What To Do If You Were Injured As A Motorcycle Passenger
The Sunshine State’s beautiful weather, scenic highways, and motorcyclist-friendly events such as BiketoberFest make it one of the nation’s best places to be a biker. If you’ve never biked before or just enjoy riding along with a friend, being a motorcyclist’s passenger is a great way to experience the thrill of biking in Florida. But, what should you do if you’re injured as a motorcycle passenger? Does a passenger have any way to recover damages for medical expenses incurred in a crash? The short answer: yes! Whether or not you were operating the bike, you have the right to compensation following an accident.
Below, the good folks at 911 Biker Law outline what to do if you’re injured in a motorcycling accident as a passenger.
Document The Accident
First, document the scene of the accident and contact local authorities. Take pictures of the damaged vehicles, street signs, and even your injuries. Additionally, if there are any witnesses present, be sure they give their account of the incident to the police.
Going forward, hold onto your medical bills, receipts for medical equipment, and any bottles of medicine prescribed for your injuries. If possible, keep a record of any chronic pain. Log the severity of the pain, the frequency with which it occurs, and how it impedes you in your daily life. Documenting the scene of the accident, gathering witness testimonies, securing a police report, and keeping track of medical expenses will be beneficial to your future case.
File A Claim Against The Motorcycle Operator
If the motorcyclist was responsible for the accident, seek compensation by filing a claim against their insurance company. Understandably, many injured passengers are hesitant when filing a lawsuit against the motorcycle’s operator. Whether the motorcyclist is a friend or family member of the passenger, they’d generally rather not take action that could result in their acquaintance’s insurance premium being raised. However, don’t let that prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries. If the motorcycle operator was at fault for the accident, their insurance premium is likely to increase regardless of your actions.
File A Claim Against The Other Driver
If another driver caused the accident, you, as an injured passenger, have the right to pursue compensation from that driver and their insurance company. In this situation, you will need to provide evidence that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident. Negligence could be exhibited as any dangerous behavior such as speeding, failing to adhere to road signs, drunk driving, driving while fatigued, etc. One of our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can help you file insurance claims, gather evidence to prove negligence, and provide pivotal guidance amidst litigation with insurance companies.
Sue The Motorcycle Manufacturer
As with any other machine, motorcycles rely upon each of its individual parts working together in harmony to operate smoothly. If a single component is defective, it may cause the motorcycle to crash. When a defective piece of equipment such as faulty brakes, a malfunctioning tire, or a flaw with the fuel tank causes an accident, you can seek compensation from the vehicle’s manufacturer. Liable parties in cases of defective motorcycle equipment include:
- The manufacturer of the defective part
- The motorcycle manufacturer
- The distributor
- The retailer
Suing a manufacturer can prove more difficult than filing insurance claims, as corporations are likely to dispute allegations in an attempt to protect their public image. Don’t go into that battle alone — contact our law firm to secure representation from one of our experienced and skillful personal injury attorneys!