There are over 8 million motorcycles on the road in the United States today. One out of every 36 persons owns one. Yet despite this popular transportation mode, motorcyclists are over five times more likely to be injured in an accident than a car passenger.
Were you recently injured in a motorcycle accident? If you were, read further to find out what you should do after a motorcycle accident. Follow these steps to recover your damages as well as your health.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, your natural response is to feel pain or anger. The best move you can make is to keep your cool. Read further to find out why you should stay calm and put these steps into motion:
Get Medical Attention
Your first priority after your motorcycle accident is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Meet with your doctor to get their diagnosis and document how your injuries were caused the accident. Your doctor can also prepare a treatment plan for you that outlines what you need to do to fully recover.
Sometimes, accident injury symptoms aren’t apparent nor visible right away. Sometimes, swelling, pain or scar tissue forms days after the event occurred. Such symptoms are referred to as delayed onset injuries.
If you experience these systems after your motorcycle accident, call your doctor right away. They’ll be able to determine if your accident caused these delayed injuries.
Request a Copy of the Accident Report
In Iowa, a reportable crash for law enforcement is one where there is an injury or fatality. Law enforcement must also fill out a report if there appears to be $1.500 or more in vehicle or property damage. These reports include all investigation details and witness testimony who might have seen the event.
Use the facts from this report to help support your claim for repairs with your insurance company. You will also need this report if you decide to file a lawsuit in the local trial court system.
Create Your Own Accident File
This is the best time to arrange your own records and thoughts about the accident the way you remember it.
If you can, take pictures of the accident scene immediately. If you can’t take pictures right away, return to the scene later to take pictures for your own files. Download these pictures as well as pictures of any visible injuries you might have suffered.
If there were no police officers at the accident scene, be sure to ask for the names, addresses and phone numbers of all passengers and drivers involved in the accident. Collect contact information from any witnesses who might have seen the accident. Their testimony might be important if your case moves forward through the court system.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident or Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the justice system if you can prove the other driver’s careless or negligent behavior caused your injuries. Hire a personal injury lawyer so you can concentrate on getting your good health back.
When you begin to look for a motorcycle accident attorney, look for professionals with significant litigation knowledge. There might be a chance that you aren’t able to negotiate a settlement with the other accident parties. If this occurs, your case is filed with the court system and your personal injury lawyer is then responsible for representing you in the courtroom.
Review the Statute of Limitations for Your State
The statute of limitations are laws that identify the deadline you have after your accident to file your claim with the court. The Iowa Statute of Limitations for a motorcycle accident injury claim is two years after the accident. You can read more here on how this Des Moines law firm can help you meet these deadlines.
If a public or governmental employee is responsible for your injuries, you must file your formal claim with the government office where that employee works. This type of claim is called an administrative claim.
Administrative claims should be filed within six months after the date of the accident. Make sure your claim includes details on the time and place of the accident. You should also spell out the extent of your injuries and what property damages you incurred.
Possible Case Outcomes
Once you and your personal injury attorney have discussed these steps, you both can discuss what course of appropriate legal action comes next. Your motorcycle accident attorney might suggest that they prepare a demand for compensation letter on your behalf.
Demand for compensation letters outline why accident victims believe that the other person is responsible for their injuries. These letters can also summarize the total damages received and the costs necessary to fix them.
If the other party disagrees with or ignores a demand for compensation letter, victims can then file a legal claim for the damages. This claim alerts the local trial courts that a victim wants to recover their damages through the justice system. These claims are supported by the accident record documentation and the legal arguments from the victim’s personal injury lawyer.
If the responsible party wants to avoid legal expenses, they might offer to negotiate a settlement. Attorneys from both sides of the case can prepare a settlement that outlines a payment schedule and amounts due.
If you were recently injured in a motorcycle accident, your first priority should be regaining your good health. Schedule a doctor’s appointment right away so you can discuss your current symptoms. Ask them for their advice on how to recognize any delayed onset injuries.
Gather your own thoughts on the events leading up to the incident. Collect your own photos for your files. Review to make sure you have contact information for all drivers and passengers involved in the event.
You can also check out our website for more information on the personal injury process. If you need a motorcycle accident lawyer, we have over 300 law firms nationwide in our Halt Lawyer Directory. Let us help you find the best law office match nearest to you.