A Guide to Motorcycle Accident Claims
Riding on a motorcycle provides you with the ultimate freedom on the road and accords you some sense of control as you maneuver through packed traffic. However, as a rider, you’re faced with unique challenges. In the event of an accident, you will need a motorcycle accident guide to pull through the personal injury system.
What Should you do If you are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are involved in a motorcycle collision, you may not know the exact step to take next. You must understand your rights and obligations as a rider to make the right decisions. Here are some helpful tips:
- Ensure that you obtain the other driver’s contact details, including all insurance details like name of insurer, name of the policyholder, and policy number.
- Take pictures of your motorcycle and any other vehicle involved, exhibiting the accident’s situation and the visible damage.
- Seek witness or witnesses’ contact details.
- Note down important details of what transpired to have a concise account of the accident that you can hand to your lawyer or motorcycle insurance company on request.
- Seek medical assistance as soon as you can. Many motorcyclists involved in serious accidents may not realize the full extent of their injuries until after a few hours or even the following day. Get checked by a professional medical practitioner immediately so that the injury report can be attached to your case at the appropriate time.
- Contact the police. The police will not always be at the scene of the accident, but getting in touch with them could make things easier for you. Having a police accident report is a major plus in your compensation claim.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible to report the accident. They will send you their official application form, so you can commence the accident benefits application process. Accident benefits, in this case, may include medical, rehabilitation, income replacement, and motorbike repair or replacement. Some of the details included in these forms can be quite complex for an ordinary citizen, but it should be straightforward with the help of motorcycle accident lawyers.
- Maintain records of all expenses incurred directly due to the accident.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to advise on the way forward.
Determining Fault, Damages, and Time Limits
Accidents can be caused by motorcyclists or other road users on roadways that could be more hazardous for bikes than other vehicles.
If you are injured in a bike accident, keep these factors in mind as you ponder the next step of action and whether you should take legal action against the offender.
According to DMV.org, if you are involved in a bike accident caused by another driver, the law of negligence applies. Negligence means that it was out of the other driver’s carelessness that the accident occurred, causing you bodily harm and damage to your motorcycle.
How to Determine Fault
The first step taken by your personal injury lawyer after the accident is to assess the situation to determine who is liable for the accident. To arrive at that, your lawyer will need to establish the following:
- If you were reasonably careful while riding.
- Whether you have witnesses willing to testify that the other driver indeed caused the accident.
- Whether there was police presence after the accident, and if so, if you have a police report.
- If the accident could have been avoided.
- How was the weather at the time of the accident?
- Time of the day when the accident took place.
If your personal injury lawyer can establish that the other driver is liable, they are free to proceed to the next phase.
How to Determine Damages
Damages after a motorcycle accident can be assessed by establishing the following:
- The severity of your injuries.
- The time you stayed out of work.
- All medical expenses incurred to date.
- Have you regained your full health, or you’re still undergoing treatment?
- Are you in a position to continue with your current job?
- Any significant mental, physical, or psychological suffering endured.
- Damage done to your motorcycle or anything you had at the time of the collision.
Upon answering the above questions, your motorcycle accident attorney can commence the damage valuation process.
The process of determining the extent of damages is no different from other personal injury cases. It is calculated as both special damages and non-economic damages.
Special damages: These are the calculable damages like medical costs, property damage, and lost time at work. Figures can be reached easily through calculations; for example, your lawyer can bring in an economist to present their opinion.
Non-economic damages:These are damages that cannot be calculated, like pain and suffering. There are no fixed guidelines to determine their value, so the amount you are likely to get in compensation depends on how your attorney presents your case.
The success of the entire process to settle or sue is pinned on the ability of your motorcycle accident claims lawyer. It is advisable to approach experienced attorneys who specialize in similar cases, not only to argue a more powerful case on your behalf, but also to speed up the process.