Motorcycle accidents are almost always serious because bikers don’t enjoy the luxury of a buffer. The only thing separating them from your bumper and their body is distance and a tire. It is easy for careless drivers to encroach upon a biker and injure them by simple distractions because they are smaller and harder to see than a large truck or passenger car. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to take the following steps.
#1: Call for Emergency Help
Most motorists will slow down and pull over to the shoulder of the road or highway to assist injured bikers when they see an evident accident. However, you can also be hit in a remote area where no one is available. If you are still able to move, you should make an attempt to contact the police and an ambulance. Although you may not feel the symptoms right away, you could have some serious back injuries and whiplash injuries that become manifest later on.
Calling the police to the scene will help to solidify certain facts regarding the time, place, and people involved in the accident. This will remove many of the disputable facts from the case. Having yourself checked out by emergency medical workers also ensures that no serious injuries are overlooked. It is possible to have serious puncture wounds without noticing them because the metal or shrapnel can cut the nerve and numb the area.
You should thoroughly check your body for any cuts, punctures, or evidence of internal bodily injury before deciding to pass on that ambulance ride to the emergency room. You should not worry about the costs of the ambulance now because everything can be reimbursed by the mere suspicion that you were seriously injured even if you are checked out and everything seems fine. A reasonable person has a responsibility to get checked out after a serious accident. And just about any motorcycle accident is serious enough to get a professional opinion.
#2: Document the Circumstances
Create your own videos or photos to document the circumstances of the crash. Focus in on any conspicuous objects, such as road hazards, inclement weather, traffic signs, skid marks, oil leaks, etc. Take a screenshot of your location by using the GPS of an app to pinpoint where you are exactly.
#3: Gather Witness Statements
Most of the time, witnesses who want to help will make themselves available and show up on the scene. Their independent view of who is at fault can be critical in the outcome of the lawsuit. An eyewitness has no reason to lie and can help to solidify your claims. You can videotape or audiotape a statement of their narrative or simply take their contact info and have them swear out and notarize a formal statement for court. Having evidence of an interview fresh after the accident can be very valuable.
#4: Exchange Info with Other Drivers
You can quickly exchange information with other drivers by taking a photograph of their driver’s license and insurance card. If their current mailing address is accurately depicted on the license, then you simply need to write down their phone number. You can easily add this text to a photo that you take of them or the vehicle license plate. By providing the actual insurance card and your driver’s license, you can also comply with the insurance exchange obligations. Failure to exchange insurance when you may be at fault in causing an accident could lead to hit-and-run charges.
#5: Maintain Your Innocence
You never want to admit to any degree of fault in causing the accident. You can’t speculate that you could have avoided the other driver or say that you had looked away and hit them when they ran a stop sign. It is always important to stick to the hard, provable facts and to limit speculation of fault. Many times, it is impossible to determine what caused a car accident until weeks later. There could be a mechanical failure or slick road to blame. The shock of impact can cloud the picture of what actually occurred as well.
#6: Avoid Discussing the Case with Insurance Adjusters
You are not required to discuss the case at all with insurance adjusters. You are only obligated to provide them with your name, address, and telephone number. The better practice is to hire a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney who can prepare a demand letter on your behalf. A motorcycle accident attorney has a way with words and can stick to the key facts without wandering into speculation. This helps you to present your case in the most black-and-white manner to remove any inferences that you were also to blame for your own injuries.
In fact, you should also avoid discussing the claims with your own insurance company if you have full coverage or additional coverage, such as underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance. All these phone calls will be recorded and can be used against you to poke holes in your claims. The insurance adjusters may be looking for footing to start building a defense that alleviates their duty to provide coverage.
#7: Document Your Expenses
It is easier than ever to keep track of all your medical and property damage expenses when you pay with these things using online banking or credit cards. Be sure to save the monthly statements and also any receipts that provide more detailed information on the nature of the charges. You can download a PDF app that will convert documents into digital files with a snapshot using your SmartPhone.
You will also want to keep track of any damages that you can reasonably attribute to the car accident. To determine if a cost is related to the car accident, use the “but for” test. And ask yourself if you would have paid for these expenses or lost this income if not for the accident. Many purchases are cognizable.
When you need a motorcycle personal injury attorney, call West Coast Trial Lawyers. Our years of experience in this field allow us to connect you with a qualified motorcycle personal injury attorney who will work to obtain fast and maximum compensation. Call West Coast Trial Lawyers for a free consultation.