As exhilarating as they may be, there is no denying motorcycles can be dangerous. No matter how responsible of a rider you are, you do not have control of other drivers on the road.
According to the 2016 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in crashes – a five percent increase from 2015. Of those fatalities, 27 percent were riding without a valid motorcycle license, 37 percent were driving under the influence of alcohol, and 35 percent were not wearing helmets. Based on these findings, motorcycle accidents are 29 times more likely to occur than car accidents.
Motorcycle accidents often result in tragedy. While permanent disabilities and deaths cannot be reversed, holding the negligent party responsible for the actions can offer a sense of peace to victims and loved ones. In the event you are the victim of a motorcycle accident, it’s a good idea to contact the Little Rock motorcycle accident lawyers from McMath Woods P.A. You’ll also need to understand your legal rights so you can ease your financial burdens and focus on recovery.
What Are the Motorcycle Laws in Arkansas?
- A Class M license is required to legally operate a motorcycle on public roadways.
- A person has to be at least 16 years of age to obtain a Class M license.
- A Class MD license, which offers restricted privileges, can be obtained to operate a motorcycle between 14 and 16 years old.
- Everyone under the age of 21 is required to wear a helmet. Motorcyclists over 21 have the option to choose whether or not they wear a helmet.
- All motorcyclists must wear eye protection.
- Passengers cannot be under the age of eight.
- Daytime headlights are required.
- Blood alcohol content (BAC) levels are the same for motorcycles as they are for cars. Any motorist operating a vehicle with a BAC above 0.08 percent is driving under the influence.
For more information on the motorcycle laws in Arkansas and the best rider practices, review the Motorcycle Endorsement Study Guide from the Arkansas State Police.
What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycles, because they only have two wheels and are smaller than most other vehicles on the road, are often less stable and less visible than other cars. Motorcycle accidents are deadlier than car crashes because the riders don’t have the protection afforded inside an enclosed vehicle. Below are some of the most common reasons motorcycle accidents happen.
Just like any vehicle, motorcycles have blind spots. It’s particularly important to understand how these blind spots function when making turns, changing lanes, passing, slowing down, and stopping. Other vehicles, like cars and trucks, should always be on the lookout for motorcycles in their blind spots, as well.
As one of the leading causes of all motor vehicle accidents, distracted driving undoubtedly contributes to motorcycle crashes. Taking your hands or eyes away from the vehicle or road can lead to collisions or lose of vehicular control.
Lack of Awareness
The lack of awareness applies to both motorcyclists and motorists. Motorcyclists may be unaware of how dangerous riding a motorcycle can be and may not take the proper precautions. Car and truck drivers may be unaware of how to driver safely around motorcycles.
Excessive speeding increases the chances of a collision, as well as the severity of injuries sustained in the event of an accident.
Some drivers underestimate the amount of room they need in front of them to come to a complete stop. If a car tailgates a motorcycle and hits them from behind, the motorcyclists may lose control of their vehicle and get seriously injured.
What Are the Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident?
In the event of a motorcycle accident, it’s important to follow the proper procedure for the sake yourself and anyone else involved.
Stay at the scene of the accident. To comply with the law and avoid a hit-and-run charge, you must stay at the scene of the accident.
Seek medical attention. You may be in shock immediately following the accident; however, if you’re able to, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, motorcycle accidents can have serious effects on the body. It’s important to been seen by a healthcare professional so your injuries can be evaluated. The doctor’s notes will also come in handy to show how much compensation you deserve.
Swap contact information with the applicable parties. If you’re able to at the scene of the accident, it’s important to get contact information from the other driver. You’ll want to get their name and address, insurance information, and vehicle description. Avoid talking about how or why the accident happened.
Take pictures and notes of the accident. Try to take as many pictures as possible at the scene of the wreck. Document the damage to both vehicles, as well as the conditions of the weather and road. Write down as much as you can remember, as you’ll need to report this information to the police and your insurance company.
File a police report. If the motorcycle accident results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000, you’ll need to file a Motor Vehicle Accident Report. You have 30 days to do this, after the date of the accident.
File an accident claim with your insurance company. Once your able, you’ll need to report the accident to your insurance company. The sooner you do this, the faster you’ll be able to negotiate a fair settlement.
Seek legal guidance. In the event your motorcycle accident claim isn’t going the way you want, seeking legal guidance is a good idea. An attorney will be able to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and represent you in court if need be.
How Can a Little Rock Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
While no amount of money can change what has happened, receiving compensation for damages after a motorcycle accident can make recovery easier. With the proper legal team backing you, like our Arkansas motorcycle accident lawyers at McMath Woods P.A., you’re likely to receive full and fair compensation.
Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you assess your claim to determine what you’re owed. Contact our legal representatives today for a free evaluation of your case.