Posted: October 12, 2015

Protecting Yourself in a Motorcycle Accident

           It may go without saying, but being involved in a motorcycle accident as either the rider or the passenger increases your chances of suffering a severe, and possibly fatal, injury.  The reason being is pretty clear and straightforward –as a rider you are exposed when you are in a motorcycle accident with another car or truck.  As a motorcycle rider you do not have comparable protections as the driver of a car – no airbags, no seatbelts, and no barrier to protect you from the impact of an accident.  


            The statistics unfortunately do not paint a favorable picture either. A report published in June of 2014 (DOT HS 812 035) stated that motorcycles (in this particularly study defined as mopeds, two or three-wheeled motorcycles, off-road motorcycles, scooters, mini bikes, and pocket bikes) make up approximately 3% of the registered vehicles, but accounted for approximately 18% of traffic related fatalities in 2012.  The study also listed that in 2012, there were 93,000 injuries from motorcycle accidents.


            As an attorney my goal is to protect your rights and make sure you are treated fairly and the compensation you deserve if you are injured in a motorcycle accident.  My job as your attorney begins after an unfortunate accident; however, there are actions that you as the rider or passenger can take in order to make sure if an accident does occur, you and your family will be protected.


            Most riders know that wearing a helmet can improve their chances of survival and minimize injuries.  Unfortunately wearing a helmet does not offer 100% protection from a motorcycle accident.  Your helmet can protect your head from serious injury in some circumstances, but the helmet cannot protect the rest of your body.  In the event you are in a motorcycle accident you are likely suffering from injuries to your hand, wrists, arms, back, and legs, and the treatment you require for these injuries can turn expensive in a hurry.  That is why it is important that as a rider you have enough insurance to protect yourself, and in particular that you have a policy that includes uninsured or underinsured motorist “U/M.”


            U/M is a type of insurance that allows a rider to recover for the injuries he sustained that exceed the liability policy limits of a third party – the insurance for the vehicle that was liable for the accident.  For example, in Louisiana a driver only needs to carry minimum policy of $15,000 per person per accident to cover bodily injuries.  It is not uncommon for riders involved in motorcycle accidents to quickly surpass that amount. 


            As a motorcycle rider you cannot rely solely on the actions of others to make sure you are protected.  That is why it is recommend  you wear a helmet, and why you should make sure your own coverage allows you to make sure your medical bills and injuries are covered.  If you have any questions or have been in a motorcycle accident and you have questions please do not hesitate to contact my office and tell me your story. 

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