We had some very special events at Eagle Leather on April 20. In addition to an Easter Egg Hunt and drawings, we heard from Derek Roberts of Law Tigers, attorneys who specialize in motorcycle law.
Derek pointed out that, though many motorcycle accidents might be blamed on the other guy—driving inattentively, being impaired by alcohol or drugs, and so on—many accidents involve just one vehicle. As motorcycle enthusiasts, we can’t do anything about other drivers. But we can do a lot about the single-vehicle accidents, where only the motorcyclist is to blame.
Derek looked at 278 accidents that involved just the motorcyclist. Of them, 68 or 25 percent were either very serious or fatal. Now, nationwide, about a third of such accidents involve riding impaired by alcohol or drugs, only 17% of those 278 did. However, he said, not all victims were tested, so the number might not be accurate. In any case, it’s pretty clear. Don’t ride your bike when you are impaired.
Of those 278 accidents, 45% were speed-related. The rider was going too fast, too fast for the turn, too fast for the road condition, too fast for anything. We know that an experienced rider can take a turn faster than a novice, so practice is essential. More experienced riders also know enough to obey the speed limit and slow down when road conditions warrant—they may have learned the hard way.
Only 34% of the riders in those serious accidents had insurance. What this can mean to a person—and their families—may astonish you. Derek had recent statistics from Florida involving motorcycle accidents. A visit to the ER, with no hospital stay, had an average price tag of $5294.00, and if the poor soul spent two days in the hospital the bill came to $83,676. Poor soul, indeed!
And that brings us to Attorney Patrick. He explained that it’s important to be sure you are insured before you are injured. Washington State is one of the few that does not require insurance, so you can not rely on “the other guy” to pay your medical bills. You need uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. He pointed out that you need to ask for this specifically from your insurance agent. If the agent says that you have full coverage, this may not be included. In a serious accident, you might incur costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the other driver had no insurance, there is absolutely nothing an attorney can do to help you.
To hear more of what Derek, Patrick, and Jesse (see the Safety Tip to learn about Jesse’s motorcycle safety tips) had to say, you can watch the video on the Eagle Leather Facebook page. It’s about half an hour long, and chock-full of good information.
If you caught the original live-stream, please comment on our Facebook page. We’d like to try more of that.
We’ve got some great events planned. Watch this space!