Motorcycles are an excellent mode of transportation for people looking for the freedom of a car without the heavy price tag and fuel costs. Motorbikes tend to use less fuel than cars and trucks, have lower emissions polluting the environment, and last longer. All of these attributes make hundreds of thousands of people turn to these vehicles as their primary or secondary transportation.
In addition, motorcycles are a convenient way to get around town since riders can avoid congestion and take up less road and parking space. Yet, even though motorcycles are less dangerous statistically than cars, when you get in an accident on one, the chances of serious injuries and fatalities rise dramatically.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, motorcycle deaths occur 27 times more frequently than any other vehicle fatalities, and more than double that number had serious, life-changing injuries.
When you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you are most likely going to need medical treatment and long-term adjustments that will go beyond the limits of your motorcycle insurance policy coverage. Many people turn to expert attorneys in this area to help them get the benefits that they are entitled to that will ease the financial burden of their injuries.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Just like in any personal injury, there are some basic steps you need to make sure that are covered if you are in a motorcycle crash. If you are physically able to verify these are done or can have someone help you with them, they will help you later in the event that you file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident.
After an accident, always call the police. They will handle taking care of calling for medical services. They will also provide documentation of the accident and proof of fault, which will be very important in your lawsuit later. While the police will collect documentation and talk to witnesses in their own evidence-gathering techniques, you should do your part as well if you are capable.
As soon as possible, you or someone close to you should get photos of the scene of the area where you had your accident. Be sure to collect all of the personal information from the driver of the other vehicle, including their name, address, phone number, and insurance info. Take down their vehicle information as well.
If there were witnesses to the accident, get their statement and their personal information. Your attorney will likely need to contact them to get their official statement later.
Most importantly, seek medical treatment whether you feel like you were injured or not. Often, your body’s adrenaline in the heat of the moment serves as a temporary mask to cover injuries. When the stress slowly disappears, the damage to your body starts to show itself. This can take a few hours or even a few days or weeks.
What’s Next After Getting Treatment for a Motorcycle Accident?
When you are ready to leave the hospital after your accident, you may find that you are now facing significant medical bills, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle. It may even be considered a total loss, which means you now have to find a way to replace your transportation and get to your doctor’s appointments and your job.
It can seem like a big price to pay for someone else’s negligence, but there is hope. With the help of an expert personal injury attorney like those at Hershey Injury Law, you may be entitled to benefits that you are not aware of.
Your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance provider are looking out for their own best interests. They may be polite and helpful, but they are not going to give you all of the information that you need.
A personal injury attorney can help you get the benefits that you are entitled to and the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they don’t get paid unless you get a final settlement.
When you choose the attorney that you will use to help you on the road through your motorcycle accident claim, be sure to verify their specialty areas. Do they have experience handling cases like yours? What is their focus?
Make sure you find someone that you are compatible with, as well. Some personal injury cases can take a year or two to come to a resolution, and you will be working closely with your attorney during that time. You want to feel confident that your attorney understands your personal situation and is looking out for your best interests.
You also want to know what their accessibility is. It is understandable if they are busy, but is there someone you can go through to get a question answered? What is their normal response time?
Finally, consider their cost. Do they have fees that must be paid up front or do they work on a contingency fee basis? If it is a contingency fee, how much is the percentage and what does that cover? Are there any extra fees over and above the percentage?
Once you have all of addressed all of these criteria, you can choose a lawyer you feel confident with to file a claim for your motorcycle accident.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Expect for your Motorcycle Accident?
Victims of injuries due to a motorcycle accident are often entitled to many forms of compensation. These forms will depend on multiple variables, including the policy limits of the at-fault party, the severity of the injuries, and the conditions of the accident itself.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will discuss the specifics of your case with you and talk to you about the compensation you can expect to receive. Many motorcycle accident victims receive compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional considerations.
How Can You Help to Get Your Case Settled Quickly?
There is no magic number or way to settle any type of court case easily. Each case’s length depends on the unique variables and circumstances of the situation. However, there are a few things that you can do that will make it run smoother and help to avoid complications while your lawsuit is in process.
- Seek medical care and obtain proper documentation for your visits. Whether you think you are injured or not after the accident, it is imperative that you let a physician evaluate your condition. They know what to look for, since many times your body’s shock hides symptoms that may show up later. Be sure to follow the treatment plan recommended by your doctor if you do receive regular medical care beyond the initial evaluation. This will keep the insurance company from being able to deny that you are injured.
- Document the accident. Sometimes it is not possible to paint a clear picture of the scene of the accident and the circumstances surrounding it at the time. If you can, though, try to take pictures of the scene and the damage to your motorcycle. Obtain a copy of the police report as soon as possible, and get the information from the passengers and driver in the other vehicle, as well as that of any possible witnesses.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible. Don’t delay in this step, as some insurance companies have time requirements as to how long you can take to notify them if you want to file a claim. Obviously, if you are in the hospital for severe injuries and can prove it, that time limit does not matter, but otherwise, failing to file a claim within the allotted amount of time can cause them to deny your claim.
- Let your attorney handle statements and negotiations. Don’t answer any questions or give statements to anyone about the accident without your attorney present. Things you say can be misconstrued and reduce your chance of success with your lawsuit. Your attorney is skilled in handling these statements and negotiations.
- Keep in communication with your attorney. While you won’t speak to your attorney every day, or even every week, it is important for you to be available if they need you to clarify information. Be honest and open with them. Anything that could hurt your case is something they need to know about ahead of time so they can work out a plan with you of how to handle it if it comes up. Hiding information can cause irreparable damage to your settlement.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and were injured due to someone else’s negligence, call an attorney to help you through this stressful time. Our experts at Hershey Injury Law are skilled and ready to work with you.
At Hershey Injury Law, we see you as more than just a number and we want to help you get your life back on track and get the compensation you deserve. Call or contact us now for your free consultation!