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Legal Rights and Recourse for Motorcycle Accident Victims

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Even if you believe you’re at fault in a motorcycle wreck, you have legal rights.

Santa Clara, CAOwning and riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, but it unfortunately comes with some dangers. Motorcyclists are often difficult to see on roadways, which raises their potential for being involved in accidents. Furthermore, motorcycles leave their passengers more exposed to the elements (even while wearing protective gear), which makes accidents involving motorcycles more dangerous as well. 

Motorcycle accidents are often devastating, if not fatal, and if you are ever the victim of a motorcycle accident, you must understand your rights and how to move forward. This way, you can get back to living your life and back on the road sooner following your wreck. Here are things you should know regarding your legal rights as well as what recourse you should take as a motorcycle accident victim. 


Motorcyclists are a rarity on roadways, comprising only three percent of drivers on the road. Despite this small number, motorcycles are involved in an alarming percentage of accidents — 14% of all traffic fatalities involve motorcycles. 

While you may feel that you’re at fault for your motorcycle accident, the opposite is likely to be true. Cars, trucks, and semis may be responsible for more motorcycle accidents than motorcyclists are. Even if you believe you’re at fault in a motorcycle wreck, you have legal rights. Here are some of them: 

Medical Care

Regardless of how you feel following your motorcycle accident, you and your passenger (if applicable) must receive medical care as soon as you can. You have the right to be medically treated whether you have health insurance or not, and you have the right to receive medical records regarding your care and condition as well. These doctor and hospital visits and accompanying medical reports may come in handy as evidence for you as you file an insurance claim later. 


You have the right to be financially compensated for your motorcycle and any property damage as a result of your accident. Your motorcycle insurance agent should work with you or your legal counsel to ensure you get compensated for your motorcycle and other property damages by either fixing your motorcycle to its before-accident condition or totaling your motorcycle so you may use funds to replace the vehicle. 

Insurance Claim Filing

You have the right to file an insurance claim following your accident that involved your motorcycle, regardless of injuries and physical damages. You can even file an insurance claim if you are found in police records or in court to be responsible for your accident. 

You must file an insurance claim to receive any kind of financial compensation for your accident. Do not admit fault in your motorcycle wreck, and do not settle for any insurance settlement amounts without first speaking to your attorney. Your lawyer will work with your insurance agent (and the insurance agents of other involved parties) on your behalf to help you get maximum compensation for your motorcycle wreck. 

Legal Counsel

You have the right to legal counsel, regardless of what your legal situation is regarding your motorcycle wreck. Auto insurance companies may be quick to place blame on motorcyclists and try to undercut an insurance settlement, while police records may falsely file your accident as being less severe than it is. 

You have the right to obtain legal counsel to help you file your insurance claim and make other legal cases on your behalf. Your motorcycle attorney often specializes in these types of accidents in your area and knows what evidence to collect on your behalf. They also know what a fair settlement is and will fight hard for you to get the funds you deserve for medical, work-related, automobile, and other expenses you’ve incurred as a result of your wreck. 

Your Recourse

There are things you should do immediately following your motorcycle wreck. The first is seeking immediate medical care, as mentioned earlier. Motorcycle wrecks are often fatal and at the very least can cause serious bodily harm, so you want to make sure you get the right medical care and so you can keep track of your health throughout your case. Here are other courses of action you should be taking. 

Hire An Attorney

Even a no-fault accident where all parties involved are amicable and cooperative may require legal counsel. Your attorney speaks on your behalf and makes sure all documents have been filed and can get you copies of police reports and medical records in the event you feel the need to build a legal case. They work with insurance companies to get you fair compensation for current and future medical costs, work loss, and motorcycle repairs and replacements. 

In the event you are sued as a result of your motorcycle accident, your attorney will represent you in court to defend your case. Similarly, you can use your motorcycle attorney to file a lawsuit in the event you have to sue another party for damages, pain and suffering, and more related to your motorcycle accident. 

Protecting Your Rights

You have many rights as a motorcyclist, even if you are involved in a motorcycle crash. In protecting your rights and being proactive about your legal recourse, you can have a better chance of having a fair settlement without going to trial, work with insurance agencies better, and handle other legal responsibilities with ease. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle wreck, it’s wise to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for advice and direction. 

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