Motorcycle accidents often feel as though they come out of nowhere. One minute, you’re watching the road and carefully navigating through traffic, and the next, someone’s negligence leaves a pile of bills in your lap. Fortunately, you’re not obligated to deal with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident alone, but is there a way to avoid these accidents in the first place?
You can minimize your risk of getting into a motorcycle accident on the road. While you can never control someone else’s behavior behind the wheel, every effort you put into protecting yourself from harm is an effort you can reference if you ever have to take a motorcycle accident claim to civil court.
How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents
If you want to get ahead of a possible motorcycle accident, you can take steps to protect yourself from preventable harm. These steps include:
Step 1: License and Training
First and foremost, never take to the road without the proper license. You can get arrested, fined, and even incarcerated if you try to ride a motorcycle without a license. You can register for motorcycle training courses if you’re nervous about taking a licensing exam. Some of these courses may even stand in for the written section of your motorcycle license exam.
You can also pursue additional motorcycle safety training after you get your state license. If you want to take extra precautions while you’re on the road, these courses can teach you how to move beyond the safety basics.
Step 2: Wear Protective Gear
Indiana state law requires motorcyclists under the age of 18 to wear helmets on the road. Anyone over 18 is free to take to Indiana’s roads without safety gear, but does that mean you should? If you want to avoid dangerous accidents, you can wear a helmet, at a minimum.
You can also invest in a motorcycle jacket, pants, and gloves. Wearing protective gear, including a reflective jacket or vest at night, makes you more visible while on the road. This gear can also prevent road rash if you do get into an accident or otherwise lose control of your motorcycle.
Step 3: Abide by Indiana Roadway Laws
Another best practice when it comes to avoiding motorcycle accidents is to abide by Indiana’s roadway laws. This means making an effort to avoid speeding, failing to signal, or violating pedestrians’ right of way.
You can refer to Indiana’s roadway laws to learn more about the state’s expectations of its motorcyclists. Most motorcycle license training courses also give you an idea of what the state expects from you before you hit the road.
Step 4: Avoid Riding at Night or in Dangerous Weather
It’s also in your best interest to avoid taking your motorcycle out at night or when the weather becomes dangerous. Even the most experienced motorcyclists can have a difficult time parsing traffic patterns late at night. Moreover, dangerous weather can leave the road wet or icy, thus putting you at a greater risk of hydroplaning or losing control of your motorcycle.
If you want to get ahead of bad weather, use the weather app on your phone or check the news before you head out. While you can’t always avoid riding your motorcycle in the evening, you can opt to leave engagements before sunset or arrange alternative transportation if the sun goes down before you get home.
What to Do If You Can’t Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
Unfortunately, there are some dangerous circumstances that even the most prepared person can’t avoid. If you find yourself in a motorcycle accident despite your careful preparation, don’t panic. Work with first responders to address your losses and stabilize any injuries you or a passenger may have endured.
After you’ve addressed any immediate health concerns, you can reach out to an attorney and discuss your right to act. Indiana’s motorcycle accident lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim. You can then submit that claim to a local civil court and wait for a judge to move it forward.
If your motorcycle accident claim does move forward, you have the right to demand damages for your losses from a liable party. Note, however, that filing a civil claim does not allow you to initiate a criminal case against the party liable for your losses. Only the state can take up a criminal case against the negligent party in a motorcycle accident.
If the state initiates a criminal case against the party responsible for your accident, keep track of that case’s progress. You can use a guilty verdict to further back your right to compensation in civil court.
How to Hold a Liable Party Accountable for Your Motorcycle Accident
When you file a civil case against the party liable for your motorcycle accident, you fight for the right to either take that liable party to civil court or initiate settlement negotiations. Neither course of action is better than the other. Rather, you can discuss which path forward might better help you hold a negligent party accountable for your losses.
Vaughan & Vaughan Stand With Indiana’s Injured Motorcyclists
There are only so many steps you can take to protect yourself from a motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, you can’t control how other people behave on the road. If you find yourself facing the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, though, there are people you can turn to for help. Vaughan & Vaughan can help you take the necessary steps to secure post-accident support.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Indiana have plenty of experience helping survivors like you fight for compensation in and out of court. We can work with you to determine how your case might process and what steps toward a payout you can take. You can contact us online or over the phone today to set up a free, no-obligation case consultation with our team.