Motorcycles and their riders are much more vulnerable than cars, and tragically, they suffer injuries and fatalities at a greater rate in crashes than do drivers of cars and other vehicle types. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 92,000 motorcyclists suffered injuries in crashes in 2014. Here are some Salt Lake City motorcycle accident frequently asked questions we hear from those who have been injured in crashes.


What should I do if I’m involved in a motorcycle accident?

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to remain at the scene. If you flee, you could be criminally prosecuted. Stay calm and call the police. Seek medical attention, even if you are not injured. Your injuries may take a few days—even weeks—to surface.

Be sure to collect the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses or others involved in the accident. You will also need to collect any and all insurance information from those involved in the accident. It is easy to become overwhelmed or discouraged, but an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates can help make sure you are fairly compensated.


What should I say to the other party involved in the accident or their insurance adjuster?

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should not say anything specific about the accident, and you should never admit fault. Often times, in the aftermath following an accident, people say things that may not necessarily be true. An incorrect admission of guilt (even if made while you are in a state of shock) can have a detrimental impact on your motorcycle injury claim.

When you do decide to make a statement to the other parties involved in your motorcycle accident, you should have a witness (preferably a motorcycle injury lawyer) present so your statement cannot be misconstrued. Generally speaking, it is usually best to let us handle communicating with the insurance company entirely.


I was partially responsible for my motorcycle accident. Can I still recover damages?

Recovering compensation for a motorcycle injury can involve different types of negligence, including comparative negligence and contributory negligence. For example, Utah is a comparative negligence state that follows a 50 percent rule.

This means that if you are injured, you can only recover damages if it is determined that your fault in causing the injury is 49 percent or less. If your fault level reaches 50 percent, you cannot recover any damages resulting from the accident. Consult with a Craig Swapp & Associates motorcycle injury lawyer to help you arrive at a proper figure.


How much money can I expect to be awarded for my motorcycle crash?

Your lawyer can figure out what types of damages you’ve endured and what type of fault there was. We will let you know what sorts of damages you can seek compensation for. Generally speaking, the worse an injury, the more costly it will be to you with ongoing medical bills, surgery, and physical therapy—all of which will have an impact on your monetary award.


Is it a good idea to take pictures of the scene?

You should, and it’s vital for compensation later. Try your best to get some shots with a cell phone or camera. It’s important to photograph any involved vehicles and the damage they have suffered, lane position, road conditions, debris, anything out of place, and anything that will help build your case.

Don’t leave this important step to anyone else if you can help it. Also, don’t assume an insurance adjuster will perform this task with the best outcome for you in mind.


What if I was in a single-person accident; does that mean no compensation?

Approximately 25 percent of motorcycle accidents involve only one person. However, you may have crashed because someone cut you off, because of a faulty traffic light, or by severe negligence on the part of the government agency responsible for maintaining the road you were on. While government-related crashes are harder to get compensated for, it is still entirely possible.

Also, while another other driver may not have made impact, another vehicle could very well have forced you off the road. We can talk to you about Utah fault laws and what options you have.


Who will pay my medical and repair bills?

Most financial awards in personal injury cases come from the insurance companies—either yours, the other party’s, or both. Even if an insurance company isn’t involved, it is still possible to pursue damages from whoever was at fault for causing your motorcycle accident.


Is road rash dangerous?

Depending on the severity of the case, road rash can be treated like an abrasion, or it can be severe, warranting stitches or skin grafts. There are three degrees of road rash, just like burns.

First degree road rash is superficial, second degree is moderately serious with some possible scarring, and third degree can involve damage to muscles and subcutaneous fat. It may even require skin grafts. Road rash, if not properly attended to, can get infected with MRSA—a dreaded and dangerous staph infection.


If my case goes to trial, will an expert be needed to testify?

Experts on the stand can always help a case if they’re chosen wisely, but not all cases warrant a court date. Many cases are settled out of court, but it’s important to have one of our attorneys review any settlements offers to ensure the offer is fair and accounts for all of your expenses and damages.


Contact a Salt Lake City Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you or someone you know and love was hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident, you deserve to be fairly compensated for what you’ve endured.

Craig Swapp & Associates has been fighting to protect victims’ rights for more than fifty years. Our friendly and qualified staff can answer your questions, explain your options, and help you recover what you rightfully deserve.

If you didn’t see your query listed in these Salt Lake City motorcycle accident frequently asked questions, ask us by calling 1-800-404-9000. Contact a motorcycle injury lawyer at our firm today for a free consultation!