How to File a Case After a Serious Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents continue to be a source of numerous personal injuries and casualties on the road. These accidents can range from simple roadside mishaps, causing minor injuries, to major collisions, causing massive collateral damage like property damage and wrongful death. If you get involved in a motorcycle accident, you must know how to go about filing a case for damages regardless of its severity. Listed below are steps in filing a case after getting into a serious motorcycle accident:
Call 911 Immediately
After removing yourself from harm and getting to a safe position away from the road or oncoming traffic, call for immediate medical attention if possible. You must call 911 as soon as you can if possible even if it seems that neither of those involved in the accident sustained injuries.
Document the Scene of the Accident
Once the paramedics arrive and have administered the necessary medical care, do not flee the scene of the accident and instead take pictures of the whole scene and the damage sustained by the vehicles or the surrounding properties. Securing CCTV footage of the crash is also ideal if it is available and easy to acquire. Other than taking photos of the scene of the crash, it is also essential to talk to witnesses to get their testimonies and contact details. Also, remember to exchange contact and insurance information with all parties involved before you leave the scene of the accident. Having this information can prove useful when filing for personal injury claims against those involved.
Never Admit Fault
What you say can be used against you, especially in crucial scenarios like serious motorcycle accidents. While you must always remain truthful regarding how the accident took place, remember to stay neutral and not to admit fault or blame others immediately following the accident.
Inform Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurance company as soon as you can after the crash. Give them all the relevant information related to the accident, from the names and contact info of those involved, description of all the vehicles, to the testimonies of the witnesses of the incident. Only relay information regarding your injuries and motorcycle damages once a doctor has assessed you, and your motorbike has been examined by a mechanic so that the claims adjuster will less likely underestimate your insurance claim.
Avoid talking to insurance representatives of other drivers involved in the incident. They will ask you questions that lead to benefiting their claims and other interests. You should also avoid accepting initial settlement offers from these insurance representatives as their offer will surely be lower than the compensation you are entitled to in order for them to save costs. Accepting these offers also means that you are waiving your right to pursue additional damages if the offer was inadequate. It is best to relay your concerns first with proper legal assistance before accepting any form of settlement.
Seek Proper Legal Advice
Schedule consultations with experienced motorcycle accident and personal injury attorneys to know how you should proceed and forward your case based on all your relevant information. Additionally, you must also know whether you are filing your claim in a fault state or a no-fault state.
Motorcycle Claims in a Fault State
Forwarding your case in a fault state as a driver who was involved in an accident gives you three options in filing a claim. You can either file a claim with your own insurance company, with the other driver’s insurance company or continue and file a lawsuit against the other driver involved.
Motorcycle Claims in a No-Fault State
You must file your claim with your own insurance provider regardless of who is at fault. Filing a personal injury claim in a no-fault state means showing proof that you have suffered severe injuries or have incurred medical bills exceeding $2,000 due to the accident. Doing so might also get you compensation for lost wages and emotional damages depending on the specifics of your claim.
Statute of Limitations
Remember that not all states have the same laws or provisions regarding accident claims. Check which statute related to personal injury or vehicle damage claims applies to your case and how much time a person has to file his or her motorcycle claims before forfeiting any chance of getting compensation for damages.
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