5 Questions Motorcycle Riders Will Have After An Accident (And the Answers You Need)
It is the hope of everyone who climbs on a motorcycle or behind the wheel of a car that they never get into an accident. However, statistically it is likely to happen at some point, and especially for motorcyclists, there are mistakes you can make and things you do not know that can seriously damage your ability to recover the damages you are owed if you are a victim in an accident. Here are 5 questions we expect you to ask, and their answers.
- I Was In An Accident, What Should I Do First? – The first two things you should do, before anything else is 1. Make sure the police are called; and 2. Get medical attention. A completed police report is important because it is necessary to collect pertinent information from all witnesses and parties as soon as possible. The at fault party may be sympathetic and apologetic at the scene, but they often become less cooperative when their insurance carrier is facing losses they are responsible for. This immediate statement to police is insurance against a change in their story later. Even more important is the need for immediate medical attention. Due to the lack of protection from collision offered by motorcycles, bike accidents can be especially traumatic. Even if you feel fine, adrenaline may be masking the pain of serious injuries, especially to the head and neck. Documenting that you were concerned enough to seek medical attention is also important to your case.
- What Should I Do Next? – As a general rule, you should keep any torn clothing, damaged protective gear, and anything else related to your collision as evidence. If you cannot keep the actual items, get as many date-of-accident photographs as possible. Furthermore, never give a statement to insurance agents or investigators without speaking to a lawyer first. Only speak about your accident to family and your doctors, and be sure to avoid and remove posts about your accident on social media, even from concerned family and friends. You should keep a personal daily journal about changes in your routine, feelings, and ability levels that may be related to your accident.
- Do I Really Need A Lawyer? – In the state of Louisiana the law is generally not on the side of the motorcycle rider. Hollywood’s “bad boy” image for motorcyclists, coupled with multiple instances of police bias against riders as well as the perception by district attorneys that motorcycle cases are difficult to win means that motorcycle riders will need an advocate. Making sure that your case is evaluated fairly and giving you the best chance at a fair recovery is a job best suited to an experienced motorcycle attorney and legal team.
- Do I Have A Case Even Without Motorcycle Insurance or a Motorcycle License? – Generally, the answer is yes. However, without these things, you might be issued a citation or have a reduction in the possible amount of recovery you can receive. However, lacking these things does not mean you are the at-fault party in your accident or that you were being negligent. Accordingly, you absolutely may have a valid case despite not having proper endorsement or insurance. However, in order to protect yourself and your recovery, you should do everything you can to have adequate insurance coverage and the proper endorsement to operate a motorcycle.
- Will I Really Have To Go To Trial? – The vast majority of personal injury cases for our firm and for most Louisiana attorneys end in a settlement before going all the way to trial. Our research and discovery process and that of every experienced attorney is designed to find and present the facts in such a way that the insurance company has no choice but to make a fair settlement offer.
The goal is your recovery though, and if we must go to trial to hold the at-fault party and their insurance carrier responsible for that recovery, we want to be as prepared as possible. Every qualified attorney should always be prepared, and always prepare their client, to go to trial if necessary. Our goal is not the path of least resistance, it is recovering you as much of the compensation you need to recover from your accident as it is humanly possible to recover.