Motorcycle accident claims are tough; tough on the survivors and tough on the family of a rider who did not live as a result of a crash. Shockingly, motorbike crashes total over 8% of all traffic accidents in the US every year. The number of deaths represented by the 8% figure is 5,000 individuals lost and each year that passes, the numbers seem to creep up even higher.
In a poor economy the incident of bike accidents are even higher due to the fact that people have given up their cars and switched to bikes as a cheaper mode of transportation. While they are cheaper, they are also a great deal more dangerous, as the rider has no protection to speak of other than a helmet, if they choose to wear one, and leather chaps.
Neither of these nods to safety will save a biker if the bike is laid down, slams into a guardrail, rear ends a stopped car after it cut in front of the bike, or is broadsided by an inattentive driver. Motorcycle accidents need the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney who will be able to ensure justice is done for a rider who may have been harmed through no fault of their own.
If you survived a motorcycle crash, speak to an attorney immediately and be upfront and detailed about the facts of the incident. If you feel you may have also been at fault, tell the attorney that right away. Do not share this information with the insurance company at any point in time until you have spoken to your attorney.
Anything you say may come back to haunt you later during the settlement process or while the case is being litigated. Being honest about the facts of the case will ensure that the investigation your attorney carries out to gather evidence will support your claim.
Do not underestimate the nature of your injuries even if they appear to be mild. Motorcycle collision injuries have a habit of developing into something a lot worse than what they appeared to be at first blush. Make sure you get medical attention and complete documentation of all injuries and a letter from your doctor outlining how long you may take to recover.
If neck or back injuries are involved, you may need long-term therapy to get full mobility back. You may also need other medical tests, physiotherapy, pain medications and frequent visits to the doctor. These are things your motorcycle attorney needs to know to negotiate a claim for damages. If you don’t keep an exact inventory of the nature of your injuries, and something happens later down the road, you have no recourse.
During the course of trying to settle a motorcycle accident claim, the other person’s insurance company will be trying to get you to “settle up” as soon as they can. They may offer you what looks to be a terrific settlement and tell you that you don’t have to go through hiring a lawyer or even through the hassle of going to court.
Do not sign any documents the other party offers you or agree to any settlements offered. Speak to your attorney first and find out what the insurance company doesn’t want you to know – that if you hire a skilled personal injury attorney, your settlement will be higher than what they would ever pay you.
Insurance companies are not in the business of insuring people because they want to be your friend. They are in the business to “be in business” and their bottom line is what drives their desire to settle quickly and lowball you. In other words, don’t sign anything you are offered, including a release until consulting with an attorney.
Even though you may be badly hurt, you need to file your motorcycle accident claim as soon as possible. If you wait too long, not only will the evidence be destroyed, but you may also not be able to file a claim if you don’t meet the requirements of the Statute of Limitations. In most states this may run between one to three years. In addition, the longer you wait to file, the longer it takes to get your settlement from the insurance company.
Whatever the reasons were for your accident, the injuries you sustained may change your life. You may have a right to sue to recover damages for pain and suffering, medical bills and even punitive damages. In order for an attorney to assess your case, you need to provide all the information you can, including medical records, photos of the scene of the accident, insurance information, etc.
You also need to speak to an attorney immediately and not wait or valuable evidence may wind up being lost, which may affect your ability to file suit. The Atkinson Law Firm knows that time is of the essence in matters such as this, and handles each case expeditiously and aggressively. They know that each case they agree to litigate is important to the person who has brought it to them and personally deal with each client. When the law matters, The Atkinson Law Firm is there to make it work for you.