This is the second of a three part series on the phases of a motorcycle accident. In the first installment, we looked at pre-accident planning. In this article, we look at how truly horrific accidents can be.
Anatomy of a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accident causes, effects and outcomes vary, but they generally follow the same pattern.
The speed at which motorcycle accidents occur is truly a deciding factor on the extent of injury.
1. Pre-Accident – as anyone who has been in a motorcycle accident will tell you, the actual beginning of an accident happens well before impact! It happens when the rider first perceives a hazard.
At the speed of a typical accident, between perception of the hazard and implementing a responsive maneuver attempt of braking and steering is only about 1.5 seconds for a typical rider. Physical evidence in the form of skid marks often give the best clues as to attempted avoidance maneuvers were attempted.
Overuse of the motorcycle brakes, locking the cycle wheels is very common in a panic situation. If the front wheel locks, the rider is doomed to lose control. The motorcycle and rider typically separate but continue to slide along the same trajectory as they were in prior to the loss of control.
2. Collision – Then the most painful part of an accident occurs if the rider collides with a vehicle, traffic sign post, guardrail, or other immovable object.
Investigators can gauge the speed the cycle was traveling at impact by evaluating damage, to your body and your cycle, and combining that data with sliding distance that was determined by measuring your skid.
Impact is not the end of the agony however. Both you and your bike can experience additional flight, skidding or rolling to the final resting point. Post-impact travel distances help establish how fast the bike was traveling prior to impact.
3. First Responders – After the dust has settled, if you are able, you will dial 911 to request an ambulance and report the accident to law enforcement. If not a witness or by-passer will usually be the party that calls.
While waiting for the ambulance, if you are mobile, you will want to identify any other drivers, and possibly take photos of the accident scene yourself. After your condition is stabilized on site, the police will take your statement, which you should attempt to keep brief and factual, never admitting any fault.
Finally, you are rushed to a hospital for any further treatment and recovery. Refusing to go to the hospital will hurt your case if you are need further care.
4. Contacting a Motorcycle Lawyer – As soon as it is practical in this scenario you will want to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to protect your rights. Ideally, this is at the scene, waiting for first responders, so I can instruct you, because as you can guess, you will be very confused, disoriented and generally not in any shape to be making decisions.
It is best if you identify which motorcycle attorney you would contact in case you ever get into an accident and put their info in your smartphone contacts. Do that now – Lee Gaber, The Cycle Attorney, 888-292-5352 365 days a year.
If you get a call from an insurance company before talking to a lawyer, delay speaking with them until you talk to your lawyer.
New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney Lee Gaber can help establish that your your motorcycle accident was not your fault, and get you a better settlement than you could get on your own.
Call 888-292-5352 (888-cycle-law) to get expert advice about proceeding with a motorcycle accident claim in New Jersey.
Look for the final installment on our series, next month – the claim process.