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What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

By Walton Law APCJuly 2, 2024No Comments
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

If you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, you are likely feeling stressed and uncertain of what to do now. The decisions you make in the days and weeks following your accident can have a big impact on your physical recovery and your ability to get the compensation you deserve.

One of the most important steps you can take is to contact a motorcycle accident attorney in Bellingham who can guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights.

Get Medical Attention

Your health and well-being should be your top priority after a motorcycle crash. Even if you feel okay or think your injuries aren’t bad, it’s wise to get checked out by a medical professional right away. Some serious injuries, like concussions or internal bleeding, may not have obvious symptoms at first.

Seeing a doctor will ensure you get the treatment you need to recover. It will also create an official record of your injuries that will be important evidence in your motorcycle accident claim. Be sure to attend all recommended follow-up appointments and therapy sessions. If you skip treatments, the insurance company may argue that your injuries aren’t that serious.

Be Cautious When Talking to Insurance Companies

After your accident, you’ll likely be contacted by the insurance companies representing the driver who hit you and possibly your own insurance company. It’s important to be very careful in these conversations. The insurance adjusters may seem friendly and concerned about your well-being, but they aim to pay as little as possible on your claim.

Stick to the basic facts of what happened and avoid going into detail about your injuries. Don’t agree to give a recorded statement or sign anything without having a motorcycle accident lawyer review it first. The insurance company may try to use your words against you later to argue that the accident was your fault or that your injuries aren’t severe. Let them know that your attorney will handle all further communication about your claim.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

One of the smartest moves you can make after a motorcycle wreck is to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Injury claims are complicated because insurance companies have teams of adjusters and lawyers working to pay you as little as possible. You need a legal representative who understands the law and won’t let the insurance company take advantage of you.Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Look for a lawyer who has specific experience handling motorcycle accident cases. These claims can be more complicated than a standard car accident case. Prejudice against motorcyclists means victims often face unfair blame for accidents, even when they did nothing wrong. A lawyer who gets what riders go through will be better equipped to build a strong case and advocate for you.

Most motorcycle accident lawyers offer free consultations so you can get advice on your claim without any financial risk. And they typically work on a contingency basis, which means you only pay if and when they recover money for you. Calling a motorcycle accident attorney should be one of your first steps after getting the medical care you need.

Keep Track of Damages

Make sure to keep track of all the ways the motorcycle accident has cost you. This includes:

Medical Bills

Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. From the moment you’re loaded into the ambulance, the medical bills start adding up quickly. You may need to be rushed to the hospital for emergency care, including costly diagnostic tests like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

You may require surgery and a lengthy hospital stay depending on your injuries. Some common motorcycle accident injuries that often need surgery include:

  • Broken bones that need to be set with pins, screws, or plates
  • Torn ligaments or tendons
  • Internal injuries
  • Severe road rash that requires skin grafts
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries

After you’re released from the hospital, you’ll likely have a long road of follow-up doctor visits, medication, and rehabilitation ahead of you. Serious injuries may require months or even years of physical therapy and ongoing care.

You may also need mental health treatment to cope with the emotional trauma of the accident. All of these medical expenses can quickly overwhelm you, especially if you cannot work due to your injuries.

A motorcycle accident lawyer can pursue compensation for all your accident-related medical bills, past, present, and future. They’ll gather your medical records and bills to document your expenses and include them in your injury claim.

Don’t let money worries keep you from getting the care you need. Your health should be your top priority after a motorcycle wreck. Let your motorcycle accident attorney fight to get your medical bills covered by the insurance company so you can focus on getting better.

Lost Income

Beyond the physical pain, motorcycle accidents can also cause major financial strain. Serious injuries may keep you out of work for weeks, months, or even permanently. Without your usual paycheck coming in, it can be a struggle to make ends meet and support your family.

Lost income is another important type of damage you can pursue in a motorcycle accident claim. You can seek compensation for the paychecks you miss out on while you’re recovering and cannot work.

This includes:

  • Hourly wages or salary
  • Overtime, tips, bonuses, and commissions
  • Vacation days or sick leave you’ve had to use
  • Retirement contributions and other lost benefits
  • Lost earning capacity if your injuries cause long-term limitations that impact your ability to do your job

Provide your motorcycle accident lawyer with proof of your lost income, such as pay stubs, tax returns, W-2 forms, and a letter from your employer verifying your missed work and normal income. Your lawyer may also bring in expert witnesses like economists or vocational specialists to help calculate your lost earning capacity.

Recovering your lost income is critical to protecting your financial stability after a motorcycle accident. Don’t let someone else’s negligence rob you of your livelihood. A motorcycle accident attorney can fight for the compensation you need to keep your life on track.

Motorcycle Repairs and Replacement

In addition to medical bills and lost income, you may face steep costs to repair or replace your motorcycle after an accident. Bikes are often badly damaged or totaled in wrecks. The same goes for helmets, riding gear, and other valuables you were carrying.

You can include the costs of motorcycle repairs or replacement in your accident claim. If your bike needs repairs, save all estimates and bills from the shop to document the expenses. If it’s totaled, your lawyer can help determine the fair market value you should be reimbursed.Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

Don’t forget to include things like:

  • Towing and storage costs
  • Damage to upgrades and aftermarket parts
  • Custom paint jobs and features
  • Replaced gear and personal items

Motorcycles are often more than just a means of transportation for riders. They’re a passion and a way of life. Losing your bike in an accident can be devastating. You shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace your motorcycle when someone else caused the crash. Let a motorcycle accident lawyer fight to recover the full value of your bike.

Pain and Suffering

Not all motorcycle accident losses are easily quantifiable. There’s no simple price tag for the physical and emotional pain and suffering victims experience. But these intangible losses are just as real and deserving of compensation.

Pain and suffering damages can cover things like:

  • Physical pain and discomfort from injuries
  • Mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of companionship or consortium

These types of damages can be more challenging to prove than things like medical bills and lost income. There are no receipts or pay stubs you can point to. However, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to demonstrate the extent of your pain and suffering to the insurance company and fight for the compensation you’re owed.

Your attorney may use your medical records, journal entries, witness statements from loved ones, and expert testimony from mental health professionals to build a case for pain and suffering damages. In some cases, they may even bring in a “day in the life” video that shows how your injuries have impacted your daily activities and quality of life.

Minimizing injured motorcyclists’ pain is a common tactic insurance companies use to avoid paying fair settlements. They may argue that your injuries can’t be that bad or that you’re exaggerating. Don’t let them get away with downplaying what you’ve been through. A motorcycle accident lawyer can fight back against these tactics and advocate for the full compensation you deserve.

Be Prepared for a Long Process

Unfortunately, motorcycle accident claims can take a long time to resolve, usually several months to a year or more. The insurance company may drag its feet on purpose, hoping you’ll get frustrated and settle for less than your case is worth. Don’t let them pressure you into accepting a lowball offer.

Your motorcycle accident lawyer will handle all the back-and-forth negotiations and fight to get you the best possible outcome. In the meantime, focus on your physical recovery and mental well-being. Consider talking to a counselor who can help you cope with the trauma of the crash.

Understand Your Options

In most cases, motorcycle accident claims are settled out of court. Your attorney will reach an agreement with the insurance company on a fair settlement amount. But if the insurer refuses to make a reasonable offer, your lawyer may advise filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit.

If you and your attorney decide to file a lawsuit, you’ll officially be the “plaintiff,” and the negligent driver will be the “defendant.” A judge and possibly a jury will hear evidence from both sides and decide your case. In many situations, your motorcycle accident lawyer will reach a settlement before the case goes to trial.

While most claims settle, your attorney will prepare your case as if it is going to trial from day one. Building a solid case early shows the insurance company you’re serious and improves your chances of securing a fair settlement offer that gives you the money you need to get your life back on track after a devastating wreck.

Going to trial adds time to the process, but sometimes, it’s the best way to maximize your compensation. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will counsel you on whether a settlement offer is fair and discuss your options at each stage so you can make the best decision for your situation.

Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accident Claims

One of the most important reasons to contact a motorcycle accident attorney ASAP is that you have a limited window of time to take legal action. Each state has a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits.

In many states, you have just two or three years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you’ll lose your right to compensation. Contacting a motorcycle accident attorney right away will ensure you don’t run into issues with the statute of limitations.

Document Your Recovery

Compensatory DamagesAs you heal from your motorcycle accident injuries, be sure to document the recovery process. Keep a daily journal of your pain levels, physical limitations, emotional state, and how the injuries impact your daily life. This can be powerful evidence to show the extent of your losses.

Take photos of your injuries as they heal. Continue saving copies of medical bills and records of other accident-related expenses. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will use all this documentation to build the strongest case possible and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Stay Off Social Media

After a serious motorcycle crash, it’s best to stay off social media or be very mindful about what you post. The insurance company will likely watch your accounts to find anything they can use against you.

For example, if you post photos of a night out with friends, the insurer may argue that your injuries can’t be that serious. If you post about the accident, they may twist your words to shift blame onto you. To be safe, don’t post anything about the accident, your injuries, or your claim. If you have any questions about whether a post can impact your case, run it by your motorcycle accident attorney first.

Take Care of Yourself

Dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident is stressful, but don’t forget to prioritize your mental and emotional health. Surround yourself with supportive loved ones, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or PTSD after the crash.

Your motorcycle accident lawyer can deal with the legal stress of your claim, but make sure you’re working with your doctors and doing what you need to do to heal physically and emotionally. This is all part of your recovery process.

The Sooner You Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney, The Better

If you’ve suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident, the most important thing you can do is reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Insurance companies are not on your side, no matter how friendly they may seem. You need a legal representative who can investigate crashes, build strong cases, and fight for the full compensation injured motorcyclists deserve.

The sooner you contact a motorcycle accident attorney, the better. Once you have a lawyer handling your claim, you can focus on getting the necessary medical treatment and putting your life back together. At the same time, your legal advocate deals with the insurance company and fights for your rights.

Don’t face the challenges of a motorcycle accident claim alone. Call a personal injury lawyer in Bellingham today for a free consultation and case evaluation. You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain by getting an experienced professional on your side.