Washington Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A motorcycle accident can have devastating results. According to the United States Department of Transportation, the number of motorcyclist deaths was 27 times the number of motorist and passenger deaths per mile traveled in 2014.
There are a lot of reasons why motorcyclists are at a higher risk of being injured or killed in accidents than individuals in cars. The main reason is that motorcycles lack the protective metal chassis that shields vehicle passengers from impact with the roadway and other vehicles in a collision. But there are other reasons for this heightened risk as well, such as motorcycles’ center of gravity and issues related to visibility. If you are a motorcyclist, you need to take certain special precautions to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. If you are involved in one, knowing what to do in the moments and days that follow can significantly impact your physical recovery as well as your financial recovery through a personal injury claim. Talk to a lawyer who has specific experience working with clients injured in motorcycle accidents to learn more about pursuing compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.
Special Precautions for Motorcyclists
There are ways you can reduce your chance of being involved in a motorcycle accident. Many of these safety precautions are the same precautions that motorists are advised to observe: do not drink and drive, do not use your cell phone while driving, and obey the posted traffic signs. But as a motorcyclist, there are other precautions you should take to protect yourself from injury. These include the following:
- Make yourself as visible to drivers as possible. Often, it is difficult to see a motorcyclist, especially at night. Use bright lights on your motorcycle and wear light-colored, reflective clothing while riding. Keeping yourself out of vehicles’ blind spots is another way you can reduce your chance of being involved in a collision;
- Adjust your riding to your conditions. Your motorcycle does not have the same balance or tire contact with the street that a car has – adjust your riding to consider this as well as the present conditions, such as a wet roadway or low visibility;
- Always wear a helmet. In Washington, all motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Wearing helmet cushions your head against impact with hard surfaces, which can reduce your chance of suffering a traumatic brain injury in a collision; and
- Inspect your motorcycle before riding. Check that your tires are properly inflated and that nothing is caught in your motorcycle’s undercarriage.
Ways You Can Be Injured In A Motorcycle Accident
There are many ways you can be injured in a motorcycle accident. Injuries you can potentially suffer include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Burns; and
These injuries can have serious complications like excessive bleeding, permanent disfigurement, paralysis, nerve damage, and even death. After a motorcycle accident, seek appropriate medical attention for your injury as soon as possible.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If anybody involved in the accident needs emergency medical attention, call 911 to have an ambulance dispatched to the scene. Getting immediate care in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death.
If it is safe to do so, pull off the roadway. Then, call the local police to have an officer sent to the scene. The officer will fill out an official police report detailing the time, location, and environmental conditions of the accident as well as a synopsis of the event. Do not leave the scene without a copy of this document. It, along with photographs you take of the accident and testimonies from witnesses to the accident, is an important piece of evidence you can use later to support a personal injury claim.
Also be sure to exchange insurance information with any other parties involved in the accident. Washington is a “fault” state, which means that when an injury victim seeks compensation after a vehicular accident, he or she must seek it from the negligent party’s insurance provider rather than his or her own provider.
After leaving the scene of the accident, your next step should be to receive medical attention. Do not worry about filing a personal injury claim until you have received a diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your injury.
Seeking Compensation for your Damages After a Motorcycle Accident
Once you have received medical attention for your injury, consider working with an experienced lawyer to file a personal injury claim. In Washington, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident.
Through a personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical bills;
- Your lost wages due to taking time off to recover; and
- Pain and suffering. This refers to all damages that do not fit into the categories above, such as your need for over-the-counter pain medication or psychological counseling to work through the emotional trauma of the accident.
In Washington, an injury victim can recover compensation even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident. This is known as pure comparative fault. There is no threshold for determining whether a victim can recover compensation or not – even if you were 80 percent at fault for your accident, you can still recover compensation. However, your total compensation amount is reduced according to your level of fault.
Work with an Experienced Washington Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you are a motorcyclist, you have different risks and concerns than those faced by motorists. You are also at a much higher risk of being injured in an accident than individuals in cars. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, consider working with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to pursue monetary compensation for your damages after you have received appropriate medical care. Contact our team of personal injury lawyers at Khan Law Firm PLLC today to set up your free legal consultation in our office.