For some people, riding a motorcycle is an economical means of transportation. For others, it’s simply a recreational activity. But for many, it is a passion and a way of life. Regardless of the reason you may be a motorcyclist, because of the exposure to the rider and the lack of safety mechanisms (seat belts, air bags, etc.), injury is much more likely on a motorcycle than a car or truck.
According to a recent Insurance Information Institute study, motorcyclists were 27 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and almost five times more likely to be injured. Due to the higher risk associated with motorcycling, adequately protecting yourself and your passengers in case of an accident is extremely important.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, here are some basic steps to follow to ensure your safety and that your rights are protected.
Ensure Your Immediate Safety
Before addressing any other matters, attend to any injuries you may have sustained. If necessary, seek immediate medical attention at the scene of the accident. If you do not need immediate, on the scene medical attention, seek care as soon as practicable after leaving the scene. Even if there are no apparent, visible injuries, seeking care is important to be evaluated by a medical professional for any injuries which may not be immediately apparent. Seeking care also helps document your inquiries, which will be important later on if you pursue an injury claim stemming from the crash.
Document the Details of the Crash
After you have secured your own and others on the scene’s physical safety, document as much information as possible about the incident. If the police arrive, they will likely conduct their own investigation and gather necessary information, but it is still important to make note of things like: the time, location, make and model of other vehicles involved, the names and contact information of any witnesses, and each party’s insurance information. These pieces of information may be important pieces of evidence in a future claim or lawsuit, and it is best to gather such information while the memory of the accident is still fresh and the memories and recollections have faded.
Consult A Personal Injury Attorney
The next step after your motorcycle accident is dealing with insurance companies and pursuing an injury and/or property damage claim. This should not be handled alone. An experienced personal injury lawyer will assist you in investigating the crash, investigating all possible insurance coverages, and working up and building the recoverable damages.
Conducting an investigation into the crash as soon as practicable can help a lawyer address any liability issues that may arise later on in a lawsuit. Your lawyer may interview witnesses, take photographs at the scene, and even hire an accident reconstructionist as part of the investigation.
In Minnesota, the legally required insurance coverages are different for motorcycles than they are for ordinary motor vehicles like cars, vans, and trucks. Certain coverages, like no-fault, underinsured, and uninsured coverages are not required for motorcycles. Because of this, it is important that a full picture of all coverages is investigated and assessed before pursuing an injury claim. It then becomes imperative for a personal injury attorney to get a full picture of a client’s injuries and damages. Your lawyer will assist in obtaining the necessary documentation to prove a wage loss claim; gather all medical records and bills; communicate with your medical providers and obtain written medical reports that layout the full nature and extent of your injuries.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through the above steps and try to reach a settlement with any involved insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to proceed with a lawsuit and possibly a trial. A personal injury case has many moving parts, and having the right personal injury lawyer by your side can make a profound difference in the amount of your recovery and your peace of mind.
Work with Nelson Personal Injury
The personal injury lawyers at Nelson Personal Injury understand that personal injury claims can be difficult to navigate, and that’s why we work hard to make sure you feel heard, striving to get you the compensation to help you on the road to recovery. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, find out how we can help you with your claim: nelsonpersonalinjury.com.