Involved in a Motorcycle Accident with a Passenger?

First aid teamNo accident is a safe experience. Unfortunately, it is an inevitable event of which one can only be prepared for with specific cautionary tips and practices. A motorcycle accident is an unfortunate event that has the possibility to turn into tragedy. When involved in a motorcycle accident, the first question that is usually asked is if everyone is alright. But what if you are involved in a motorcycle accident with a passenger? What if your passenger is injured? How do you know if you are liable, and how would the insurance work? If you are a driver, it is best to know these things, as well as other crucial tips, before the accident happens. If you are a passenger, knowing some basic safety tips now can save you later and help provide a safe experience on you or your friend’s motorcycle.

What to Know Before the Accident

When mounting a motorcycle, be sure that you are prepared to take on the related responsibilities. These responsibilities include not only the rules of the road and any related defensive driving, but also the responsibility of any passengers. These responsibilities rest on your shoulders at all times when you are behind any wheel, and adhering to them may save a life later on.

Always practice the safe basic riding habits. This includes wearing a helmet and other protective gear such as gloves. Wear the proper bike attire when on your motorcycle. When taking on a passenger, be sure to have an extra helmet prepared for them. This will keep them safe in the long run, should anything happen. Utilize defensive driving techniques and try to keep out of the blind spots of surrounding vehicles. Be sure to have the best motorcycle insurance available to you, and ensure that you know every detail in your insurance policy, particularly what it states about passengers.

Every time you embark on the road, no matter how short the trip is planned to be, there are specific items you should bring to ensure a safe and precautions driving experience. Always bring your cell phone, a camera, and a card. Carrying these three “C’s” now may save a life later. The cell phone will enable you or others to call for help if necessary, and the camera will allow for pictures to be taken should you get into an accident and you need proof of damage for your insurance company. If you do not have a camera handy, the camera on your cell phone or a disposable camera will do the job just as efficiently. On the card should be your name, information, and emergency contact information should you or anyone else become unresponsive. This card will help your passenger or officials contact the people that need to know of any given event should an accident occur.

Are You Liable?

Motorcycle accident liability can be found in anyone, depending on the factors involved and who in fact is the negligent party. In general, the part that is proven to be negligent, inattentive, or violating the traffic laws is the party that is liable. In most cases, the driver of a vehicle may not always see the motorcycle, and is thus the cause of an accident. The liability in these situations thus rests on the driver of the vehicle, for the rules of the road state that any driver must be aware of their surroundings at all times. If they are not aware of any vehicles, including motorcycles, in the area, then they are not being attentive and thus they are negligent. In other cases, a motorcycle defect may have been the cause of the accident. Unique factors of the accident may determine who exactly is the liable party.

If you have been wronged, by the negligent party or an insurance company, speak with a personal injury attorney for details on how to begin a lawsuit.

How Will Your Insurance Work?

Your insurance experience all begins with your insurance policy. Knowing your exact policy beforehand is a great way to be prepared before heading out on the road. Most insurance policies cover the individual who is an injured passenger in an accident. Every insurance policy works differently, and it all depends on which one you choose when buying the insurance itself. Various aspects are based on the factors surrounding your insurance, such as the type of vehicle or the state you live in.

On the other side of the same coin, the handling of the post-accident experience also depends on what kind of insurance the other vehicle or motorcycle has. Motorcycle insurance usually helps with one of three options. The first option is paying you or a family member if a claim exists. It may also pay for an attorney to defend you in legal defense, or they can also help you in terms of indemnification, or when you pay what you owe when a claim is against you personally.

The coverage you receive depends on your specific policy. Coverage that is available are liability, medical payments, uninsured and underinsured coverage, and damage coverage. Each policy has its own limitations so be sure to ask about every detail.

 Tips for a Passenger

When you are the passenger on a motorcycle, you feel the wind at your sides like a bird. You put all of your trust into the driver of the bike, and while the responsibility of driving with a passenger rests on them, you can do your part as a passenger to ensure that the experience is a safe one. When both the driver and the passenger are safe, the driving experience is as safe as it can be. The passenger’s safety can be collected in three categories: clothing, mounting the bike, and riding the motorcycle as a passenger.

Clothing is the first category, for even the most basic covering can mean the difference between minor and major injuries. Find protective clothing that can help you in the event of an accident. Hiking boots can protect your feet and ankles, and durable pants of leather or thick denim will protect your legs. Leather jackets also make for a good protectant. Always wear a helmet.

The second category is mounting and dismounting the motorcycle. Before getting on the bike, make sure the passenger footpegs are down and stable. Always know where the exhaust pipes are, as they can get hot and can cause severe burns. Always mount and dismount the motorcycle from the left side, and wait for the rider to let you know when it is safe to do so.

Once mounted on the motorcycle, it is important to know how to ride as a passenger. It is your responsibility to not throw off the balance of the bike. Lock your feet into place on the passenger footpegs and place your hands on the rider’s hips. When turning, position yourself according to the turn. When steering left, look over the rider’s left shoulder. When steering right, look over the rider’s right shoulder. Be sure to hold yourself steady and in place in the event of a sudden stop.

Whether you are a rider or a passenger, knowing these tips now can give you a safer riding experience later. Know the rules of the road, your position’s responsibilities, and how to tell the liable part in the event of an accident. Know every nook of your insurance policy, and practice defensive and safe driving. An accident can unfortunately happen in any moment, and preparing yourself now can minimize any potential damage or confusion.


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