Motorcycling is all about freedom, the feel of the open road, and the wind in your face. Motorcycling can also be about image. Riding in black leather projects that cool “Fonz” vibe but if you want to stay safe, you need to be noticed. The majority of Iowa motorcycle accidents occur when a passenger vehicle driver doesn’t see the rider. If you're involved in a wreck, our Cedar Rapids motorcycle accident lawyer can make sure that all of your rights are protected and that you avoid common mistakes after a motorcycle crash.
Tips to Avoid A Cedar Rapids Motorcycle Accident
- Ride a bright-colored motorcycle. When choosing motorcycle colors, opt for reds, greens, and yellows.
- Install a loud horn. Make sure that your motorcycle’s horn can get a distracted driver’s attention. Don’t be afraid to use it if a driver is distracted or headed into your space.
- Choose a brighter headlight. Choose the brightest headlight that you can afford. High-intensity discharge (HID) xenon and light-emitting diode (LED) lights are bright both day and night.
- Check your headlight’s angle. Raise the beam to the maximum angle allowed in your state.
- Choose a brighter brake light. Consider replacing your current light with an LED light.
- Use reflective decals. Use reflective tape and stickers to make your bike and your gear more visible. One good idea is to wrap the tape around your wheel rims.
- Add auxiliary lights. Auxiliary lights provide the same kind of benefits as reflective tape in that they add light sources to your bike.
- Consider a headlight modulator. A device modulates your headlight so it appears to pulse—making you more visible both day and night.
- Wear glow-in-the-dark motorcycle gear. Reflectors can only be seen when light shines on them.
When you do your best to ride safely and stay visible, you can reduce your chances of permanent injuries in an Iowa motorcycle crash. But you can’t prevent every accident. There is nothing that you can do about distracted drivers, reckless drivers, impaired drivers, and drivers who simply don’t watch for motorcycles.
You might think that busy highways like I-80 or 380 are more dangerous than the streets of Cedar Rapids; after all, you are driving at a slower speed and going shorter distances when you ride in town. However, cities have one danger that highways do not—intersections. More than half of Iowa motorcycle crashes occur at intersections.
3 Reasons Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Cedar Rapids
- The driver misjudges how far away the rider is and turns into his path
- The driver does not see a rider who is obscured by other vehicles or is in his blind spot
- The driver is unable to stop for a rider in trouble
Many Cedar Rapids motorcycle crashes occur when a car driver makes a left turn into the path of a motorcycle. The driver is not intending to cause a car accident. He either doesn’t see the motorcyclist or he misjudges the motorcycle’s distance because of the motorcycle’s relatively small size. Many Cedar Rapids motorcycle accidents are preventable. Drivers should be educated on how to drive safely near motorcyclists, how to judge a motorcycle’s speed, and how much space to leave between vehicles. You can do your part with a “Watch for Motorcycles” bumper sticker.
How Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Cedar Rapids Can Help You
Things to Avoid Saying After a Cedar Rapids Motorcycle Crash
After an Cedar Rapids motorcycle accident, you want the insurance companies to pay your medical expenses and repair costs. Here are seven things that you should never say after a Cedar Rapids bike crash:
- Never say sorry. Don't apologize to anyone for anything after the motorcycle accident—even if you think you might be at fault. Don’t say “sorry” to the driver, to a witness, or the police. “Sorry” may be seen as an admission of fault. What you say, even if it is just using good manners, can be used against you later.
- Don’t say, “I'm not hurt” or “I’m okay.” The adrenaline that is released during an Iowa motorcycle accident can mask serious injuries. It may be hours, the next day, or even several days before you feel pain or other symptoms. This is especially true for head injuries, internal bleeding, and neck and spine injuries. The insurance company will take “I am okay” to mean “I have no injuries.” If you file an injury case, they may accuse you of fraud.
- Don’t say, “I think…” Don't make guesses about what happened. The insurance adjuster might try to get you to estimate your speed or the speed of the other driver; he might want you to estimate where the car was when you started through the intersection.
- Don’t give a recorded statement. The insurance company may ask you to make a recorded statement. You should not do this. The goal is to seek information to help shift the blame for an Iowa motorcycle crash. If the insurance company insists, ask the adjuster to contact your Cedar Rapids motorcyle accident lawyer.
- Don’t reveal the names of doctors, family, or friends. Don’t give the insurance company your personal information. The insurance adjuster may contact your family members, friends, or doctors to find out more about you, your injuries, your past medical history, and your habits. They are fishing for information to use to deny or discredit your claim.
- Never say, “I accept your offer.” The insurance company is trying to pay you as little as possible. While a first offer may seem reasonable, you may not yet know the extent of your medical costs. Don’t accept an insurance company offer until you’ve spoken to a Cedar Rapids motorcycle crash attorney.
- Don’t say, "I don't have a lawyer." Victims without a lawyer typically receive substantially smaller settlements than those who hire an experienced motorcycle injury attorney. The insurance company gives motorcycle accident claims that are represented by a lawyer more respect and attention. An attorney can put a fair value on your claim, including medical bills, future medical costs, lost wages, lost earning potential, the impact of your injuries on your life, pain and suffering, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Second, the attorney knows insurance tactics and how to use the law to make the insurance company pay that fair value. If an insurance company won’t play fair, an experienced Cedar Rapids motorcycle attorney will take the insurance company to court.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident then it is important to get a copy of the accident report. In Iowa, the police are required to investigate a motorcycle crash if anyone is injured, if anyone dies, or if the property damage is likely to be $1,500 or more.
Who Can Request a Copy of the Police Report?
Generally, you can request a copy of the police report if you are a party to the motorcycle accident. You are considered a party to the accident if:
- You were the driver of a vehicle in the accident.
- You are the owner of a vehicle in the accident, or you were leasing a vehicle involved in the accident.
- You were an injured rider involved in the accident.
- You were a pedestrian involved in the accident.
- You are the parent or guardian of a minor who was involved in the accident.
- Your property (such as your motorcycle, for example) was damaged in the accident.
In some cases, you may also be able to request a copy of your police report from the local police department that investigated your crash. For example, if your accident occurred in Cedar Rapids, then you may look on the Cedar Rapids Police Department website for more information about how to request a copy of your report. Additionally, the attorney of a party to the accident or a representative from the insurance company may be able to request a copy of the report.
3 Bike Crash Myths Debunked by Our Cedar Rapids Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After you’ve been hurt in a Cedar Rapids bike wreck, people may tell you:
- Motorcyclists are the problem. riders are not the problem. Motorcycle riders, ourselves included, have every right to be on the road. A motorcyclist is no more likely than any other motorist to be a “problem.” The law does not assume those motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclists—and neither should you.
- Recoveries from motorcycle accidents are difficult to obtain. Again, this is not true. If the victim of a motorcycle accident has been hurt by someone else’s negligence, then Iowa law allows that victim to recover. Insurance companies, judges, and juries know this, and it is possible to get a fair recovery from an Iowa motorcycle accident injury.
- It is easy to pursue a fair recovery on your own without the expense of a motorcycle accident lawyer. You may be able to do it, but it may not be easy. While it is possible to get a fair recovery after an motorcycle wreck, and even though insurance companies know what a fair settlement would be, it can be difficult to get a fair recovery without the help of an experienced Cedar Rapids motorcycle accident attorney.
Damages You Can Recover After a Motorcycle Crash in Cedar Rapids
If you are a motorcycle accident victim you need to protect your rights and your recovery. If your injuries are a result of someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to recover damages for your motorcycle accident case which include past, current, and future:
- Healthcare costs. All of your medical costs, including but not limited to hospitalizations, surgeries, doctors’ appointments, medications, and rehabilitation therapies should be included in your recovery.
- Lost income. Any money that you would have been able to earn if not for your injuries should be compensated. This includes lost wages, benefits, and income from self-employment.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. Any costs you incurred because of your injuries should be compensated.
- Pain and suffering. The emotional suffering and physical pain you experience because of your injuries should be included in your recovery.
Injured in a Bike Crash? Contact Our Cedar Rapids Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Consult
Were you or a loved one recently injured in a bike crash due to another person’s negligence? If so, then it is time to contact our motorcycle accident lawyer in Cedar Rapids for a free consultation. Our team has been practicing law throughout the Midwest for over 50 years, and have seen every type of bike wreck there is.
To schedule a consult with our experienced Cedar Rapids motorcycle accident lawyer, start an online chat, fill out our convenient contact form or call 1 (888) 807-2752 today!