Publish Date - April 17, 2020
Author: Dennis Hernandez
A Guide to Motorcycle Injury Claims
Motorcycle accident injuries can be quite devastating. The nature of motorcycle collisions puts motorcycle riders in such a vulnerable position that 78.3% of all motorcycle accidents result in injuries. For automobiles, only 31% of accidents result in injuries. Just over 4% of all motorcycle accidents are fatal.
It’s well-known that motorcycles experience higher rates of injuries. They are smaller than cars and therefore hard to see, and they have nothing protecting them from cars. Even the way a motorcycle is engineered can lead to more accidents. A motorcyclist on an icy road has a greater risk than an automobile driver because a motorcycle needs to balance. One mishap or loss of balance can lead to a deadly crash.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, it’s vital to know the proper process for filing a personal injury claim. Motorcycle injuries can include broken bones, brain trauma, and the quite painful road rash. Injury severity can range dramatically, and the first and most important step is to immediately seek medical attention after a crash. Tend to your health, and also know that the frequency in which you called an ambulance or went to the hospital will be documented in your court case. One of the main ways to undermine your own case is to wait to go to the hospital. The defendant can claim that your injuries are not as bad as you say they were if there is any delay between the time of the accident and the time of arrival into the emergency room. This delay can be inferred as a lack of severity for your injury, which will work against you in the injury claims process.
Take Down All Pertinent Information
If your injuries are minor and you can drive yourself to the hospital, make sure to take advantage of your time at the scene of the accident by taking down all the information of the other involved drivers or motorcyclists. It’s important to take photos of the damage and aftermath, too. If the police were called, they will also take evidence and photos for their investigation. However, in the chance they miss something, it’s important to have plenty of evidence of your own.
If you are badly injured and are unfit to take pictures or take down information, trust that the emergency team will do their job. However, if a friend or a family member comes to your side to support you, ask them to help in the evidence collection process. Snap photos on your phone and take notes of anything that is said at the accident scene.
Contact an Attorney
Many believe that the next appropriate course of action is to contact their insurance companies. However, an attorney should do this part for you. While insurance companies claim to work on behalf of your best interest, they are ultimately businesses and prioritize profit. They want to avoid paying for your hospital bills, and will find ways to undermine your case and poke holes in it to save money. If in any chance you need immediate cash, you can check for loan or refinancing options from myAutoloan.
As a result, anything you say on the phone with them can and will be used against you. Going into these conversations on your own without legal counsel can permanently undermine your case. For example: if you aren’t entirely sure what happened, or don’t remember parts of the accident, the insurance company can claim it was your fault or that they cannot verify wrongdoing by the other party. They can claim that you must accept fault because you do not remember what happened or cannot put fault onto the other party.
Instead, contact an attorney first and share all details of the accident. It’s important to have a thorough account of what happened, who is at fault, and what injuries resulted. If you are not fully sure of what happened, an attorney can help you sort through evidence to determine the truth and build a case around it.
If the issue becomes a personal injury case against the other parties involved, your attorney can ideally handle this, too. Giving them all pertinent information from the start so that they can help you win all of your claims is the best course of action.
Finding the right personal injury lawyer can be a challenge. With more than 24 years of experience, Dennis Hernandez & Associates is one of Orlando’s best lawyers. With other offices in Tampa, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg; Dennis and his team of attorneys have the experience to get you the compensation you deserve.
Determining the True Cost of Injuries
The cost of the injuries from your motorcycle accident always goes beyond the hospital bill. For example: imagine that you break your leg and suffer road rash during the accident. The hospital bill will cover the costs of the assessment, transport by ambulance, your doctor’s time, bandages, a cast, X rays, and any other fees incurred during the time at the hospital.
However, if your job requires you to be on your feet and you have to take two months off work until you no longer need crutches, the cost of the injury goes further: lost wages. If you make $3,500 a month, that’s a total of $7,000 in lost wages that the insurance company will not pay for. Additionally, you may need physical therapy in the recovery process. Because that was not on the immediate hospital bill following the accident, an insurance company can refuse to pay for it.
An attorney will help you assess the true cost of your motorcycle accident injuries, and file a claim to receive this accurate amount of retribution from your insurance company.
Additional Notes on Personal Injury Claims
When you’re wondering how much your case is worth, know that this determination is never due to a few isolated factors. Every case is different. Beyond the differing costs of medical bills and lost wages, other subliminal factors can play a role in the case. These can include:
- Your word against the other parties’ word. Unclear fault can undermine a case
- Lack of evidence from the scene
- Judgment or bias against motorcyclists on the part of your court’s jury members or the judge
- Amount of insurance and specific notes of the insurance policy. An attorney can survey your insurance policy and advise on how to proceed.
Following this guide to motorcycle injury claims will help you navigate the process if it ever happens to you or someone you know.