By: KGD Law
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Personal Injury Lawsuits and Motorcycles
There are many motorcycle accidents each year that result in personal injury lawsuits because another party was at-fault. Unfortunately, many of these auto accidents cause great damages including the loss of life. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, there are a few things you should know about handling the accident and pursuing a lawsuit.
Step 1: Mitigate Damages
The first thing you need to do if you’ve been in an accident is to mitigate further damages. You may be injured, but do everything you can to get yourself out of the roadway. If you can, help others to do the same.
If you are in a passenger vehicle involved in a motorcycle accident, help to make sure everyone is out of harm’s way. Set up road flares to notify traffic. Above all, call the police.
The first part of any auto accident is always safety. Help to prevent people from getting injured more than they already are.
Step 2: Gather Evidence
Nearly everyone has a smartphone or some electronic device to take pictures. If you are conscious and able, now is the time to gather evidence. Having any proof of road conditions, vehicle locations, or even your own injuries is important. It can go a long way toward getting an insurance settlement whether it occurs in or out of court.
Part of your evidence should also be witnesses. Try to get the contact information of anyone on the scene. You or your lawyer can check for traffic cameras later. Getting the names of people at the scene is more effective at the scene.
Of course, if you are injured, don’t risk further injury in order to get evidence. Listen to the EMTs, and make sure you are safe. Ultimately, your safety is still the number one priority at this point.
Step 3: See a Doctor
If you aren’t significantly injured in a motorcycle accident, then you should still see a doctor. There are many injuries that you may not be able to detect until later on, such as neck or back injuries. A medical provider can also check for signs of a head injury.
Aches and pains may be something you think you can shrug off, but most aches and pains from auto accidents take time to recover from. Report every injury, no matter how minor. Not only will it ensure that you get proper care, but it will be documented as further evidence of your injuries.
Step 4: Attend to Your Vehicle
If you are planning on getting your motorcycle back in working order, take it to a mechanic and get an estimate. If you are planning on doing the work yourself, keep receipts and document the time you spend working on your bike.
An estimate will allow you to get compensation prior to fixing your bike, so you don’t have to pay for it upfront. In any case, any documentation of costs associated with your auto can be added to your losses. The courts will consider this among your monetary losses.
If your bike is totaled, the courts will probably look at the NADA guide to find its market value. Depending on the case, you may be awarded extra value for add-ons, but it is best to get that covered in your motorcycle insurance prior to an accident.
Step 5: Speak to a Lawyer
You may take some of these steps out of order, but eventually, you really should speak to a lawyer. Many personal injury lawyers will give no-obligation consultations about your case. They allow you to get the information you need to determine whether or not you want to file a suit.
Part of the information you’ll get when you talk to a lawyer is about the legal process, but they’ll also give you their thoughts on whether or not the person was liable. Florida is a comparative fault state. This works in favor of the injured party many times because they are entitled to some damages from the courts even when they are partially at fault. However, the courts reduce the damages by their amount of fault, so it can make filing a case not worth it.
Your lawyer will let you know if they will take your case, but they’ll also tell you that most cases rarely go as planned. This is where you need to determine whether you want to accept the risk of filing a lawsuit. It costs a lot in time in emotion (sometimes), and you cannot always predict the outcome.
Step 6: Seek Emotional Support
Whether or not you decide to file a case, seek out emotional support to reach a satisfied conclusion to your accident. You don’t want to waste any more time than you need to ponder whether or not you should have done things differently. A support system can help you move on.
Support systems can be family, friends, support groups, or counselors. Whoever they are, take the time to voice your concerns about your accident, and get it all off of your chest. Accidents can take a toll on a person even when the body has healed.
Step 7: Engage in Prevention Efforts
Your motorcycle accident may not have been your fault, but there might be something you could have done to make the end result better. This may be ensuring that you don’t pass when people have the ability to turn left. It may be investing in better protection gear. Don’t beat yourself up if you find there was something you could have done. Instead, fix it.
Motorcycle riding is not terribly dangerous, or nobody would do it. The problem is that when accidents do happen, people get hurt because they don’t have the protection of an enclosed vehicle.
Additionally, if you feel you don’t have the skill to avoid some accidents that might be avoidable, invest in an advanced motorcycle training class. This will help you to get your skills, but it will also help you to regain your confidence out on the road.
Don’t let one motorcycle accident stop you from riding because you are scared of getting into another one. Instead, find out ways to continue to ride in a safe manner. If you can’t ride with confidence, you probably shouldn’t be riding.
Personal Injury Lawsuits and Motorcycles
The seven steps listed above are only an example of the steps you may need to take if you are in a motorcycle accident. Every individual’s different experience will vary some. However, each step listed above provides a decent list of things you should consider following a motorcycle accident and personal injury lawsuits.
In the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident, the most important thing is to heal and prevent further damages. This means continuing medical care until your injuries are as healed as possible. Physical therapy and other continued efforts may be necessary to make a full recovery. In the meantime, you can talk to a lawyer about filing a personal injury lawsuit to try to recover some of your damages
If you’d like to speak to a personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle lawsuits, contact the Law Offices of Kirshner, Groff, and Diaz for a no-obligation consultation. Find out if you should file a lawsuit to recover some of what you have lost.