When you get on your motorcycle in preparation for a ride down the highway, you follow certain rules contained in the California Vehicle Code. For example, when you and anyone riding with you puts on a helmet, you are following CVC 27803. Also, when you are checking your bike’s turn signals and right and left rear-view mirrors, you are following CVC 26709. Yet despite your best efforts to follow these and other laws and handle your bike as safely as possible while on the road, you may still find yourself involved in an accident with a careless and negligent driver. Should this happen, it will be imperative to not only know the steps to take at the accident scene and afterwards, but also to make sure you hire an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer to handle your case.
File an Accident Report
When you call 9-1-1 to get police to the scene of your accident, you will have taken the crucial step of ensuring an accident report will be filed regarding what happened. This may be critical to your case, since during the course of investigating the accident police will speak with everyone involved and witnesses, then make a determination as to who caused the accident. If police determine the other driver was at fault, your motorcycle accident attorney can use this to your advantage when working out an out-of-court settlement with an insurance company.
Seek Medical Treatment
When rescue personnel arrive at your accident scene, it is best to allow them to examine you for any injuries you may have sustained. In virtually all motorcycle accidents, riders and passengers sustain various injuries that may include burns from road rash, serious lacerations, broken arms or legs, and possibly concussions or head, neck, or back injuries. Whatever the case may be, never assume you are not injured. Since you will have absorbed hard impacts from the pavement and maybe a vehicle, you may have suffered internal injuries that may lead to bleeding you are unaware of at the scene. Because of this, let medical workers transfer you to a hospital for additional tests and exams. Once you have done this and had your injuries entered into your medical records, schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer to discuss your accident in greater detail and how you can gain compensation for your damages.
Whether it is bills for medical treatment, how much money you have lost from being unable to work, how much it will cost to repair or replace your motorcycle, or other damages you have sustained along the way, always make sure you document everything you can related to your accident. By doing so, you will have clear evidence of how much compensation you need to cover your damages, as well as additional compensation needed for the daily pain and suffering associated with your injuries. This will make it easier when negotiating with insurance companies or pursuing your case in court, since your motorcycle injury lawyer can use this documentation to show the court or others why you need maximum compensation for your injuries.
Take Photos While at the Accident Scene
Along with having documentation of your financial and other damages, also try to take as many photos as possible while you are still at the accident scene. Since you will have only one chance to do this while the scene is still in its original form, this should be a top priority. To start with, always take photos of the damage to your motorcycle and any motor vehicles involved in the crash. Along with this, have photos of any noticeable injuries you sustained, such as lacerations or bruises. Finally, have photos of any traffic signs, signals, skid marks, or other items that may have played a factor in the accident. Once you have the photos you need, always turn them over to your motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. By being able to closely examine these photos and consult with expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction specialists, your attorney can piece together exactly what happened and show how the other driver’s negligence and carelessness led to your injuries.
Say as Little as Possible About the Accident
While at the scene, you will need to speak with police, rescue personnel, witnesses, other drivers, and maybe others as well. When you do, try to say as little as possible until you have spoken to a Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer and received legal guidance as to how you should best proceed. If you make critical mistakes such as making a simple apology such as “I’m sorry,” it will no doubt be included in a police report and may ultimately put your entire case in peril. Should this happen, lawyers for the other driver and representatives for insurance companies will jump at the chance to claim you admitted fault for the accident. Therefore, try to use your common sense when discussing the accident with anyone, since even the most innocent remarks may result in your inability to gain compensation for damages.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
If there is one reason to hire a motorcycle injury lawyer as quickly as possible after your accident, it is so that they can act as a buffer between you and insurance companies. Since the goal of insurance companies, even your own, will be to pay out little if any compensation for your damages, it is crucial no mistakes be made when dealing with an insurance company. Unfortunately, many victims think they can negotiate with insurance companies on their own, which leads to numerous mistakes along the way. After all, it will take only one or two wrong words or statements from you to give an insurance company the opening it needs to deny your claim. Rather than let this occur, always allow your motorcycle accident attorney to handle these negotiations on your behalf. By doing so, you will have an experienced negotiator speaking with these companies, giving you the best possible chance to get the compensation for your injuries and other damages that you need and deserve.
Stay Away from Your Social Media Accounts
If you like to spend your time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media sites posting photos and having conversations with friends, it is best to not do so while your accident case and insurance claims are working their way to a conclusion. In many cases, accident victims will go online and post photos of the accident scene or of themselves at home following the accident. In addition, victims that are still emotional about the accident may post angry comments or other comments that can be construed in various ways by insurance companies and investigators. Should you do this, you may suddenly find your insurance claim denied and your personal injury lawsuit dismissed. To avoid this scenario, take the advice of your Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer and stay off your social media accounts as much as possible.
To ensure you gain the compensation needed for medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering, schedule your consultation today with an attorney who will fight hard for you and your legal rights every step of the way.