Motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence across Las Vegas, with several cases recorded every day. Most accidents of this nature rarely lead to fatalities, although you may experience severe outcomes from the incident, especially as a motorcycle rider. Depending on the severity of the motorcycle accident you are involved in, several guidelines are available to help you deal with the events that follow the incident. All accident victims need to ensure that he/she follows these directives to ease the pressure and confusion that normally accompanies any road accident. Moreover, as the motorcycle rider, you will stand in a better position once you decide to file a compensatory suit by knowing what to do after the accident.
You are also entitled to receive additional legal information to learn more about your rights against the liable motorists and the compensatory claims you can bring forth after a motorcycle accident. Often, motorcycle riders suffer more substantial losses from collisions with vehicles because of a bigger exposure to impact when on the motorcycle. Thus, we recommend hiring the best personal injury attorney to help you build a strong case to present in your suit. At the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we have handled numerous cases involving motorcycle accidents. Over the years, we have helped our aggrieved victims recover damages for their losses and have stood at the forefront to ensure that justice prevails in the final verdict rendered.
The Nature of Motorcycle Accidents
Collisions occur quickly on the road, leaving you little to no chance to escape the oncoming vehicles. Additionally, as a motorcycle rider, you may face serious safety risks depending on the road sections you use when operating your motorcycle. Motorcycle accidents arise from negligent driving. A motorist loses focus on the road and, therefore, fails to identify you as you switch lanes or apply sudden brakes if you were ahead in traffic. Some motorcycle accidents may also arise from the rider's negligence, whereby he/she makes sudden turns or fails to signal when changing lanes. Moreover, some accidents have been recorded from unavoidable circumstances such as adverse weather conditions that limit vision on the road, or unforeseen mishaps like brake failure.
Regardless of the nature and cause of your motorcycle accident, it is important to ensure that you are aware of the steps to take after the incident to help you combat the challenges you are bound to face. We often deal with very complicated personal injury cases, whereby the accident victim did not know what to avoid, or the immediate steps to take. Consequently, the compensatory suit filed in such cases includes additional parties like insurance companies, which are set to ensure that you receive the minimum amount of compensation available. To avoid such setbacks, here the seven most important things to do after a motorcycle accident:
Call the Police Immediately
Once the impact occurs, you will be on the receiving end of things, especially because you are prone to directly feeling the impact. On the other hand, the motorist who hits you may remain inside the vehicle to assess whether any of his/her passengers are hurt, before getting out of the vehicle or dialing emergency contacts. Therefore, we recommend calling the police as soon as possible to ensure that they arrive promptly at the accident scene to collect relevant information. While doing so, ensure that you provide accurate information on your exact location to promote a quick response.
In most cases, dialing the police will be beneficial to you as they will make an initial unbiased assessment of the impact caused by the motorcycle accident. Moreover, they will record relevant information from the motorist involved in the accident to ensure that the party does not escape the accident scene out of fear or guilt. We recommend giving the police a few details concerning the incident as you make the call because you are likely to be in a state of shock. Consequently, you may end up stumbling over your words and giving a report that could later be used against you in the compensatory suit. Similarly, try to minimize the information you provide when they arrive at the scene physically, and stick to the basic information such as your name, address, and your motorcycle registration number.
We advise any accident victim to refrain from providing additional information in such a situation that a motorcycle rider is often assumed to be at fault, because of the flexibility of movement that your means of transport allows. However, this is not always the case, as vehicle operators are also often engaged in negligent driving tactics. Therefore, even if you believe that the information you provide does not shift the blame to you, it is easy for the defendant's insurance company and attorneys to twist your words in court and use them to invalidate your claims.
Remain Composed After the Accident
Although your emotions may run wild after an accident, especially when you are sure you were not at fault, we advise you to remain calm as you await further action. Most motorcycle accident victims will exhibit emotions of anger, remorse, or panic that then hinders them from thinking clearly and seeking sources of help. For example, suppose you experience a severe panic attack after the accident. In that case, we advise taking deep breaths or contacting your nearest healthcare provider to alleviate the mental state and avoid restricting yourself from taking necessary steps and making important decisions while still at the accident scene.
Also, exhibiting remorse by crying or repeating that you are sorry severally may be done in good faith. However, the defendant, in this case, the driver who is directly involved in the accident, may refer to such statements later to prove implied admissions to guilt, even if there is sufficient evidence to prove otherwise. It is important to note that each statement or action you take after the motorcycle counts could potentially be used against you in a future claim. Thus, it is better to compose yourself as you interact with the defendant or the traffic officers to ensure that you do not provide any sources of alternate probabilities for the accident's cause.
Moreover, allowing anger or rage to overwhelm, you may cause you to lash out at the motorist involved in the collision, leading to the utterance of regrettable words. You may also end up making statements that could expose you to liability for the accident later on when a compensatory suit begins. While we understand the disappointment you may feel from the severe motorcycle accident; it helps to take a few moments to compose yourself. You will have avoided incidents that may diminish your chances of winning a satisfactory compensatory amount for your case in the long run.
Observe Helmet Safety Guidelines
Your helmet is an important safety gear to wear each time you ride your motorcycle. Some of the benefits of wearing the helmet include skull protection and the holding of your neck and spine in position, as it limits your head movement. Consequently, rushing to remove your helmet may cause you more injury or pain than when you retain it. We recommend waiting until a medical professional attends to you and removes the helmet without applying too much pressure on your neck and back.
Additionally, if you sustain further injuries from removing your helmet, the defendant, in your case may use the defense that such injuries were not directly linked to the initial impact. Therefore he/she should not be liable to pay damages for any further injuries you suffered. The situation worsens when the defendant provides sufficient evidence like photographs or footage of you removing the safety gear, as the claims earn a valid basis. Thus, we advise you to keep your helmet on and avoid altering any other characteristics on the scene of the accident, to prevent the defendant from seeking leverage on your actions.
Speak to Any Witnesses Present at the Scene of the Accident
Another important step you need to take is to speak to witnesses who were present as the collision occurred. Your aim in doing this will be to obtain their contact details so that you and your personal injury attorney can rely on their testimonies when your compensatory suit commences. In most cases, the witnesses present may also make your work easier by providing photographs and video footage of the accident moments before it occurred, or just after the impact. With proper negotiation, you can agree with the witnesses to provide the footage as additional evidence.
However, we do not advise you to mention all these details during your first interaction with the witnesses present, as they may be apprehensive of taking part in the court process. Instead, make a kind request to take down their details in case of any future developments that you may make after recovering from the accident. Speaking to witnesses also provides you an opportunity to assess the incident from a third party view. Additionally it will help you understand what arguments you and your injury lawyer may use to prove that the accident's primary cause had a direct link to the car driver's actions.
Some of the essential information you need to take down from a witness includes:
- The person's phone number
- The witness' official name
- his/her email address
Sometimes, the witness may volunteer additional information like the home address or workplace for easier tracing. If such is the case, you may collect the additional details, as they will help you communicate more easily. However, you should not force the witness to provide the information if they are uncomfortable with it. You may come off as invasive and deter them from agreeing to testify in your favor during the court proceedings.
Avoid Extensive Interactions With the Involved Motorist at the Accident Scene
One of the most common mistakes that most accident victims make immediately after a motorcycle accident occurs is to engage the other party in negotiations or apologies. As discussed before, speaking with the driver involved in your accident may do more harm than good, mainly because the person may use your statements against you in the future. Moreover, some defendants may have experienced similar incidents before. They may have learned several tactics on how to trick you into admitting to a fault, even when they are to blame. Thus, we recommend avoiding full engagement with the other party until you have your lawyer present to prevent such detrimental occurrences.
On top of conversing, several statements of regret, such as apologizing or exclaiming in despair, may appear inconsequential. Still, they may also be used as leverage by the defendant's attorney during the court trial. As discussed above, it is crucial to remain extremely calm even as the other party addresses you, to avoid statements that may be subjected to further scrutiny later.
Furthermore, the involved driver may try to entice you out of seeking legal action for the accident, mainly by offering a substantial amount as reimbursement for the damages caused. While you may be tempted to agree to such offers, most accident victims end up receiving very little compared to the damages caused. The main problem with such agreements is that there are often no legally binding documents that ensure that the other party fulfills his/her obligations. Subsequently, the motorist may string you along for a while, and end up not paying you at all. If such a scenario arises, it becomes very difficult to sue the person later because of the lack of sufficient documentary evidence to show that the party owed an obligation to settle the damages out of court. Therefore, we advise against accepting these deals to avoid facing adverse inconveniences in the long run.
Check Into Hospital For Medical Attention
A motorcycle accident may cause mild or severe injuries, depending on the circumstances that led to the incident. While you may feel okay even after the impact, it is always important to ensure that you access medical services for a professional to assess your injuries and any underlying conditions caused by the accident. In some instances, an accident victim may fail to undergo medical check-ups after a motorcycle accident because he/she does not experience any immediate pain or injury. However, such a victim is prone to severe complications that arise later from a lack of sufficient attention on any undetectable body injuries like internal bleeding. Consequently, the matter becomes challenging to settle when the injuries develop into severe complications that take up a lot of money in medical expenses. It is also difficult to get the party liable for the motorcycle accident to pay for any personal injuries without valid documents from the hospital, proving that the now advanced conditions are linked to the accident.
Therefore, we advise you to undergo a check-up with your doctor to ensure that you are unharmed and not in need of medical services before filing a personal injury suit. It is common for your doctor to detect any severe damages that you are unaware of and administer the adequate remedies before you face much more detrimental consequences. For example, if your arm has a slight fracture, it will be detected before you are released from the hospital, exposing yourself to more risks by applying too much pressure on the existing fracture. You are, therefore, able to uphold your health and safety through these checks.
On the other hand, you may also suffer from apparent injuries like bone fractures or severe abrasions. Whiplash is also a common injury sustained by a motorcycle accident victim, caused by the intense force that a vehicle exerts on your motorcycle during the collision. If you suffer from these or other injuries from the accident, your health should always come first. It is better to call for ambulance services immediately, before engaging in any other interaction or activity listed above, as you will be putting yourself in more danger. Moreover, defendants may raise a point to prove contributory negligence on your side by pointing out your delay in seeking treatment. Therefore, it is important to seek prompt medical attention after the accident to ensure that your medical emergency needs are well taken care of.
It is important to keep all the prescription forms and receipts, appointment sheets, in-patient billings, and medical examination receipts safely after getting discharged from the hospital. The documents will provide sufficient proof of the costs incurred through the motorcycle accident. Moreover, medical reports from the doctor, MRI scans, and X-Ray images should also be within your reach at any time, for later use once you file for personal injury compensation.
Call Your Personal Injury Attorney
The next step to take after calling a medical response team is to contact your injury attorney and inform him/her of your location and the situation. Your lawyer plays a significant role after the accident because he/she is available to collect all the necessary information from witnesses, the involved motorist and the police if you are rushed to hospital soon after the accident. Moreover, since your lawyer is well experienced in handling such matters, you are assured of professional services that include keeping the other party involved in the accident in contact with you until you reach a valid settlement in court.
Once your injury attorney arrives at the scene of the accident, he or she will engage with the motorist who hit your motorcycle and request his/her contact information, the insurance company, and vehicle registration number. With these details, your lawyer may proceed to serve notices of motion to the involved party and the relevant insurance provider later, informing them of your intention to move the compensation matter to court. Additionally, the vehicle registration number is relevant, invalidating the driver's true identity through the Department of Motor Vehicles that can help track the vehicle owner if he/she refuses to contact your lawyer.
When it comes to addressing the witnesses present, your lawyer will also back you up requesting their availability in a settlement hearing. Your attorney will also provide several cards for the witnesses to reach the law firm office directly for quicker access to the witnesses as you prepare for trial. Having your lawyer present at the accident scene also equips you with professional legal advice and protection from the police's questions when filling in the report. Without your attorney, the police officers are likely to trick you into providing inaccurate evidence concerning the accident that may shift the blame from the liable party. Thus, your lawyer can help you decline to provide such information to prevent the misuse of statements you provide.
Your injury attorney can also help you gather important sources of evidence by taking photographs of the scene that include the damage on your motorcycle, the defendant's vehicle, as well as different photographs of the accident aftermath like shattered glass. Taking the photographs is beneficial for you as your lawyer can submit them to a professional accident assessor who can determine the primary cause of the accident without any biased opinions. Better still, your lawyer can contact the assessor to the scene of the accident for him/her to make a first-hand analysis of the motorcycle accident and provide a statement in court later.
Once you are ready to file a case against the defendant, your personal injury attorney's team will consolidate all sources of evidence available for your case, in readiness to counter the defendant's claims. It is important to note that moving the matter to court is often the last resort after failed negotiations with the defendant's attorneys and insurance team. Nevertheless, the collection of evidence is paramount even if negotiations prevail, as it provides valid backing for all your claims.
When the proceedings begin, the burden of proof rests on you as the aggrieved party, and the claimant proves that the defendant was responsible for the motorcycle accident. Thanks to all the information that you and your lawyer collect after the incident, you will have enough resources to justify your claims and persuade the judge to issue the compensation. In a successful suit, the presiding judge will move to award damages based on the personal injury and damages to property you sustain, to alleviate pain and return you to your state before the motorcycle accident.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
The events that come immediately after a motorcycle accident may happen so quickly that they prevent you from making rational decisions, especially if you are the primary victim. While we understand the pain and confusion you may be in after a motorcycle accident, we recommend remaining calm and taking the relevant steps you need to help you move on from the incident. With the help of a lawyer from the Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, you can receive additional information and counsel concerning what to do after a motorcycle accident. We are also happy to help you prepare for your compensatory suit to ensure that you receive reimbursement for the injuries suffered. Call us today at 702-996-1224.