There is nothing quite as exhilarating as hitting the open road on a motorcycle, but it doesn’t take much for matters to take a serious turn. Motorcycle accidents are often far more severe than car accidents under similar circumstances. Though only 3% of all registered vehicles are motorcycles, 80% of crashes result in rider accident or death versus a 20% rate for car collisions.
Knowing what to do after a car accident can lower your risk for more physical harm. It can also impact the outcome of an insurance or personal injury claim. An experienced motorcycle attorney from Fielding Law can help you navigate the process of filing for compensation, so you get the outcome you deserve.
After a motorcycle crash, it can be hard to know what to do unless you’re prepared. Adrenaline and fear can cloud the mind, slowing the decision-making process. Having a handle on the steps to take before you are in a situation that requires them makes it easier to focus on what to do. Here are the six things you should do immediately following a motorcycle accident.
If another driver hits you on your bike, remaining on the road leaves you vulnerable to further injury. Motorcycles are less visible to car drivers, so they may not see your downed bike. Quickly assess your injuries and surroundings, and if you can safely do so, move off the roadway.
Stay calm, as it will make it easier for you to think clearly and know what to say to other drivers (do not apologize or claim responsibility!), medics and law enforcement arriving on the scene. Remaining calm is also beneficial for your mental and physical state following a motorcycle collision.
Even if you get out of the roadway, keep all your protective gear on. After a collision, shock can take over your system, inhibiting your body’s pain response. You may not be fully aware of the extent of your injuries. Removing any protective gear, including helmet, gloves and jacket, can potentially exacerbate any injuries under the gear. It’s safest to let the paramedics examine you, removing anything they need to in the process or giving you the all-clear to do so yourself.
Calling 9-1-1 is essential if you or anyone else is injured. Even if you don’t think the accident was serious enough to call, you still may want to get the police out to the accident site. Law enforcement will take down statements from witnesses and anyone involved in the crash, providing you with a written record of events. They will also document the accident through photos or videos, backing up any you take yourself. If a driver breaks a traffic law, the police issue a citation, potentially providing further evidence in a claim.
If paramedics are called to the scene, allow them to evaluate your condition regardless of how minor you think your injuries might be. Denying a medical evaluation may be used against you to deny a claim for compensation for injuries you received in the collision.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to your healthcare provider as soon as possible after the accident. Some injuries do not become apparent until well after an incident, but a doctor will know what to look for. Make sure your physician knows the details of the accident and documents the relationship between your injuries and the accident in the medical report. Thorough and proper documentation is essential when filing an insurance or legal claim.
As much as you can, gather your own evidence while you’re still at the scene. Take photos and videos with your phone or ask someone you know to do it for you. Photograph your injuries, too. In addition to exchanging information with the other drivers involved, take down the contact information for passengers and witnesses.
Write down everything you remember about the accident as soon as you can. You can also begin gathering other evidence in the days following the accident:
An attorney can help you determine what kind of evidence you need and may obtain it more quickly than you can.
Whether you are in an at-fault car insurance state — such as Indiana — or a no-fault auto insurance state, you may receive an offer to settle your insurance claim quickly. Resist the temptation, as insurance companies are not likely to give you the settlement you deserve.
It’s also a good idea to let an experienced attorney assist you in dealing with the insurance company. Anything you say to the claims adjuster can be used to establish fault. Often accident victims inadvertently say something that the insurance company or a defendant’s legal representation can use against them. The lawyers at Fielding Law will protect your rights during the claims process.
In 2019, 84,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries in a collision, while another 5,014 lost their lives. Seemingly minor accidents can result in serious injuries for riders. Injuries can occur anywhere on the body, but injuries to the extremities are most common, followed by head injuries. Riders who are in a motorcycle crash may suffer these types of injuries:
Serious injuries can be life-altering. If another driver caused an accident that led to severe injuries for you, your settlement should include compensation for all your losses. An experienced motorcycle attorney may improve your chances of receiving sufficient compensation.
When you contact an attorney after a collision on your bike, the lawyer will immediately assess your case and provide you with options going forward. An experienced motorcycle lawyer understands how the insurance companies and legal system work. Your lawyer is there to fight for your rights and just compensation.
The attorney guides you through the process and does the legwork to build a solid case. At Fielding Law, our team will deal with the insurance company, but we can also represent you in a legal claim if a satisfactory settlement isn’t reached. Though approximately 96% of personal injury cases settle out of court, you can leave it to our team to handle the negotiations with the defendant’s legal counsel.
A motorcycle attorney also understands what’s needed to prove negligence in a motorcycle accident. In states like Indiana, modified comparative fault laws can significantly impact the outcome of your claim. If the insurance company or defendant demonstrates that you are at least 51% responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you won’t receive a dime in compensation. If you are less than 51% liable, your compensation is based on the percentage of liability assigned to the other driver.
At Fielding Law, we are committed to helping motorcycle accident victims obtain a fair settlement. If you sustained injuries due to another driver’s carelessness, we’re here for you. We have the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free case evaluation.