Motorcycles are a popular form of transportation but also one with a high degree of danger, and the statistics make this clear. There was an 8.3 increase in motorcycle deaths in the United States in 2015 compared to 2014, with 4,976 people killed. In 2015, 88,000 people were injured, a decline from 2014’s number of 92,000. Nonetheless, those figures are sizable considering that 8.4 million motorcyclists were operating in the United States in 2014. Should you end up being the victim of a motorcycle accident, you will want to take the proper measures to ensure you get what you are entitled to legally.
Contacting Law Enforcement and Insurance
Call the police and (if the injuries are severe enough) an ambulance right away, as you will need to file an accident report. Then, get in contact with your insurance provider as soon as possible. Ideally, you will want to do this at the scene of the accident. Give your insurance provider information such as the make, model, and license plate number of your motorcycle, as well as any injuries you may feel. If there is another person involved, exchange insurance information with them.
Remember: no matter what, you do not want to admit fault, particularly not when on the phone with your insurance provider, as they are likely to be recording your call. Any statements you make should be considered significantly. You might be disoriented following the accident, which makes it all the more imperative that you don’t say anything that could jeopardize your chances of compensation.
Determining Who is at Fault
To receive compensation for your accident, you must not be liable for the injuries you or another person received. If your negligence is the cause, such as operating your motorcycle under the influence of alcohol and crashing it into someone else’s vehicle, you won’t have a case. In fact, if you end up causing injury to another person and their vehicle/other personal property, then you will be held liable.
Additionally, you may face severe legal consequences for your actions, such as driving under the influence and reckless driving charges. If you were practicing proper motorcycle safety and were injured due to the negligence of another person, you should be able to proceed with your case fairly easily.
Remember: the more you practice proper motorcycle safety, the less likely you are to be injured in the first place. This includes: wearing a helmet, slowing down in hazardous conditions, and staying vigilant. Sometimes things happen without warning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t minimize your risk significantly.
After you file your claim with all the necessary information, wait for your insurance provider’s report. Your benefit will depend on factors such as:
- Severity of Injuries;
- Damage to your Motorcycle;
- Who was determined to be at Fault;
You will need to see a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you don’t feel like it’s severe enough to warrant medical attention. The worse your injuries are, the more compensation you should be entitled to receive. Motorcycle accidents can be devastating and might require you to spend a few hours in an emergency room or several weeks/months in a hospital bed.
If you are injured in a way that significantly limits or eliminates your ability to go through life as you were previously (i.e. loss of limbs, paralysis, inability to work), you should be entitled to much more than you would be if you simply had some bruises and bleeding.
Damage to Motorcycle
While your personal health is the most important thing to keep in mind after an accident, you should also be concerned about the shape your motorcycle is in. If it has been damaged or destroyed in the accident, you will want to report that in your claim so you can receive compensation for it.
Some insurance providers might attempt to get you to use one of their own, contracted mechanics. Instead, you should find a qualified mechanic in your immediate area. Once you get an estimate from the repair shop, you will need to send it to your insurance provider for their approval.
Insurance Provider Finding You at Fault
Even if you know that you are not at fault for the accident, that doesn’t mean your insurance provider will necessarily agree. Again, you should not admit fault. However, you should ask them if they are holding you liable. If they are, review the claim and file an objection as soon as possible. Reading the fine print is essential at a time like this. If your insurance provider still refuses to revise their decision, then you will need to contact an attorney who specializes in motorcycle accident cases.
Finding a Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Vastola & Associates., we specialize in (among other areas) cases involving injuries from motorcycle accidents. Should you need expert legal assistance to receive your compensation, we will provide it. Our dedication and devotion to our clients are essential when it comes to winning court cases such as these. Your health and livelihood are unmeasurably important to us. If you are someone you know is injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact our offices as soon as possible.