For those who haven’t suffered a motorcycle accident, it can be difficult to understand the shock and trauma. It’s a disorienting, painful experience worsened by the fear and worry of how the crash will affect your finances and future health.
You likely have many questions. Who pays for your medical treatment? What if your bike was totaled? What if you suffer permanent disability as a result of the crash?
We’ll cover what to do immediately after a motorcycle wreck, the insurance company’s obligations, and when to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.
The Emotional Aftermath
It’s okay to feel scared or angry after a motorcycle crash. Accidents are highly traumatic events, and we have little control over what happens to us in those chaotic seconds.
Try to remain calm; take deep breaths, and think about what you need to do next. The most important action you can take is to call the police to document the crash and any witness statements. If you or someone is hurt, request emergency medical services.
Exchange information with the other vehicle operator and take photos of the scene. Make sure the other driver gives a statement to the police officer.
Get Medical Treatment
80% of motorcycle accidents result in rider injuries.
The most common motorcycle injuries are lower limb fractures to the tibia and fibula. Riders are also more likely to suffer broken arms and wrists, rib fractures, concussions, skull fractures, and lacerations (road rash) because of how exposed they are to other vehicles and the road.
Even if you feel fine or the EMTs clear you, go to an urgent care clinic or schedule a visit with your primary care doctor for further evaluation. Some accident injury symptoms can take hours or days to appear as the powerful cocktail of adrenaline and endorphins fades.
Seeking medical treatment quickly not only helps protect you from long-term health complications, it also means the insurance company has less reason to deny you compensation for your losses.
Filing a Claim With the Insurance Company
As intense as the crash and emergency room gauntlet can be, fighting the insurance company for proper compensation is an entirely different battle. Insurance companies are notorious for how they treat injured motorcycle riders. They often see bikers as irresponsible and reckless and will use any excuse to try to deny their personal injury claims.
Most motorcycle riders are law-abiding operators. They don’t deserve what happened to them and shouldn’t bear the consequences when a driver of a larger and more dangerous vehicle was negligent.
If an at-fault driver strikes a motorcyclist with their vehicle or somehow caused harm to befall a rider, that person’s insurance company may be legally obligated to cover the repair costs, medical costs, and other damages, including pain and suffering.
When filing a motorcycle accident claim with the insurance company having the proper evidence, such as police accident report and photos, is key to ensuring your claim is accepted. But even if the car insurance company accepts that the insured was at-fault for the accident, they may still try to get out of the full responsibility of covering all the costs.
The insurance adjuster may try to offer you a settlement check. This check will look tempting, but such offers rarely cover the ongoing medical treatment and other related expenses that will accrue over the next several weeks and months. Accepting a settlement check without consulting an attorney first could leave you on the hook for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Motorcycle crashes often cause injuries that require surgery or other extensive medical treatment. An injured rider may spend days or weeks in the hospital.
A motorcycle accident lawyer who specializes in personal injury law can evaluate your specific case and estimate how much financial compensation you may receive based on the following:
- Medical treatment (including prescriptions, physical therapy, mileage, etc.)
- Lost wages from missing work
- Loss of earning capacity if you become disabled
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death if a loved one died in the crash
To receive an estimate of how much your motorcycle injury claim might be worth, contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates for a free case evaluation. An expert motorcycle accident attorney can review your claim and answer any questions you may have regarding your legal rights.
A traumatic motorcycle wreck may have upended your life, but that doesn’t mean you must endure the recovery process alone. Our compassionate legal team has helped hundreds of injured riders over the years receive the medical care and financial settlements they deserve, with many returning to the open road once they’ve recovered.