Once you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, your life may change considerably. You will now be facing many more obstacles than you have ever imagined. None of it will seem fair. All you did was go out for a ride on your bike to enjoy the open road. Now, due to someone else’s negligence, your life has been turned upside down.
If your life has been dramatically altered after a motorcycle accident, call Kiley Law Group today. As a rider himself, Tom Kiley, Sr., understands the challenges bikers face after an accident. That is why his team of experienced attorneys will work hard to help fight for your right to receive compensation for your injuries.
Do not hesitate a moment longer. Call Kiley Law Group today at 888-979-9323. We are available 24/7 for a free case evaluation. There is no fee unless you win.
Risk Factors Associated With Motorcycles
In 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report on the risk factors of motorcycle crashes. According to the report, motorcyclists and their riders have the highest risk of fatal injury after an accident. Riders are 28 times more likely to die due to a crash than the average motorist. Since bikes offer less protection in case of a collision, the risk of severe injuries and death is higher among riders.
The NTSB report also highlights some of the main causes of these types of incidents. The first safety issue found was that most motorcycle crashes were multiple-vehicle accidents, while the remaining driver-motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other drivers.
Other drivers should be aware of the increased risk of injuries and death and proceed with caution. The “Look Twice, Save a Life” campaign was started for this reason. Drivers who look twice before changing lanes may be more able to see motorcyclists traveling next to them.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident to Protect Your Rights
After a motorcycle accident leaves you injured, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of another driver, it may not seem fair to have to endure the challenges that lay ahead. The good news is that you have a legal right to receive money for the damages the other driver caused.
While it is great that you can sue for compensation, the process is not easy. You will have to file a claim with the other party’s insurance company. This might seem simple since you are certain that the other driver caused the accident. The problem is, though, that the insurance company often plays hardball. After all, these are big businesses that must put profit above all else.
To win your compensation case, there are a few steps you can take after a motorcycle accident to protect yourself. You need as much proof to back up your side of the story as possible. Here are several steps you can take to protect your right to receive compensation.
Document every part of the motorcycle accident
After a motorcycle accident happens, you will have a short window of time to document a few key pieces of evidence. It is important to remember that your memory of the event might fade within the next few days. This can work against you if you do not have a clear, concise story to recount later. If you can do so, document as much as you can while you wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Documentation should include:
- Name, address, and phone number of every witness in the area – It will help your case to have other witnesses who might have seen what happened
- Pictures of the crash site – This includes motorcycle damage and the other driver’s vehicle; be sure to get any skid marks on the street, the weather, and the entire street
- License and insurance information from the other party – You will want to make a claim with the other party’s insurance company
Take as many notes as possible
Even if you do not have a pen or paper, you should take as many detailed notes as possible. Some details may be fuzzy later, so taking notes at that moment can be beneficial. You can use your phone to record a video or send a text message to yourself. Include everything you remember happening, from before, during, and after the accident, to be as thorough as you can.
Get medical attention
Receiving medical attention is a crucial part of your case. Without any documentation of injuries, there may be no damages awarded for injuries. Even if you feel fine at the moment, go get checked out. It is not uncommon for motorcycle accident victims to feel normal after the accident, but a few days later, they may feel as if they were hit by a train.
Adrenaline has a way of masking physical symptoms after an accident. For example, broken bones are obvious, but whiplash symptoms may not manifest for several days. Brain injuries may not be noticeable right away, either.
What’s more, it is crucial for you to follow your doctor’s treatment plan. If you do not, the insurance company may say you made your injuries worse and deny your claim.
Get a property damage quote
Another right you have is to be compensated for the damage done to your motorcycle. It can be as simple as a few scratches to the paint and replaced parts. Or perhaps your entire bike must be totaled. In that case, you can have the full market value of your motorcycle compensated. To do this, you need to get a quote from a professional for the value of the damages incurred.
Keep a record of everything
As you go through the process of filing a compensation claim, make sure you keep records of everything. This includes repair quotes, police reports, photographs, medical records, and so much more. Keep these records in a safe place. Also, if you have your records saved on a computer, put them on a backup hard drive so you do not lose them.
Do not speak to the other party’s insurance company
In some cases, the other party’s insurance company may attempt to get a hold of you. The adjusters may sound sincere and compassionate, acting as if they want to help. It is all a ploy to lure you into sharing information they can use against you later. As mentioned, insurance companies care about profits first. These companies will use every trick in the book to find a way to avoid paying you money.
The worst of the tactics can include taking advantage of your vulnerable state while recovering. It is easy to say the wrong thing while in a state of shock, but it is not beyond an insurance company to take that statement and compare it to other quotes or details and say you are not being truthful. The best course of action is to not speak to anyone but your Massachusetts motorcycle accident attorney.
Do not accept the first offer
After an accident, you may feel scared about the future. Medical bills are piling up. You are missing plenty of time off work. Other necessary bills are getting unpaid. What are you going to do? That is when the insurance company “dangles a carrot” in front of you in the form of an offer.
You might be tempted to accept the deal. It’s probably a low offer, but it is something. The reality is that this is a lowball offer attempt to get you to settle your case for less. In most cases, the first offer will be much less than what you will need.
Insurance companies do not make money by offering fair settlements. They know they can offer less because there is a good chance you are desperate enough to accept it. You may be able to get many times that amount, depending on the severity of your injuries. Once you accept the offer, that is it. You cannot go back later and ask for more.
Do not sign anything
Along with the previous two points, do not sign anything sent to you by the other party’s insurance company. Another way they can get you to accept a lowball offer is by tricking you to sign paperwork. This may include offering money for a recorded and signed statement. You should avoid any communication with an insurance company unless you have an experienced attorney to guide you.
Hire an attorney
One of the best ways to protect your rights after a motorcycle accident is to hire an attorney. You may not have any personal injury case experience, but an experienced attorney could have been through this process hundreds of times already. He or she will know the state and federal laws as well as the tricks used by insurance companies to get vulnerable motorcycle accident victims to settle.
Hiring an attorney allows you to relax and focus on your recovery while he or she does all the work. Your lawyer will be able to:
- Investigate the details of the accident
- Gather all the evidence
- File the paperwork on time
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company
- Take the case to court
- Find expert witnesses
- Represent your interests before a judge and/or jury
Call Kiley Law Group to Protect Your Rights
Do not allow the insurance company to trick you into settling early. Our team will fight hard to get you every dollar you deserve.
Rather than face the stress and burden of legal challenges yourself, you can rely on us. Kiley Law Group has been around for over 40 years during which we have helped clients win over $500 million in settlements. We always strive to protect the rights of every motorcycle accident victim in Massachusetts.
Call Kiley Law Group today at 888-979-9323 for a free consultation on your case. You have options regarding your motorcycle accident – all you need to do is talk to us to find out how to protect your rights.