If you crash your motorcycle, do three things right away: report the accident, get appropriate medical care, and contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Taking those steps can go a long way toward protecting your rights and ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries from anyone who was at fault.
Here’s an overview of why those three measures are so important, and some suggestions for additional steps that might prove helpful in your case.
Table of Contents
- Report the Crash
- Seek Medical Attention
- Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
- Additional Tips for After a Motorcycle Accident
- Contact a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today for a Free Case Consultation
Report the Crash
In most states, it’s your duty to report any crash that results in property damage or injuries, even a single-vehicle accident in which only your bike sustained damage and you’re the only victim. Calling 911 at the accident scene, or having someone call for you, is the easiest way to do this. But if that didn’t happen, you can also report a crash afterwards, as long as you do it promptly (ideally, within 24 hours).
Reporting your motorcycle crash serves several important purposes. As noted, it fulfills your legal duty. It also creates a record of the crash having happened and, if police responded to the scene, leads to a police accident report that you may need for insurance purposes. Reporting a wreck can also alert the authorities, and by extension the public, to any potentially dangerous driver, road condition, or equipment defect that contributed to the cause of your crash.
Seek Medical Attention
Always seek medical attention after any motorcycle accident, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Getting checked by a qualified medical professional immediately is the only way to rule out severe injuries that you may not yet realize you sustained, or that you think are less serious than they truly are.
Potentially life-altering (or fatal) motorcycle accident trauma like spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and internal bleeding, for example, might not show immediate symptoms. Similarly, the stress and shock of getting into a wreck can mask the pain of injuries like fractures, joint dislocations, or torn ligaments, which might worsen if you don’t seek care for them immediately.
And a desire to minimize what happened may mislead you into thinking that a common injury like road rash can be treated at home, even though it poses an extreme risk of dangerous infection if not treated right away.
Seeking immediate medical care also protects your legal rights. By going to a doctor right away, you ensure that your medical records will reflect the cause, nature, and extent of your injuries potentially valuable evidence for a lawyer to use in seeking compensation on your behalf.
Those records also protect you against claims by insurance companies or defense lawyers that you failed to take care of yourself, which if true could serve as a basis for limiting the value of your claim.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Next, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer right away. Don’t wait until you’ve healed from your injuries or begun to experience financial difficulty due to your crash. Reach out to a lawyer immediately even if it means placing a call from your hospital bed, or having a loved one connect with a lawyer online for you.
Contacting a lawyer might not seem like the most obvious next step after dealing with the two immediate concerns above, but it’s often the smartest decision to make in your circumstances. Healing from injuries you suffered in a motorcycle accident can consume your time and energy. The last thing you need is to take on the additional burden of worrying about how to get compensation for your losses or who will pay it.
Leave that job to an experienced lawyer who represents motorcycle accident victims like you. A lawyer handles every aspect of the process of getting you money to cover your current and future accident-related expenses, while also acting as your trusted advisor and personal representative. That’s just the kind of ally and advocate you need to ensure that your physical, emotional, and financial recovery from a motorcycle accident goes as smoothly as possible.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can:
- Investigate the crash thoroughly to determine how it happened and who should have liability for your damages.
- Evaluate the losses you sustained to establish the amount of damages you deserve to receive.
- Analyze insurance coverage to target policies that may pay your losses.
- Answer your questions and advise you about how to make life decisions that may affect your legal rights and financial future.
- Handle all communications with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Work with forensic, medical, and financial experts to develop evidence supporting your claim.
- Prepare and submit insurance claims and lawsuits on your behalf.
- Negotiate settlements of your claims when possible.
- Advise you about whether to accept a settlement or keep fighting.
- Argue your case in court in front of a judge or a jury.
- Collect the money owed to you from insurance companies, settlements, or court awards.
You don’t need to worry about affording a motorcycle accident attorney. An initial consultation with a skilled legal professional is always free of charge. And if you decide to hire the lawyer, chances are the lawyer will work on a contingent fee basis meaning that the lawyer only receives a fee if you get results on your claim. You don’t have to pay anything upfront or as the case goes along. You only pay if the lawyer wins for you.
You Might Recover Significant Payments
As the victim of a motorcycle accident, you might have a claim for significant monetary damages to make against someone who caused the crash or an insurance company.
Every case differs, but in many circumstances a skilled lawyer can get you money for:
- Your medical expenses
- Your property losses
- Your other accident-related out-of-pocket costs
- Your lost earnings and benefits from missing work
- Your loss of future income
- Your physical pain and emotional distress
- Your loss of quality of life
- Your difficulty living with scarring or disfigurement
Depending on how your motorcycle accident happened, a lawyer might also be able to convince a court to award you punitive damages, which aim to punish an at-fault party for extreme or intentional misconduct that led to your crash.
Anyone who caused your motorcycle crash, or who has a legal or contractual obligation to answer for it, might have liability to you for the damages listed above.
In any given motorcycle accident case, parties who must pay damages to injured bikers can include:
- Drivers whose vehicles collided with a motorcycle
- Employers of at-fault drivers who crashed while driving a work vehicle
- Municipal agencies or contractors at fault for road conditions that made riding unsafe
- Bars or restaurants that served alcohol to an underage drunk driver
- Manufacturers of defective motorcycle parts that failed and led to a crash
- Insurance companies that issued liability insurance to at-fault parties
- Insurance companies that issued personal injury protection (PIP) or similar coverage to an injured biker
Contacting an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer is the most reliable way to find out who might owe you damages for your crash and how much they owe. Don’t wait to connect with a lawyer today.
Additional Tips for After a Motorcycle Accident
Taking the three steps described above can pay large dividends in the process of securing compensation for a motorcycle accident. But they’re not necessarily the only helpful measures available to you. Following these tips can also protect your rights.
Do Not Admit Fault or Anything Like It
It’s normal to want others to know what happened. But keep in mind that the words you use to describe your motorcycle crash can affect your rights, especially when you say them in public, on social media, or to an insurance investigator. Defense lawyers and insurance companies will seize on anything that sounds like an admission of fault to argue that you do not deserve as much compensation as you claim, or any at all.
The insurance company can twist even throwaway comments like “I should have seen that car coming” or “I wish I hadn’t decided to ride that day” into damaging statements.
In other words, watch what you say about your motorcycle crash. And if you have questions, rely on your lawyer to guide you or to speak on your behalf.
Keep up With Your Medical Care
Try not to let your focus stray from recovering your physical and emotional health. Stick to the medical treatment plan your doctors prescribed for you, even if it’s a pain. Not only is that the way to reach your fullest possible recovery, it’s also a potentially critical component of protecting the value of your damages claim.
Your lawyer may need to prove that you’ve taken reasonable steps to get better. That’s a slam-dunk if your medical history shows you’ve kept your appointments, done your physical therapy, taken your medications, and done your best to bounce back from your injuries.
Carefully Keep Your Insurance Company in the Loop
If you carry insurance that covers some of your motorcycle accident losses, you might need to alert your insurance company about the accident soon after it happens, as a condition of receiving benefits. An attorney can do that for you if you hire one quickly.
But if you choose to notify your insurer yourself, be sure to exercise caution. Stick to the facts and avoid getting drawn into any discussion about who was to blame. Leave that issue to the lawyers and investigators to sort out.
Never Agree to a Quick Cash Settlement
Do not agree to any quick cash settlement offers made to you directly, either by an at-fault driver or an insurance company. Offers made that way rarely, if ever, come close to the amount you deserve to receive for your losses. Don’t agree to them and don’t sign anything an insurance company sends you in connection with them.
Leave negotiation of a settlement of your motorcycle accident injury claims to a skilled motorcycle crash lawyer who knows how to force at-fault parties and insurance companies to pay the full amount they owe, or as close to it as possible.
Don’t Sit on Your Rights
Your ability to obtain compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries is subject to an expiration date called the statute of limitations. That’s the deadline for filing a legal claim seeking payment for your losses. If that deadline passes without action on your claim, you can lose your right to recover for your losses.
The safest way to avoid missing a critical deadline in your motorcycle accident case is to hire an attorney right away. Quick action also gives your lawyer the greatest opportunity to investigate your case, collect evidence, and build a solid claim on your behalf. Simply put, there’s no benefit to waiting to connect with a lawyer, but there is a huge, avoidable downside.
Contact a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today for a Free Case Consultation
Getting hurt in a motorcycle accident can cause significant distress and disruption in your life. You may not know what you need to do or where to turn for help. Following the simple steps above can protect your right to seek compensation for your losses and put you in a solid position to achieve a favorable physical, emotional, and financial recovery.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can act as your advocate, ally, partner, and protector in the process of securing payment for your losses. Don’t wait to connect with a lawyer to discuss your case. The sooner you have a skilled legal professional in your corner, the better your chances of receiving maximum compensation.
If you or someone close to you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident and would like further information regarding your legal options, Contact our personal injury law firm in Philadelphia today for a free case evaluation.