Persons involved in motorcycle accidents are likely to sustain severe injuries. These injuries range from minor ones to serious ones and can lead to death. The shock from the accident may disorient reasoning, thus impacting your choices of what to do after the accident. You need to be calm lest you get into more trouble. Additionally, the top-notch defense services of Clay County Personal Injury Attorney are available for you in these hard times. We will help you pursue justice once you get an injury in a motorbike accident in Clay County.
Below are the things you ought to do in case you are involved in a motorbike accident:
Work on Your Safety First
The first thing to ensure is your safety by moving out of the motorbike in case you are stuck. Leg bruises and fractures result from the bike’s weight when it falls on either leg. When cycling at high speed, the rear wheel of the motorcycle remains rotating after the crash. The rotation may cause additional injuries. On the other hand, you may sustain burns due to coming into contact with the heated engine or exhaust pipe. You have to ensure you are safe from these injuries or avoid getting more of them.
The next thing to do is move out of the traffic to avoid being hit or run-over by other traffic. After escaping the risks of the motorists, check yourself for injuries. Check for any bruised knees and elbows. Try feeling the neck and the back for any injuries. Stretch out your hands and the legs to locate any presence of fractures. Check for any injuries of the head and whiplashes in the head. Try finding any pain from your internal organs. Check yourself thoroughly for any wounds.
Call for Safety and Gather Evidence from the Accident Scene
In such a severe scenario, you need to call the nearest police department, and they will arrive soon. Once they come, you need to cooperate with them in drawing their report. The details you give in this report will be used against you or for your defense in your case. Therefore, clarity of statements and relevance of the information you provide will be critical.
Safeguard your potential compensation and protect your rights by only giving the information needed at the scene of the accident. The police will help in taking down your version of testimony and that of other drivers. They will also supervise you to gather the evidence of the witnesses in the scene. The statements from these people will have legal backing and will not appear as having originated from your coaching.
Now safe from public and traffic rage, continue collecting the facts from the accidents. These facts help you to table strong evidence during the court proceedings and also negotiate insurance settlement amounts from the insurance provider. Using the available technology such as a mobile phone or a camera take photos of the scene. These photos should cover the scene from multiple angles to strengthen the claims.
The photos should document the condition of the motorbike and the vehicles involved in the scene of the accident. Record any injuries to people and damages to public and private properties.
The most important things that you should never forget to collect before clearing from the accident scene are:
- The contact information of the all the witnesses such as addresses, names and phone numbers
- The details of the vehicles involved, such as their registration, model, and make as well as their insurers.
- The report’s number collected by the police
- The officer’s number and badge
- The contact information for reaching out to the other drivers
- The damages property that you possessed
Another possible evidence to collect is the audio and the video recordings of the witnesses’ account of the accident. Their statements are used by the attorney to defend you in court and negotiate for a settlement worth your damages.
You should not pressure the witnesses into talking to you. If capturing the photos and videos would expose them to more harm, then it is advisable not to do it. Capture all the landmarks and street installations at the accident scene fully.
Remain Calm Entirely
After a fatal crash that leaves you energetic slightly to behave normally, it is difficult to remain calm, but that is what you should do. You should prevent your emotional state from leading you. Instead, begin making sense of what has happened reasonably.
You should not argue with other drivers and motorists at the scene over who was at fault. Talking to all these should only happen in the presence of an officer. Never should you be heard admitting to the wrong or assigning anyone the blame for the accident. It is the work of the judge to determine who was wrong, not you. Additionally, never engage others physically regardless of how offended you feel. Violence only adds the repercussions to your accident trial. You should also never vandalize anyone’s property. Being self-possessed at these scenarios saves a lot.
Do Not Remove Your Protective Gear
After a motorbike crash, the pain may be unbearable, and the need to be free from the limiting outfit is the desire of all. However, you should not remove the protective gear. There might be other hazards on the scene. The same cause that led to the accident may lead to another disaster that may throw debris, leading to further injuries. Protect yourself from other traffic users who may continue utilizing the highway indiscriminately. These may not notice that you stranded in the traffic may run over you or splash debris leading to further injuries.
Remaining in protective gear protects some of your injuries from worsening. Remaining intact until the police arrive or the rescue team should be the norm of all cyclists after an accident. The clothing may prevent the distortion of the injured part of the body, such as bones.
Again removing the protective gear might get you into trouble when the police arrive at the accident scene. The police may write the evidence to implicate as having flouted the traffic offenses regarding the proper dress code when operating a motorbike according to the state’s law. The insurance company may also cite a failure to wear protective gear as increasing the severity of injuries, and therefore, you lose a significant part of the settlement amount.
Seek Medical Care from a Qualified Doctor
After coming from the accident scene, your safety is essential. Seek medical care from a qualified doctor and avoid personal doctors. The insurance companies have doubts over their medical fees. The doubts arise due to suspected collusion with your doctor to inflate the medical costs.
Some accidents can have long-term effects. The doctor will assess your health condition and treat the immediate conditions that need attention. The aim is to get well and follow up with your compensation. So you need to adhere to the doctor’s recommendation of drugs and rehabilitation. Ensure you attend all the appointments and treatment sessions.
The doctor will help you in documenting all the injuries that are purely from the accident or conditions whose severity is aggravated by accident. Medical evidence will always help you in proving your compensation as the adjusters may seek to shortchange you using those details.
Your doctor will document all these fees incurred well and produce them as evidence for compensation to your medical insurer. The total costs will include the medical bills for already healed conditions and the estimated fees of healthcare for long-term conditions such as whiplashes and spinal cord injury.
Inform Your Motorbike Insurer
Immediately after the accident or before the expiration of the legal period, inform the insurance agent of the accident. Giving incriminating information leads to loss of compensation. The agent cares about the interest of the insurer to collect information critically. Hence you need to be careful while they are interrogating you. If possible, get advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Some of the relevant information entitled to the agent is:
- Names of parties in the accident
- Car details like the make and models
- The insurers of the parties to the accident
- Contact information of the witnesses
You should only give the proper description of your role in the accident. In case you are not sure of what to say, just advise the adjusters and the agent to contact your attorney for inquiries.
Never admit that you caused the accident. Not even a compelling interrogation should make you state the value of the personal injuries sustained from the accident when asked. This information is only reasonably given after you visit a doctor. You should also never provide an estimate of the value of your motorbike damages until you have consulted your mechanic.
Sometimes the adjusters from the other party’s insurers may contact you. Here all the wisdom is needed. These adjusters seek to trick you into saying something regarding the accident to your disadvantage. If it is possible, you should never speak or answer any of their questions. No detail regarding your medical authorization should ever come from you. Further, never agree to meet with them to discuss anything, nor should you accept any settlement with them without legal backing.
Maximize All Your Insurance Coverage
You should seek compensation to your strictest sense of the real damage you incurred in the accident. Under-compensation is the worst that can happen to you while you are not responsible for the accident and have been faithfully submitting premiums to your insurers. Therefore long-lasting effects of the disasters, as mentioned above, ought to be documented.
The compensation should extend beyond the repairs of the motor vehicle and the medical costs. Costs such as transport should be included in your personal injuries compensation too. If the accident renders you as the cyclist unable to work forever or for a specified period, then employment benefits such as lost wages and estimated future earnings ought to be compensated.
Many factors need consideration before you append your signature to accept what your insurers offer you in compensation. Once you sign the settlement deal, no amendment can take place later. Hence you need a lawyer here to help you with the decision. Ensure you get the right amount that truly indemnifies you during the first compensation attempt. You should be careful to consider all the factors that may expose you to financial challenges later lest you accept a lesser amount.
Speaking to an Attorney
Speaking to an attorney immediately when you come out of the accident is your right. If you are not able to access one instantly after the accident, then it is proper to exercise caution on your part as you speak to the police and the insurance agents.
If the attorney arrives at the accident, he will become your immediate custodian of the evidence you collected and help in getting further details. Before you sign and or speak anything with anyone, consult the lawyer first. This way, you avoid pinning yourself for the accident and losing compensation for a seemingly inaccurate statement.
As the attorney handles your case, the evidence gets a legal backing. He/she can represent you in the insurance settlements and appear to the relevant authorities such as Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles and presentation of damages records to the insurers. Further, the lawyer will discuss with you the details of your accident and the consequences that might follow. You are, therefore, aware of what to expect and the chances of taking responsibility for the damages.
The presence of a lawyer also shuns the age-old bias towards the riders. The witnesses, the police and the jury alike do not have to follow the stereotypical leanings to incriminate you for causing the accident. When the insurance coverage falls short of compensating you fully, then the lawyer will seek alternative options to ensure full compensation. Such choices include suing the at-fault drivers, the pedestrians, or any relevant parties responsible for your injuries and damages.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
Once you have catered for your health, the remaining bit is getting compensated. Indemnification begins with the determination of who is at-fault in the accident. If the driver is the one at fault, then their insurance company will pay you. If it was a self-accident, then the lawyer will help you identify any responsible entity such as municipal authorities for poorly maintained road sections.
After it has the determination of who is at fault, there are two ways to go for the driver to compensate you. The first option is settling to a reasonable amount guided by the lawyer, and in the other one, the jury determines the amount through litigation.
The settlement value is what you, as the cyclist, want to settle the case for. This amount is always less than the trial value. Its acceptance is due to the risk of losing the court case and forgoing all the compensation. Many motorbike compensation cases end at the settlement amount since the court process is also costly. The lawyer will negotiate on your behalf on the reasonable settlement value and whether proceeding to trial is a good move. Considering litigation depends on the weighted chance of winning a higher compensation amount.
Preventing Motorbike Accidents
If you are lucky enough to come out of the accident with treatable injuries, which after healing, will give you a chance to cycle again, then safety afterward is a necessity. In case of minor injuries, you may even cycle before the compensation happens; hence your safety is critical.
Below are the things you ought to do to ensure safety:
Wearing Protective Gear
You must be lucky to survive a motorcycle accident without wearing the right gear. Ever again, you should always fix the following before you begin cycling:
- A helmet in your head to prevent injuries when your head hits objects on the road or the roads surfaces. Head injuries are highly fatal as they break the skull, cause concussions, cause internal bleeding or interfere with dentition
- Padded gloves as these protect you from the rough surfaces when the accident situation forces you to use hands as the landing positions
- Thick jackets and pants prevent back injuries when the motorbike accident causes many rollovers. Back injuries are common when the cyclist jerks out of the motorbike
- A reflector jacket with brighter colors makes you conspicuous from afar. The other motorists can see you on the road and when lying on the lane after an accident.
- Elbow and knee guards to prevent joint damages due to the fall
The protective gear helps cyclists to prevent fatal injuries.
Avoid Intoxicated Cycling
Any slight intoxication will interfere with your safety while cycling. Alcohol impairs the system and hence making you unable to react promptly, maintain balance and coordination for proper judgment of events on the road. Visibility and perception of seemingly dangerous things are crippled. Remember, the motorbike is only two-wheeled and can only sustain a minimal swing off balance when intoxicated. A slight mistake on the road will throw you off balance and lead to injuries. An error on the highway due to intoxication will lead to a collision with other vehicles, and you are likely to get more injuries.
Cycling under the influence claims the lives of cyclists mostly between 20 to 24 years.
Adjust Your Riding to Your Experience, Weather Conditions or Road Conditions
When you have no experience in balancing the motorbike at high speeds, you should slow down for your safety purposes. You need to ride at reasonable speeds where you can monitor the motorist behind you, adjust the lights, side mirrors, change gears, and overtake. These driving adjustments require some experience to pull through without distraction.
Further bad weather causes a significant portion of motorbike accidents. Visibility reduces during rainy, misty, and foggy weather. Reducing speed here is essential since you may hit a motorist or a pedestrian unawares. Hitting any obstruction leads to loss of balance and sustaining preventable injuries.
Speeding on a wet road increases the chances of getting an accident. Snowy roads reduce the traction interfering with the application of brakes. Reducing the speed helps you to get enough time to react to unforeseen changes in the way. Keeping distance between you and other motorists also helps you to stop when the unfortunate happens to them.
Adjusting your riding in poor road conditions helps you avoid accidents while turning. Reducing the speed enables you to stay as upright as possible hence the motorbike has fewer chances of falling to either side as you negotiate.
Exercising Caution and Good Judgment
Caution is all about obeying traffic rules. The size of the motorbike enables one to navigate heavy traffic, but this has impacts too. The cyclist does not afford any protection like the car drivers do have frames around them. Over speeding increases the time needed to react to an emergency. At high speed, even small debris can throw the bike out of balance, and crashes are fatal.
When turning left or merging into a lane, always indicate using hazards. Indication makes you as visible as possible. The size of a motorbike makes it invisible to many motorists hence may end up being knocked.
Another dangerous maneuver done by cyclists is lane splitting. Under heavy traffic, cyclists drive in between two parallel traffics. Any motorist could unknowingly merge into them while changing the lanes. You should keep right while cycling and do it on the designated pathway.
Be Vigilant About Aggressive Motorists
Some motorists are always aggressive on the road, especially when turning left or merging. Road rage poses a risk of accidents to invisible cyclists. One way of making yourself visible is having your brake lights on as well as hooting to warn other motorists. Having a loud exhaust pipe is also vital to saving life though not allowed in all states.
As you cycle, scan the traffic ahead. Surveying the highway prepares you to take the right actions before you reach the motorists. As a way of avoiding unnecessary crashes, avoid tail-gating when cycling.
Find a Clay County Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
The above are guidelines to ensure your physical and financial safety once an accident occurs due to the negligence of another person. Furthermore, we have highlighted the essentials of avoiding any motorbike accident while cycling. In case you have incurred a personal injury from a motorbike accident, the Clay County Personal Injury Attorney has the background for a successful defense. Call today by dialing 904-494-8242 to get excellent legal defense services.