For bikers, we all dread moment when you know you’re about to be involved in an accident. Someone in a car just pulled out in front of you and you know you are going down. There was nothing more you could have done. You follow all the traffic rules but unfortunately many car drivers just don’t pay attention to motorcycles. The guy probably didn’t even notice you. Although everyone who rides a bike tries to prepare for the possibility of an accident, it’s still scary when it actually happens. So if you have actually had an accident, how do you know if you have a valid personal injury case? How can you protect your rights and recover damages from the person who caused the accident?
The best thing you can do is consult with a motorcycle personal injury lawyer. Only a trained and experienced lawyer can evaluate all the facts of your case and advise you whether you have the basis for a personal injury claim and how to proceed. There are, however, things you can do immediately after the accident to try and help yourself and your lawyer in the event that you do proceed with a personal injury claim. If you are not taken directly to the hospital by ambulance, then the following steps may be of great help to you and your attorney as your case proceeds.
1. The first thing you need to do after an accident is make sure that you and your motorcycle get out of the roadway if possible to prevent any additional injuries or accidents. Car drivers are notorious for not spotting motorcyclists when they are actually riding the bike, much less when the bike is on its side in the middle of the rode.
2. The next thing you need to do is notify the police if another motorist or bystander hasn’t already done so. You may think this isn’t necessary because you feel o.k. or you think there wasn’t much damage but a police report may be invaluable to your attorney in evaluating your case.
3. Additionally, take down the name, telephone number, vehicle information and insurance information of the other person involved in the accident. Don’t count on the police to gather that information. Remember – this is the person responsible for your injuries so write down all the information you can.
4. Next, take note of any potential witnesses to the accident and attempt to get their information. While witness identification may be located on a police report, it isn’t always taken down by law enforcement. Again, take it upon yourself to get any information you can at the scene.
5. Have yourself checked out by a physician as soon as possible. If possible, go directly to the emergency room. You may feel as though you didn’t suffer any injuries, but many injuries are internal and/or do not show symptoms until hours or days after an accident. Having a physician check and document any potential injuries right after the accident will assist your lawyer evaluate and prepare your case.
6. Make sure you get written estimates for any damages your motorcycle suffered as soon as you are able. The more detailed the estimate the better.
7. Lastly, document any time off of work. This includes time immediately following the accident as well as any time spent on doctor appointments or therapy for injuries you suffered.
Only an experienced motorcycle personal injury lawyer can tell you whether you have a valid personal injury claim and advise you how you can recover damages for the injuries you have suffered. However, by following the steps outlined above in the event you are involved in an accident, you will be able to assist your attorney evaluate and litigate your case down the road.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and would like an experienced attorney to evaluate your case, contact the law offices of Ledger & Associates at 1-800-300-0001 or visit us at www.ledgerlaw.com.