Six Things to Check After a Motorcycle Crash

Gabe Levin | August 7, 2022 | Motorcycle Accident
Six Things to Check After a Motorcycle Crash

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and remained conscious, it is likely that more sights and sounds than you could process filled those first chaotic moments at the scene. After leaving the scene and obtaining medical treatment, many claimants wonder: “What should I do now?” Our motorcycle accident lawyers have compiled a list of six things to check after someone else causes motorcycle crashes.

1. Your Insurance Policies

If you plan to seek compensation for your losses through your state's personal injury claims process, you might wonder why it matters whether you have insurance coverage. After all, shouldn't the person who caused the accident pay for your medical expenses?

While the answer to that question is a resounding yes, the problem is that the personal injury claims process can sometimes take more than a year. The medical expenses started accumulating on the scene and will continue until you fully recover from your injuries. If you suffer permanent injuries, your medical expenses can continue growing for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, many physicians will not treat patients who cannot pay for their services. Injured motorcycle riders often use benefits from employer-sponsored health insurance, personal policies, or even government policies such as V.A. or Medicaid.

Although coverage is usually available through one of these policies, the health insurance group servicing the policy will want repayment for the services provided if there is a successful outcome to your motorcycle accident claim. These providers often accomplish this by placing a medical lien on the proceeds you receive from a settlement or court award.

Why It Matters

One key to recovery after suffering an injury is obtaining prompt medical attention and the correct type of treatment. In addition to helping with recovery, seeking treatment for your injuries will create documentation that your lawyer can use to prove a personal injury claim and obtain the compensation needed to pay for that treatment.

2. How and When the Investigating Officer Will Release the Accident Report

After a traffic-related crash involving injuries, the police will investigate the scene to determine how the accident occurred and whether anyone broke the law. They will interview the parties involved and any witnesses on the scene, take down insurance, license, and registration information, and prepare an official report.

In most cases, police reports are not admissible in court as they are considered hearsay since the officer writing the report usually did not see the accident occur. However, they can prove your claim by providing information about citations issued to the at-fault driver, arrests, witnesses' names, and the liable party's insurance company.

Why It Matters

For a successful motorcycle accident claim, you must prove that someone else's reckless or careless actions injured you. Learning how and when the investigating officer will release the accident report places this important information in your hands. Your lawyer can use it to determine what evidence they need to gather to prove your claim.

3. The Condition of Your Motorcycle and Gear

After an accident, it is crucial to have your motorcycle examined for damage and repaired before attempting to ride it again.

Many different parts can break or malfunction as a result of a wreck, including:

  • The tires and wheels
  • Brakes and rotors
  • The motorcycle’s controls, including the clutch, front brake lever, and lines
  • Electronic system and lights
  • Frame and fluids, including oil, brake fluid, and coolant

In addition to identifying the damage to your motorcycle, you should also evaluate the condition of your gear. Always replace your helmet after a crash in which you hit your head. The foam part of the helmet will only work once. Even if the helmet still looks in good shape, remember that it is difficult to see damage to the foam beneath the shell. Do not use the helmet if there are marks, cracks in the shell, or a noticeable foam crush. Inspect other gear you wore to determine if it is damaged and needs replacing.

Why It Matters

The biggest reason to have your motorcycle and gear evaluated for damage is to ensure safe future rides by having a well-running motorcycle and protective gear. However, save receipts for repairing and replacing your equipment. You can seek compensation for property damage incurred in the accident through the personal injury claims process.

4. What Is Your Emotional State?

Motorcycle accidents injure around 84,000 people each year, with many serious or even permanent injuries. This is not only often a source of financial distress for a rider and their family but also a significant source of emotional distress.

Some of the psychological impacts of a severe injury include:

  • Inability to continue working due to the severity of the rider’s injuries
  • Inability to participate in activities or events that the rider previously enjoyed, including the ability to ride a motorcycle
  • Humiliation or loss of self-confidence as a result of scarring or disfigurement caused by the injury
  • Loss of physical intimacy and companionship with the rider’s spouse or romantic partner

Why It Matters

If you have trouble coping with the trauma of the accident and its aftermath, seek assistance from a mental health professional. Additionally, compensation is available for psychological damages, such as physical pain and suffering or emotional distress.

6. Information From the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company

It is not unusual for the at-fault party’s insurance company to contact a person injured in a motorcycle accident very soon after the accident. While the representative who contacts you may act concerned about your well-being during the conversation, it is essential to remember a few things about insurance adjusters.

The first thing to remember is that the insurance company hires the adjuster to protect their bottom line by investigating claims. Their goal is to keep the payout as low as possible. They are not required to be fair or even tell the truth to achieve this goal. Often, insurance companies will devalue or even deny a claim by convincing the claimant of something.

They might say:

  • There is no compensation available since the victim was not wearing a helmet. Depending on the helmet laws in the state where the accident occurred, riders can often legally ride without a helmet. Even in states with universal helmet laws or requiring helmets for certain riders, the lack of a helmet will not eliminate a negligent driver’s legal responsibility.
  • The injured rider must accept the settlement offered because it is the maximum compensation for the claim. While policy limits can control how much compensation is available through the at-fault party’s liability policy, the insurance adjuster rarely offers the maximum amount available. If they know an injured rider does not have a lawyer, insurance companies often offer an amount far lower than the severity of the injury would warrant.
  • The injured rider must authorize the release of their medical records to the insurance adjuster so they can evaluate the claim. While there is a limited amount of medical documentation the insurance adjuster needs to see, often they request the release of the claimant's entire medical history. The issue is no longer evaluating the treatment the claimant is receiving for their injury but rather an opportunity to look through the claimant's information for pre-existing conditions. If they find pre-existing conditions, they will use them to devalue the claim.

Why It Matters

A motorcycle accident lawyer brings experience and understanding of the legal process to your claim. They wait to value your claim until your medical condition has stabilized to obtain the most accurate picture of your past and future expenses. They also consider factors when establishing the value, such as how much insurance the at-fault party has and whether you have permanent injuries that can affect your future earning capacity.

An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer understands insurance adjusters’ tactics to reduce or eliminate third-party claims and will manage communication with the adjuster to protect your claim’s value.

7. How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Gabriel Levin, Injury Accident Lawyer
Gabriel Levin, Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer

After a motorcycle accident, you may want to know how much it costs to hire a lawyer to help you with your claim. The answer is often surprising to those who need to file a claim but are afraid they can't afford the cost of a lawyer.

Because most personal injury attorneys use the contingent fee billing method, you will not have to pay for your lawyer’s services until there is a successful outcome to your claim. Additionally, because most personal injury lawyers also offer a free case evaluation, you can obtain answers to the questions you have about your case without paying or being obligated to obtain further services.

In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a percentage of the proceeds from a negotiated settlement or award they worked to obtain on their client’s behalf. The contingent fee agreement, which clients accept after an initial case evaluation, defines the fee percentage.

After the case ends, the proceeds from the settlement or award are sent directly to the lawyer. The lawyer deducts the percentage owed to them and satisfies other debts, such as paying medical liens placed on the settlement. Then, the claimant receives the remainder of the funds.

Why It Matters

By working on a contingent fee, motorcycle accident lawyers can begin working on the case without waiting for an injured client to come up with a retainer or become current on hourly bills. Instead, the claimant can focus on their physical recovery while knowing that their lawyer is working on their financial recovery.

If a motorcycle accident injured you, let an experienced team explore your legal options with you during a free case evaluation.

Gabriel Levin - Attorney

Attorney Gabriel Levin is known as a tenacious fighter who protects his client’s interests as though they were his own; he has tried hundreds of cases and handled a large variety of civil matters, from minor injuries to the catastrophic. Mr. Levin prides himself on preparing every case for trial. While some attorneys view trial as a last resort, he prepares with the assumption that his client’s case will be decided by the jury. Clients know that Gabriel Levin is a very responsive attorney, keeps client fully informed, and always gets back to them in a timely manne

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