How to Protect Your Legal Rights as a Passenger

Mar 30, 2012 View Comments by

Sharing the thrill of a motorcycle ride can be a great experience for your family members and friends, but it’s also a responsibility. You may not always be able to prevent an accident from occurring, so you should know what to do when riding as a passenger, or when operating a motorcycle with a passenger:

Preparation is key. Carry a “just in case” card and take a camera (or a phone with a camera on it) with you on all rides. Your “just in case” card should contain emergency information and contacts in case you or your passenger is unresponsive.

Having a camera with you at all times will help you preserve important evidence from an accident scene.

Insurance for passengers may be different. Before getting on a motorcycle, make sure you have adequate medical insurance. Motorcycle insurance policies vary from state to state, so don’t assume that the operator’s insurance policy will cover your injuries. Additionally, automobile insurance policies do not cover medical expenses when you are on a motorcycle. Don’t trust that another driver’s insurance policy will cover your injuries – even if he or she is found at fault for the accident.

Make sure you have medical insurance. While you may be able to file a motorcycle injury claim to cover your medical expenses, it’s in your best interest to have other medical coverage. It will help you avoid even more stress after an accident and enable you to receive proper medical care quickly.

Wear a helmet – every time. Whether you ride as a passenger or carry passengers on your motorcycle, every person should wear a Department of Transportation-approved (DOT) helmet, and it should fit properly.

Avoid distractions while riding. It might seem obvious, but it helps to be reminded that riding with a passenger makes riding defensively even more important. A passenger can pose extra distractions and add more weight to your bike – affecting the way you handle your motorcycle around turns. Passengers should remain calm and avoid doing anything that might cause the operator to crash.

After an accident…First and foremost, seek medical attention immediately and call the police. It doesn’t matter whether you were a passenger or the operator of the motorcycle. File a police report, and tell the police officer the facts about the accident. Try to remain as calm as possible, and don’t get angry or speculate who’s to blame for the collision. Collect information from the drivers or riders of the vehicles or motorcycles involved. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney if you were injured as a passenger in an accident to be sure you protect your legal rights.

Visit this link for more information on the legal rights of passengers.

Photography provided by: RoadRUNNER

Tags: , , Categories: Touring & Safety Tips

About the author

Attorney Michael H. Rosenzweig has over 20 years of experience helping bikers injured in motorcycle accidents. He is a partner and litigation manager at Edgar Snyder & Associates. The Edgar Snyder & Associates Harley-Davidson makes appearances at bike nights and rallies throughout the riding season.