Motorcycle Helmet Laws in DC; Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents; What to do after a Motorcycle Accident in DC; Biggest Mistakes to Avoid after a Motorcycle Accident in DC
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in DC
Motorcycle helmet laws in DC are pretty basic: No matter what the maximum speed a bike can go, anyone who operates or rides a scooter or motorcycle needs to wear a safety helmet. The helmet needs to be worn in accordance with how it is designed to be worn. If a person is injured while riding on a motorcycle or scooter and they are not wearing a helmet or not wearing it properly, it may be difficult for them to get compensation for their injuries because the other side may claim that the injuries would not have occurred if the victim had been following the law.
Regardless of the law, motorcycle helmets can save lives (according to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other agencies that monitor road and highway accidents). Motorcycle and scooter riders should always wear required safety gear because they have little else that will protect them in an accident. While all safety precautions should be taken by motorcycle and scooter enthusiasts, helmet are especially important because of the complications that can arise from head injuries. These include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Facial injuries
- Injuries to the eyes, nose, mouth and ears
- Other types of head injuries
Complications that can arise because of a head injury after an accident include but are not limited to, compromised or loss of abilities, cognitive problems, seizures, nausea, chronic headaches, and paralysis.
Regardless of the law, motorcyclists should always do everything they can to protect themselves in the event of an accident. Following the laws of the road and motorcycle helmet laws have been shown help to prevent injuries and death. If you have been in an accident, regardless of whether you were following motorcycle helmet laws in DC or not, contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C. to tell us your situation and so that we may be able to help you protect your rights.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
While riding a motorcycle is convenient, economical and fun, there are many common types of motorcycle accidents that operators should be aware of and take precautions to avoid. Motorcyclists are more likely to get seriously injured and to die in accidents than people in automobiles because motorcyclists do not have any sort of surrounding structure to protect them and their vehicles. Because of this, motorcyclists should always take special precautions when they have the option to and should always follow all road safety rules and laws. Common types of motorcycle accidents include but are not limited to:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and/or other substance that can impair
- Left turn accidents, right of way errors, or misjudgement of distance
- Lane splitting or driving between two lanes of traffic
- Unsafe lane changes
- Car doors that are opened unexpectedly and give riders no time to respond safely
- Driveways with vehicles coming out that are not visible to motorcycle riders until it is too
late to avoid them
- Sudden stops can cause a motorcyclists to fly over their handlebars and/or rear-end
- Weather and other natural events can make the roads slippery and cause
- Poorly kept roads and other dangerous road conditions
- Motorcycle and mechanical defects that may be caused by faulty design,
- Manufacturing, or lack of proper safety warnings and instructions
Even though motorcycles can be dangerous there are many reasons that it is here to stay and people will continue to use them for transportation and recreation. Motorcycle operators should be aware of common types of motorcycle accidents and always be on the lookout to avoid them. If you have been in one of the common types of motorcycle accidents above, or one not mentioned here, contact Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for a free case evaluation.
What to do after a Motorcycle Accident in DC
If you are a motorcycle rider you may be wondering, what to do after a motorcycle accident in DC and what can I do now? You may be wondering this because you have unfortunately been in an accident or you may be wondering this simply because you know that the risks of being in a motorcycle accident are high and you want to be prepared, just in case. The following are some basic guidelines for what to do in the aftermath of an accident. They are not intended to be legal advice in any way.
Check for Injuries If anyone (including yourself) appears to have serious injuries, call
911. Be careful when you first get up from an accident because very often, adrenalen can
mask pain. It is a good idea to do a visual check on yourself before you start to move,
and to test your limbs before you put weight on them, etc. Be careful about moving
people who are too injured to move themselves or unconscious because it may cause
Get to Safety Get yourself and others to a place that is a safe distance from the accident
site and where you can wait for medical help and law enforcement (as necessary.) Be
careful of traffic that is trying to move through or around the accident site, hazardous
materials that may be leaking out of vehicles, etc.
Document If possible, immediately following the accident, take photos of the accident
site and all of the vehicles involved, from as many angles and distances as you can.
When you have time (but do this as soon as you can) document what happened in your
own words by either making a voice memo, video, or writing it down.
Move Your Bike Off the Road Stopped vehicles and accident debris can cause
additional accidents and injury. Move your bike if this can be done safely.
Call For Assistance If it was not necessary to call 911, call the local police department to
have an officer come to the accident scene. Contact your insurance agent to give them
any information they need.
Be Careful of What You Say and Who You Say It To While it may be tempting to
discuss the accident with other people involved and witnesses, do not admit fault to
anyone. Even though it might seem like the accident was your or partially your fault, it
may not have been. While it is a good idea to get information from the other people
involved, be careful about telling them things that may be held against you. When you
speak to your insurance company do not tell them that you think it is your fault because it
may not be. Many people who have been in a motorcycle accident find it helpful to
discuss their situation with an attorney before they have to talk to their own or other
driver’s insurance companies, and other parties that may become involved.
If you are wondering, what to do after a motorcycle accident in DC and how we can try to make sure your rights are upheld, contact the experienced team at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid After a Motorcycle Accident in DC
If you have been in a motorcycle accident in Washington DC, you may find it helpful to know what people who have been in accidents before you found to be the biggest mistakes to avoid after a motorcycle accident in DC and the surrounding areas.
Leaving the scene of an accident is against the law and should not be done (unless a someone needs immediate medical attention.)
Not calling the police can lead to complications down the road if you do not have confirmation of who was involved, and statements from them and other witnesses.
Admitting fault at the scene and to insurance companies is often detrimental to those who do this and their case. Even though in the immediate aftermath of a scary accident it may feel like an accident was your fault, it might not have been. Admitting fault upfront before evidence is gathered can cause problems that will become hard to deal with in the future.
Not seeking medical treatment is not a stoic move that is lauded by the law. Even if you are not in much pain and do not see any visible signs of injury, it is a good idea to have a doctor document your physical condition. Very often, symptoms of serious injuries do not show up until days, weeks and months after an accident. Some injuries can go completely unnoticed by the individual who sustains them and are ones that need a doctor’s special training, tools, and tests to detect.
Missing medical appointments may feel like you are saving yourself time and money but in the long run, this can lead to problems that can make it more difficult to get compensation for your medical bills.
Something that many people find IS helpful in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident is to talk to an attorney who understands the law and is licensed to use it to uphold the rights of their client. The dedicated legal team of Cohen & Cohen, P.C. is available to try to help you understand the biggest mistakes to avoid after a motorcycle accident in DC and for a free case evaluation, today.