensive riding techniques. Wear safety gear like reflective vests and signal your directions. Do not ride while you are tired or intoxicated. 

Get immediate medical attention after a crash. Prepare for psychological effects like PTSD. Make sure your medical evaluation is complete. 

Take the time you need to recover. But talk to an attorney and get their investigation started right away. 

Find a lawyer with tenacity and experience. John Fagan is Florida’s leading accident attorney. Contact us today. 

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