Legal Steps to Take after a Motorcycle Accident
No matter how well you ride, motorcyclists are at greater risk for injury and death during a crash than the occupants of automobiles. In 2015, 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes – an increase of 8.3 percent over 2014. The number of injuries in 2015 was 88,000. People on bikes were 29 times more likely to die in crashes that people in cars, and they were five times more likely to experience an injury. There are many reasons why accidents occur; however, a majority involve multiple vehicles. In fact, 59 percent of the motorcycle deaths that occurred in 2015 involved another vehicle.
Sharing the Road with Dangerous Drivers
Motorcyclists know the dangers of sharing the road, and many multiple vehicle crashes are due to the negligence or recklessness of car and truck drivers. In some cases, drivers completely disregard traffic regulations, resulting in tragedy for bikers.
Some of the most common causes of crashes include these deadly driving errors:
Inattentive lane changes
Distracted driving due to talking or texting on a cell phone
Failure to yield as appropriate
Neglecting to check blind spots
Failure to adjust driving to changing or poor weather conditions
Crashes caused by another person’s negligence or failure to observe traffic regulations are their financial responsibility, but insurance companies will do their best to minimize their liability. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with insurance companies alone. You can choose your own attorney to represent your interests.
What to Do after an Accident
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, there are steps you can take to ensure you are compensated for the expenses you incur, such as medical payments, lost income, and funeral costs. It’s important that you seek legal representation early on, so that you have the assistance you need to deal with insurance companies, lawyers, healthcare providers, and the other individuals involved in the accident.
Motorcycle crashes are terrifying, and it is harder to make decisions when you are in pain. Keep these simple steps in mind to ensure that your health and safety are protected, along with your legal rights:
Call 911 for emergency services, including police and ambulance.
If you are physically able, take photos of the crash site and all of the vehicles involved. Take the names and numbers of witnesses, or ask them to stay at the scene of the accident until police arrive.
Go to the hospital, even if you feel okay. Head injuries are common in motorcycle crashes, and it is important that you get checked out.
As soon as you are able, write out everything that you remember about the crash. You are more likely to get crucial details on paper if you do this right away.
Keep track of expenses you incur – both hard costs and soft costs. Hard costs are direct medical expenses, vehicle rental costs, and so forth. Soft costs are less direct, but they can add up quickly. Examples include the need to hire help because you are physically unable to care for children, complete yard work, and similar.
Call your personal injury attorney. These specialists have the experience necessary to handle your injury or wrongful death case quickly and thoroughly.
Seek legal advice in San Diego after a Motorcycle Accident
Bates Law, APC is a leading California firm with the skills and expertise to support you through the complexities of the legal system. If you or a loved one was injured during a motorcycle crash, schedule a consultation today at (619) 222-0900 to discuss your options.
(Click infographic to enlarge.)