Unfortunately, due to the open nature of the vehicle, motorcycle accidents often yield worse injuries and more significant property damage. As such, if you're involved in a motorcycle accident, you may need to seek personal injury compensation.
Naturally, the first consideration is ensuring your safety after an accident. However, your personal injury claim will be stronger if you or someone you trust takes certain steps after the accident.
Make Note of Circumstances Surrounding the Accident
The more information you gather regarding the accident, the better your claim will be. Again, your first priority is to get out of the roadway and to seek medical attention. However, if you or a trusted person can take pictures of the direct aftermath of the accident, that's ideal.
Additionally, make note of any circumstances surrounding the accident. Look at the weather and the road conditions as these may be contributing factors to the accident. Likewise, write down or record any other circumstances, such as your speed. If possible, seek out and talk to witnesses.
Even if the accident seems minor, make sure to call the police. After they've made their report, make sure to obtain a copy. You'll need the accident report for your personal injury claim.
That said, there's one important thing you must not do - admit fault. Try to keep all information factual without assigning blame.
Get Evaluated for Injuries
Even if you don't need medical attention at the site of the accident, you still need to seek medical evaluation. Personal injury cases, as the name suggests, are based on injuries. Therefore, you'll need medical notation of injuries you received because of the accident.
Common injuries motorcyclists suffer in an accident include the following:
- Burns from the motorcycle engine
- Scrapes, bruises, and cuts
- Ligament sprains and damage
- Broken bones, especially the pelvis or wrists
- Whiplash and other spinal injuries
- Head trauma
The above-mentioned injuries are exacerbated when you're not wearing a helmet and other protective motorcycle gear.
Have a medical professional go into detail about your injuries. Include information about the time needed to recuperate because this may mean missing work. You'll also want a breakdown of the costs of any medical treatment you receive, including follow-up care.
Have the Motorcycle Appraised
Depending on the make and model, a motorcycle can cost as much as a car. While your first priority is returning to health, you'll want to look at property damages as well. This part of the process can be a little tricky because of liability - meaning who's at fault. If you're at fault or if it's a no-fault accident, then you'll have little traction for recouping property damages.
That said, you still need to have your motorcycle evaluated. Take your bike to a trusted mechanic to get an accurate record of damages and potential costs for repairing the motorcycle. Unfortunately, motorcycles are often totaled in accidents, especially ones involving a car. You'll need an appraisal of your totaled bike for insurance claims.
Seek Legal Advice
Navigating personal injury law is tricky. While you'll need to do a lot of the grunt work yourself, such as getting documentation of injuries and property damages, a personal injury firm can help you get your best return.
When you're looking for a personal injury lawyer, consider ones who have experience specifically with personal injury claims, especially those related to motorcycle accidents. When you go to your first meeting, come armed with as much information as you can collect about the accident and expenses related to the accident, including missed work.
Experienced personal injury attorneys are going to know the laws surrounding motor vehicle accidents best. They're also adept at negotiating with insurance companies for the best possible compensation.
Being involved in a motorcycle accident is scary. It can also be costly. If you are involved in such an accident, contact the Law Offices of Goldberg & Ibarra for help making your personal injury claim.