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What To Do After A Motorcycle Accident?

What Should I Do After A Motorcycle Accident?

Most motorcyclists ride for pleasure. It is exhilarating and freeing to take a ride on the open road.

The Bay Area's mild climate, beautiful scenery and unique roadways are truly a rider's paradise.

Whether you're cruising on Highway1 from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz, or enjoying the breathtaking forested mountains between Palo Alto and Soquel, nothing quite compares to the freedom of riding a motorcycle.

Others ride their motorcycles to commute, which is good for everyone. Motorcycles are much easier on the road than cars. Bikes use less gas than most economy cars. And, bikers free up more lane space for other vehicles to also get where they're going.

Motorcyclists may feel they're not really on their way to a destination, but that the ride itself is the destination.

Unfortunately, there are also times that a motorcycle ride can result in life-threatening consequences.

Motorcyclists Can Suffer More Severe Injuries Than Those Inside A 4-Wheel Or More Vehicle

Motorcyclists can have a higher risk of injuries because they are out in the open without the protection that a four-wheeled or more vehicle gives its driver and occupants.

For example, cars have seatbelts, crumple zones and air bags - all things that bikes don't have.

This is why when a motorcycle accident happens, a motorcycle rider can suffer really bad injuries and even death. Here are some examples:

What Are Some Common Injuries Suffered In A Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcyclists Are Also Susceptible To These Four Serious Personal Injuries:


Burns from accident fires

  • Engine burns: The force of a motorcycle collision can spark a leak on the motorcycle's gas tank, resulting in an explosion or fire. When this happens, sometimes, a motorcycle rider already lost consciousness. Other times, their bike has them pinned. These riders are unable to escape the flames caused by an accidental motorcycle fire.
  • Chemical Burns

A burn does not require an actual fire. Motorcycles lack the protection of a 4 or more wheeled vehicle. So, riders are especially vulnerable to getting burned by chemicals. Battery acid or gasoline can burn a rider, especially if the rider gets pinned by the bike and/or left unable to escape the danger. Blindness can result if battery acid or gas get into a motorcycle rider's eyes.

Engine and Exhaust Pipe Burns

For most bikes, a motorcycle normal operational engine temperature range is between 155 degrees F and 220 degrees F.
When the bike is running, a bike's exhaust pipe temperature range can be between 200 degrees F and 450 degrees F.

Sometimes a motorcycle rider gets ejected from their motorcycle during a crash. When this happens, their body may come into the bike's very hot engine, exhaust pipes and other parts. This can cause serious burns.

"Road Rash" (Friction Burns)

When a rider gets dragged across the asphalt, road rash is the result. Road rash can cause a rider to lose layers of protective skin. Some riders even require skin grafts.


Degloving injury of the hand

  • Just like it sounds, the hand gets degloved. But the "glove" here is the skin of the rider's hand.
  • These injuries require intricate and specialized hand surgery, and can leave a biker's hand mutilated.


Ejection from the motorcycle


"Biker's Arm": After a motorcyclist is ejected from a motorcycle, they sometimes get what's called "biker's arm".

  • Biker's arm happens when an accident causes a 400 pound or so motorcycle to land on the rider's arm, or both arms, or when the rider tries to brace for an impact using their arms.
  • In either case, the impact to the rider's arm(s) can cause nerve damage, broken bones, and more.
  • Road rage from motorists who get angry at lane splitting.

What Is Lane Splitting?

Lane sharing is also called lane splitting, “stripe riding” or “whitelining.” Although it is legal in California, it can be very dangerous.

"Whitelining" tends to happen during commute time.

Effective January 1, 2017, California Vehicle Code section 21658.1 became the law.  

It defines lane splitting as “driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane including on both divided and undivided streets, roads and highways.”

What Is Motorcycle Rider Bias?

Even though lane splitting is legal in California, most people tend to assume that a motorcyclist is somehow to blame for an accident that happens during lane splitting. Also, the public may think just because riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous, the motorcycle rider must have been at fault for any accident. This can make for quite an uphill battle when fighting your motorcycle injury case, even if you were not at fault for the accident. This is why it's best to have a good attorney fight your motorcycle accident case instead of trying to do it on your own.

What Should I Do After My Motorcycle Accident?

I recommend doing the very same things I wrote about here: what to do after a car accident.

But there are two other things you should do if you get hit on your motorcycle:

Don't take off your protective gear

Taking off your helmet and other gear right after a motorcycle crash could actually make your injuries worse. You may not feel pain right now because you may be full of adrenaline. You may even be in shock. But, do not remove your protective gear yet. Keep your protective gear on until the ambulance to arrives.

Immediately get yourself to a place of safety if you are able to do so

If you can do so safely, remove yourself from traffic. Being injured in the roadway could lead to more serious injuries and even death. Without taking off your protective gear, try to get yourself out of harm's way. Even if you're so hurt that you can't remove yourself from the lane of traffic, immediately call 911 after a motorcycle accident.

Do I Need An Attorney For My Motorcycle Accident Case?

If you or your loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident, you need a good attorney to fight your case.

Here are some ways that an attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident.

If you hire me, I will work on your behalf and fight for maximum payment on your motorcycle accident case.

You will protect your rights if you talk to an attorney before you do anything besides: call 911 and seek medical care.

My name is Renée Yvonne Gardner. I am the attorney at Gardner Law. I speak Spanish - hablo español.

I am a San José motorcycle personal injuries accident attorney. I have experience with personal injury and wrongful death accident

If were involved in a motorcycle accident, contact me at (408) 214-5555 or fill out the Contact Form for a free consultation.

If your loved one passed away after a motorcycle accident, please call me about your wrongful death case. 

Call Renée Today

I deliver personalized representation in serious personal Injury, wrongful death, death benefits, criminal defense, and post-conviction relief ("cleaning") cases. Please call (408) 214-5555 or fill out my contact form.