In 2013, there were approximately 8.4 million motorcycles in the United States. That same year, it was found that when it came to traffic accidents, motorcyclists were 26 times more likely to be killed than people in cars. If you have been in one of these motorcycle accidents, you may have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. If you are thinking about that, there are things you can and should do to improve your chances for a good settlement.
- Go to the hospital. If you were not taken to the hospital in an ambulance, you should go to the emergency room. The reason for this is simple, the injuries that most people sustain in motorcycle accidents tend to be a lot more severe than when someone is in a car accident. Even if you do not feel you are injured, you could have internal injuries and may be in shock. Once you get there, you need to follow whatever medical advice you are given. In addition to getting the appropriate medical care, this will help your case. You will have the documentation you need but also if you do not go you will hurt your case. If it looks like you are trying to make your injuries look worse than they are, you will lose credibility.
- Contact law enforcement. If you remain on the scene, you should call police to come and take a report. You will need all of the documentation that you can get. In addition, the police report will have a lot of information that you need. If the other driver was driving under the influence and was arrested, that will make a difference. You might not be in the position to tell if they have been drinking (you were in a motorcycle accident after all). It has been estimated that by the time they are arrested for driving under the influence, they have done this 80 times before so it is important to have the police check out the scene.
- Get photo and video of the scene. If you can take pictures and video of the scene, which can be from your smart phone, do it. If you cannot because you are in the hospital or incapacitated at home, have someone else take them for you. Taking images right after the accident is ideal but in motorcycle accidents, that is not always an option. Get them taken as soon as possible.
- Were there witnesses? If anyone saw your accident, you should talk to them or have someone else. Write down or voice record what they say and get their contact information. This can help you a lot with your case.
- Find a personal injury lawyer. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer. The accident attorney will evaluate your situation. This is important because you may not know what you should do, what to expect and what your options are. They can also be your go between with the insurance company. Victims of motorcycle accidents need to spend their time focused on your recovery, not finding, filling out and filing paperwork.
- Follow all medical advice. Do not go back to work before you get medical permission and make every appointment with your physician and physical therapy (if that has been prescribed). Let all of your medical providers know your situation and they can give your copies of your records, which will be helpful for your personal injury law firm. After most motorcycle accidents, the biker is often mandated to have finished their treatment in advance of any payout.
- Keep excellent records. Make sure you keep every receipt and invoice that you receive. A lot of people will also keep a journal of what they are going through. You may think you will remember all the details but you are human and the more details you can provide, the better.
- Hold off on making repairs to your motorcycle. After most motorcycle accidents, the biker wants to get their bike back as good as new, as soon as possible but that is a mistake. Your motorcycle is evidence for your case until you receive your payout. It might be hard to wait but it is important that you do.