Personal Injury Lawyer
Statistics show that more than half of all collisions between a motorcycle rider and a driver are primarily the fault of the driver. Studies suggest that drivers just don’t notice motorcycles, in part because they are watching for larger vehicles.
Drivers also tend to underestimate the speed of motorcycles. They pull into the road in front of motorcycles, or they make a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle because they misjudge the motorcyclist’s ability to stop.
Careless judgment and the failure to make a careful observation of traffic are just two ways in which driver negligence contributes to motorcycle accidents. When drivers are negligent, injured motorcycle riders can bring accident claims against them. Proving the claim, however, requires evidence.
Contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer for advice is the best way to assure that accident evidence is preserved. There are, however, important steps that a motorcyclist can take before leaving the accident scene.
Preserving Evidence of a Motorcycle Accident Scene
An injured motorcyclist should make his or her health a first priority. Have someone call 911 if you need an ambulance. Immediate care is essential if you might have a head injury, if you suffered a serious burn, if you might have broken a bone, or if the motorcycle fell on your body, potentially damaging your organs. If you have any doubt about your ability to make your way to a clinic, ask for an ambulance to take you to an emergency room.
It is also essential to call the police immediately to report the accident. Unless a paramedic takes you to the hospital, stay at the accident scene until an officer arrives. The officer will conduct a preliminary accident investigation.
If the other driver appears anxious to leave, politely remind the driver that the law requires drivers to stay at the scene of injury accidents. Ask to see a driver’s license to verify the driver’s identity. Make a note of the make, model, and license plate of the car that hit you.
If you have a smartphone and are able to do so, take pictures of the accident scene. Photos of your bike laying on the ground, closeups of damage, and pictures of visible dents or paint transfers on the vehicle that hit you are particularly valuable. It is also helpful to take pictures of accident debris in the road and skid marks or any other evidence that might assist in reconstructing the collision.
If you see people who might have witnessed the accident, ask them to wait for the police to arrive. If they want to leave, try to get names and phone numbers so your motorcycle lawyer can get statements from them.
Preserving Evidence After You Leave the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident
Talk to a lawyer before you get your motorcycle repaired. If your insurance company wants to take the motorcycle for salvage, don’t surrender it without legal advice. A mangled motorcycle may be a powerful exhibit at trial.
Accident victims also have a legal obligation to preserve evidence until lawyers or insurers for the negligent party have an opportunity to inspect it. You may damage your case if you repair or junk a motorcycle before the trial.
In addition to proving how the accident happened, you will need to prove the extent of your injuries. To do that, it is essential that you see a doctor promptly and follow your doctor’s advice. Medical records are critical to motorcycle accident claims.
If your records show treatment gaps, the driver’s insurance company will claim that your injuries must have healed. If you resume treatment, the insurance company will attribute the treatment to a new injury. Keeping every medical appointment is the key to maximizing your injury compensation.
If you have questions about a wrongful death case, please contact a wrongful death attorney today.