Biker safety: If it weren’t such an issue, motorcycle safety courses, books and gear wouldn’t be so readily available. And you wouldn’t see so many “share the road” billboards and “look twice, save a life” bumper stickers as you cruise down the road. In 2015 alone, nearly 5,000 bikers were killed in collisions with motor vehicles; nearly 88,000 were injured. What should you do if you’re hurt in a motorcycle accident? Better question: What should you not do? Here are five mistakes injured motorcyclists should avoid making, courtesy of the personal injury lawyers at McCormick & Murphy in Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado.
1. Riding a bike that’s not street legal.
Consider this cautionary tale: A 25-year-old Florida man was killed in January when the dirt bike he had borrowed collided with a Toyota Camry, according to CBS. The bike was not street legal and did not have “proper equipment,” Miami police told CBS, adding, “Its lights were not on. The other driver of the vehicle did not see the dirt bike.” Not only does riding illegal motorcycles increase your chance of being injured or killed, it also decreases your chances of winning a court case should you get into an accident, the experts at McCormick & Murphy said.
2. Failing to call the police right away.
You’re probably shaken up after your accident. You may even feel embarrassed. (You shouldn’t, but we get it — not the kind of thing anyone wants to happen in public.) Why attract more attention by calling 911? Here are two strong reasons: You’ll get looked over by medical professionals quickly (and transported to a hospital, if necessary), and the police report generated may prove useful in a personal injury lawsuit, the personal injury attorneys at McCormick & Murphy said. Better safe than sorry, right?
3. Not getting checked out.
I'm fine, you think. Just a few scrapes. Nothing that won’t heal. Don’t be so sure. Once the adrenaline wears off, you may find yourself in a lot of pain — and we mean a lot. Get checked out right away for a couple of reasons: to make sure that you didn’t suffer life-threatening internal injuries, and to obtain the all-important documentation of injuries that will help your case in court, the lawyers at McCormick & Murphy recommended.
4. Skipping follow-up doctor appointments.
Here again, you may think you’re fine or that your pain will get better with time. Before you say, “I’ll take it from here, Doc,” and skip your follow-up appointments, consider this: What if things go south? What if your pain and/or injuries get worse — not better — over time? If you find yourself in this position, you, and your lawyer, will wish you had continued to attend those appointments, which provide valuable documentation of the extent and ongoing nature of your injuries, the expert lawyers at McCormick & Murphy pointed out.
5. Not calling a personal injury attorney — ASAP.
We’re serious about this. Your first priority should be your well-being, hence our incessant nagging to call 911, get checked by a doctor and continue to seek medical care. Your second priority should be to contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation. Why? Your health and livelihood may depend on it. If the medical bills start to pile up — if you can’t go to work because of your injuries — if you can’t play with your kids, keep up with chores, hike, bike and ski like you used to, you deserve to be compensated. Let’s face it: In cases like these, money often equals quality of life — for both you and for your family.