Between 1999 and 2008, motorcycle-related fatalities doubled. Because of the uniquely vulnerable position motorcycle riders are in due to the unprotected nature of a motorcycle on the roadways, injured motorcyclists may wonder what steps to take if they are injured in a motorcycle accident. Likewise, family members may wonder what steps to take if a loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2001 to 2008 it was estimated that over 1.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to motorcycle accidents. During that same time period, 34,000 people died in motorcycle accidents. Over half of all motorcycle accident-related injuries were to the legs and feet or head and neck. Many injuries of that nature can be costly to treat. Because there are more motorcycles on the road today than ever before, motorcycle accidents remain a public health concern.

Additionally, motorcycle accidents are of personal concern to each individual or family member impacted by a motorcycle accident injury or fatality. Following a motorcycle accident, both individuals and families may be able to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages if the motorcycle accident was negligently caused by another party. Following any motorcycle accident, especially those that resulted in injury or death, it is always important to remain at the scene, exchange relevant information with other drivers involved when appropriate and call the police.

It is also important to take photos and carefully document all medical expenses and costs related to the accident. It will be important to contact insurance companies and to be careful about potential settlements. Although many personal injury and wrongful death claims are resolved through settlement, it is important that the process if carefully thought through. Because motorcycle accidents can cause extensive harm in the lives of individuals and families, carefully understanding available options, and what steps to take, following a motorcycle accident is important.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Motorcycle-Crash Related Data,” Accessed Sept. 2, 2014