I got my first motorbike when I was 13 and have been riding close to a decade with nothing but the occasional fender bender. Last summer, to celebrate our graduation, my buddies and I took a trip to the Midwest to try out some of the best bike trails. Unfortunately, my luck ran out, and I got in a pretty serious accident.
I collided with another rider on an unmarked trail where the terrain was rough and admittedly somewhat dangerous. I’m not really sure whose fault this was, or if it was just a case of bad luck. I’m lucky I wasn’t more severely injured, but now I’m strapped with medical bills I can’t afford as a recent grad who isn’t yet gainfully employed.
My girlfriend has advised me to seek legal action because the other rider could be to blame. She knows I’ve always been a safe rider in the past. I have a tendency to agree. I don’t think I’m entirely at fault here. I don’t know whether to pursue legal counsel or if it’s a waste of my time or money. After all, the situation isn’t clear-cut. What do you think I should do?
Motorcycle accidents are common, even among veteran riders. Because of the smaller size of a motorbike compared to a four-wheel vehicle, and the different mental and physical skills required to operate one, it’s undeniably riskier to ride a motorcycle than a car or truck on the open road, particularly when weather conditions and terrain are unstable.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers and passengers in enclosed vehicles.
As alarming as these stats might be, many people ride motorcycles for decades without incident. If you have had a spotless driving record until now, you have likely been cautious and made safe choices on the road.
You shouldn’t feel bad about experiencing your first motorcycle accident, especially while riding on an off-road trail. These things happen, and it’s not necessarily indicative of your skill as a motorcyclist. What is concerning is the fact that you’re waiting to seek legal representation while your medical debt continues to burden you. It’s not going to go away, and it’s better to get it dealt with promptly, sooner rather than later.
Depending on how severe your injuries are, you may also be paying for physiotherapy and post-traumatic counseling for months or years after your accident. As a recent graduate, this may harm your potential to secure a job immediately, or your injuries might cut into your current source of income.
Only slightly more than 50% of motorcyclists have private health insurance coverage, meaning that the vast majority of American motorcycle crash victims either pay for their bills themselves or through another insurance program such as Medicaid. Your situation isn’t at all unusual. It’s also understandable that you may have reservations about reaching out to a lawyer when you aren’t sure if you have a legitimate case. However, it’s important to seek a consultation to learn where you stand.
A reputable local motorcycle accident attorney is experienced in navigating the nuances of cases such as yours and capable of helping you build a solid case. Personal injury lawyers who specialize in motorcycle accidents understand how catastrophic these types of collisions can be, physically and psychologically, and they have the expertise required to help guide you through every stage of the legal process.
They’ll also assist you with filing paperwork and documentation for insurance claims. If you need further rehabilitation services or medical care, they can help you secure the best of the best.