Because of the high-exposure nature of motorcycles as a vehicle injuries can be very severe. And because some driver forget to properly look before changing lanes, roads can become dangerous places for motorcycle drivers.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Many times, insurance companies give the public the impression that handling motorcycle accident claims is a simple matter that does not require the assistance of an attorney. Insurance adjusters are trained to reduce the recoveries of people who are uneducated in handling these types of claims.
The only way to make sure that you get fair compensation for your injury is for you to have an attorney who is well prepared and will fight for your rights. Otherwise, you will find yourself at a significant disadvantage in fairly resolving your claim.
Insurance companies often want to take a recorded statement of an unrepresented person so that they can obtain information that can be used against that person. The insurance company will downplay any damage done to the vehicles and assert that there is no way that someone could sustain a personal injury based on such a “minimal” impact.
The insurance company will often hire expert witnesses to testify that a person was not injured in a specific motorcycle collision. The bottom line is they will do everything they can to deny or delay paying on any claim. Our job is to work hard to prevent this from happening.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Since most drivers in motorcycle accidents are severely hurt, these suggestions apply for other rider (if the accident happened in a group ride) and for witnesses who are friends of the rider.
- Check to see if everyone is okay
- Call police and/or 911
- Obtain the names, address, other contact information, insurance information, vehicle license plate numbers, vehicle identification numbers (VIN), company name(s) and driver’s license numbers of everyone involved
- Get names, address and telephone numbers of any witnesses
- Registration and Driver’s License are the only 2 items that are required by law to be presented on demand, if the police officer asks for it, at the accident scene. If you do not possess these items, you are subject to a citation for both items.
- People have a tendency to say “entirely too much” to the police at the scene of an accident (please remember number 5)
- Photograph the scene before vehicles have moved
- Preserve as much evidence as you can
Getting Back on Track After a Motorcycle Accident
- See a doctor right away. Be sure any passengers on your motorcycle also see a physician.
- DON’T APOLOGIZE. DON’T ADMIT FAULT.
- If you were driving the motorcycle or if you owned the motorcycle notify your insurance carrier.
- While everything is still fresh in your mind, write down everything you can remember about the crash, including what you were doing, where you were going, the people you were with, the time, the weather conditions, and anything else that comes to mind.
- Consult an attorney.
- Do not talk to anyone except your doctor or attorney about the accident or your injuries.
- Do not sign anything unless you completely understand what you’re signing and it has been explained to you and explained you by your attorney.
- Do not accept any settlement offer without first consulting an attorney.
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Here are some questions to ask a prospective attorney:
- How long have they been in practice?
- Is their practice focused on Injury cases?
- Do they list examples of Settlements and Verdicts on their website?
- Do they ACTUALLY take cases to trial?
- Have they been recognized for their achievements?
- Are they actively connected with the community? (Remember a good lawyer must be able to connect with the men and women of their community who serve on juries)
- Do they have resources to handle litigation?
- Do they maintain an extensive website showing their history, credentials, and success?
For more information about Motorcycle Accidents, Insurance Coverage for Motorcycle Owners and Riding Tips in Florida, you can request a free copy of our consumer guide titled: Florida Motorcycle Accidents, in the Consumer Guides Section.