As spring approaches, bikers are anxious to get back on the road under the warm, blue skies. Unfortunately, as the number of motorcyclists increases on the highways, the number of accidents does as well.
Drivers of larger vehicles—who are not used to watching out for cyclists after a long winter—become careless when changing lanes, passing or making left turns. These negligent drivers usually cause devastating accidents and permanent injuries when they hit a motorcycle. Here are some things to consider in the pre-season to better prepare you for potential accidents.
What Happens if I’m Hit on a Motorcycle?
The most important thing is to get to the hospital immediately. Drivers and passengers in motorcycle accidents usually sustain serious injuries even when they wear protective clothing and helmets. Even if you are fortunate enough to walk away from the accident, it is still very important to see your doctor right away.
Often, injuries to muscles and even some fractures, are not physically apparent or don’t become painful until a few days after an accident. Don’t take any chances after experiencing such trauma.
If you or a witness can safely do so:
- Obtain the other driver’s license and insurance information
- Take photos of the scene and attend to anyone else who may be injured after calling 911
- Move all vehicles safely off the road, if possible, and wait for emergency help
- Avoid discussing anything about the accident with the driver who hit you
- If the other driver admits any fault, try to write down what he or she said and obtain the names of any witnesses
Will My Insurance Cover My Medical and Rehabilitation Bills?
Minnesota is a no-fault insurance state. That means that cars and trucks must have a certain type and amount of insurance coverage for medical expenses, wage loss, and for underinsured and uninsured drivers. Motorcycle owners are not required to have the same no-fault coverage as other motor vehicles.
Unfortunately, many bikers choose not to have coverage for medical bills and wage loss. Before you take your bike out this spring, be sure to review your policy terms and think about including coverage for the following:
- No fault insurance. Without this type of coverage, you may not have adequate funds to pay for your medical and therapy expenses for injuries caused by the accident. It can also help cover your lost wages if you miss work or reimburse you if you need help around the house during your recovery.
- Higher coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers that cause injuries to you or a passenger. While a minimum amount of coverage is mandatory, even for motorcycles, it is rarely enough to cover your pain and suffering if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Consider revisiting the limits on these two provisions in your vehicle insurance policy.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me if I’m in a Motorcycle Accident?
A lawyer can help you obtain compensation for injuries you sustain in a motorcycle accident, even if you are a passenger. It’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve evidence of the accident and conduct an independent investigation.
Even if you have limited insurance coverage or did not purchase no-fault insurance, an attorney can help you navigate through the complex insurance and reimbursement issues you will face. If you do not yet have a lawyer, our experienced Minnesota personal injury lawyers are here to help.