It’s astonishing how quickly your life can change. One minute you’re cruising on your bike, enjoying the freedom of the open road, and just seconds later you’re lying on the ground, the victim of a collision caused by another driver. Although many things are likely going through your mind in that moment, it’s important that you take steps to protect your right to recover compensation. Your claim may be complicated by the complexity of the collision, the factors that contributed to the accident, and the severity of the injuries. In addition, some jurists are biased against motorcycle riders and believe they’re likely to have caused the collision. Use the tips below to learn how to strengthen your motorcycle accident claim.
How to Strengthen Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Report the Accident to the Police
After the collision, immediately call the police to report the accident. If you are unable to call the police, ask someone else to call law enforcement. A police or highway patrol investigation of the scene, and the reports prepared from the investigation, may contain relevant information about the driver’s identity, insurance, and vehicle as well as the officer’s observations and information about whether the driver received a ticket. Even if the collision seemed minor, always contact the police and do not leave until you are granted permission to do so (source). We have had so many conversations with injured people who sorely regret leaving the scene without a proper investigation of the crash. Do not put yourself in that situation.
Take Photographs and Get Witness Information
If you can, take photographs of your motorcycle, the other vehicle, your injuries, any road signs or traffic control devices, and the weather conditions. If you cannot take photographs, ask someone else to take them for you. Taking a video of the scene can also be helpful. If there were any witnesses to your accident, try to get their names and contact information so that your attorney can contact them. In many instances, helpful witnesses leave the scene once law enforcement arrives and their names and contact information are not recorded.
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
If you are conscious following the collision, ask to be transported to the hospital by the EMS/Ambulance. Even if you believe that your injuries are not serious or life threatening, you should still seek medical care, as this can help establish that your injuries were caused by the accident and not by something else. While still at the scene of the collision and feeling a rush of adrenaline, it is very common for people to underestimate the effect the collision has had on them or others.
After you have sought medical attention, continue the treatment regimen that the doctor recommends. Follow all of the instructions provided by the doctor, including staying home from work or avoiding certain types of activities until your doctor releases you to resume activities. If you fail to continue your treatment, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim or that you worsened your condition by failing to follow your doctor’s medical advice.
Don’t Make Repairs to Your Motorcycle Until the Evidence Is Preserved
The condition of your motorcycle post-accident is evidence that can illustrate the severity of the collision. Your attorney may work with an accident reconstruction expert and ask him or her to testify about the severity and nature of your accident. Examining your damaged motorcycle may help the expert demonstrate the severity of your accident.
Document Your Expenses
Keep records of all expenses related to the collision. You should save copies of your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, prescriptions, time losses from work, property damage, mileage to and from medical appointments, and others. Give the expense records to your lawyer so that they can be used to demonstrate your financial losses.
Stay Away from Social Media
Insurance companies pore over social media accounts to try to find information to use against accident victims. If you post about your accident or put pictures up on your social media page, it could compromise your claim. Do not talk about the collision on social media or anywhere else on the internet. If possible, avoid social media altogether while your claim is pending. Insurance companies may use pictures that you post of vacations, playing sports, or engaging in other activities to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. This argument is shallow, but they do routinely make these arguments in cases.
Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave
If you’re wondering how to preserve and strengthen your motorcycle accident claim, one of the most important things you can do is consult an experienced personal injury lawyer. Bryan Musgrave has extensive experience in motorcycle accidents, including multiple recoveries in excess of $1,000,000.00 for his clients. While each case is unique and different, an experienced lawyer may be able to anticipate the defenses that an insurance company might raise and work on your behalf to counter them.
Looking for a motorcycle accident attorney in southwest Missouri? Contact the Law Offices of Bryan Musgrave today to schedule a free consultation by calling 417-322-2222 or by filling out our online contact form.