Riding a motorcycle is becoming an ever more popular way of commuting in Los Angeles. The weather of southern California is conducive to it. There is also the ease with which a bike rider can avoid getting stuck in the city’s infamous traffic jams.
Your motorcycle is much smaller and moves faster than motor vehicles, making it harder for drivers of the latter to spot you. As a rider, you must always be alert to danger when on the road. You should also follow the road rules and be well-informed of state and local laws regarding motorcycles’ operation.
The Dos and Don’ts of Riding
Here are a few good practices to follow as a bike rider. They are split into the categories of dos and don’ts.
1. Always inspect your bike and helmet before you ride
If there is a problem with your bike or personal protection gear, you should know about it before you ride. You don’t want to find out about it after something has failed. Before riding, inspecting your helmet for cracks is a good idea. You should then walk around your bike and check the tires and wheels. You should also ensure that you have enough fuel and that your chassis, chain, and a kickstand are in order.
2. Always wear proper safety gear
You should wear as much safety gear as possible. If you are ever in an accident, your helmet may be the only thing that prevents a serious head injury. Helmets work. You should always wear a reflective vest at night. You want to be as visible as possible to motor vehicles.
3. Always follow the law
You cannot afford to make a single mistake as a bike rider. Breaking the law can lead to a ticket. It can also lead to a bad situation with motor vehicle drivers. You don’t want to do anything to infuriate the latter. You must remember that they have some protection in their vehicle, whereas you do not. You should avoid goading them into doing something that can cause an accident and leave them injured.
Don’t ride on the back bumper of a motor vehicle. If you need to pass them, do so—safely.
2. Neglect your bike
Motorcycles require proper maintenance and care. You should have your bike properly serviced according to a set schedule. This is the only way to avoid costly breakdowns. And you don’t want to study while riding; this could lead to an accident.
3. Ride on the shoulder
In the state of California, motorcyclists can lane split to avoid traffic. However, they cannot ride on the shoulder. You should avoid doing so, as it will wear down your tires and frustrate stuck motorists. And you should avoid inciting the wrath of the latter.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident
Sometimes following all the laws and good practices is not enough. Not all motor vehicle drivers are as careful as you. Certain actions or inactions by reckless drivers can lead to a crash. An accident for a motorcyclist is hazardous. You will likely fall to the pavement after such an event and be thrown into a state of shock and confusion. Once you have recovered your senses, you should do the following:
1. Check yourself
You will undoubtedly feel rattled, but you may not feel any pain straightaway. You should still check to see that you are not seriously hurt.
2. Call emergency services
You should call 911 as soon as you can. Don’t assume others will do it. The operator will ask you questions about your condition and the condition of others. It would help if you were as forthright as possible in your responses.
3. Exchange information
Do not assume responsibility for the accident. You should exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver. And even if you know that the other driver caused the collision, you should keep it to yourself. Your aim should be to keep things calm until the police arrive.
4. Take photographs
If you are up to it, you should take pictures of the damage to your bike and the accident scene.
5. Get phone numbers of witnesses
Again, only if you are physically able to speak to people who witnessed the accident and get their phone numbers; you may need to contact them later.
6. Go to the hospital
If you have been badly injured in the accident, you should take photographs of your wounds before they are cleaned up and stitched. Even if you feel alright, you should allow yourself to be taken to the hospital. An emergency room physician has the training and equipment to spot injuries you may not see or feel.
7. Call a motorcycle personal injury attorney
You should call a motorcycle personal injury attorney as soon as you are up to it. You should make this call before reporting the accident to your insurance company. It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies put their profits before their clients; your lawyer will look out solely for your interests.
Why You Need a Lawyer
In addition to advising you of your rights as an insurance policyholder, a motorcycle accident attorney will also represent you when dealing with the person responsible for the accident. If it turns out that their recklessness or negligence caused the accident, their insurance company will need to pay. The latter may offer you a low-dollar settlement. It would help if you did not take it until you have consulted with your motorcycle accident attorney.
If the money covers your medical bills and lost wages and compensates you for the mental and physical pain you’ve experienced, then your lawyer may advise you to accept. If it does not, then your lawyer will press the insurance company for more money. If they refuse, then you will need to sue.
Not everyone likes to deal with the police, but they may not mind speaking to a civilian investigator. West Coast trial lawyers help ordinary people get proper settlements from insurance companies. The motorcycle injury law firm in Los Angeles that you hire will employ an in-house investigation team to gather facts that will shore up your case. The investigators will re-interview witnesses of the accident. The witnesses may provide new insights and evidence when your legal team interviews them. One of them may have even captured the entire accident on their phone camera, which can be crucial in backing up your version of events.
The motorcycle injury law firms you work with will also get statements from medical experts explaining the extent of your injuries and the debilitating effect they have had on you.
In the end, your lawyer will need to prove that you were in an accident, that the other driver’s recklessness caused it, and that their insurance company owes you a specific amount of damages. A personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles is an expert in putting such a case together. You should call a lawyer to discuss your options if you have been in a motorcycle accident.