California has an extensive freeway system with high traffic where motor vehicle accidents are, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence. Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries and fatalities. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration in its most recent annual report of crash statistics, there were 5,014 deaths and 84,000 injuries in motorcycle accidents in 2019.
If you or someone you love was injured, you may be wondering about what to do after a motorcycle accident. Here is a short guide on motorcycle accidents and settlements.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents usually happen because of someone’s negligence. If a motorcycle rider is not careful, they could disappear easily into a car’s blind spot because of their smaller size. If a car driver is not aware there’s a motorcycle nearby, they could collide with them without even seeing them. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Reckless driving;
- Driving between traffic lanes, e.g. lane-splitting; and
- Car drivers failing to yield to a motorcyclist’s right of way.
Driver error due and inexperience are also common causes. Riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car. For one thing, car drivers are much more protected if they get into an accident. Riding a motorcycle takes a lot more physical coordination and mental work. Even a brief distraction could be catastrophic. Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to dangerous road hazards and bad conditions. Speeding and drunk driving lead to more accidents for both drivers and motorcyclists, but more fatalities for people on motorcycles.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After you were in a motorcycle accident, you have two years to file a claim in California. Right after the accident, you must get immediate medical attention, even if you don’t seem badly injured. Certain injuries such as concussions, internal bleeding, or spinal cord injuries might not be obvious right away. However, they can cause serious problems down the road. The sooner you document your medical conditions after your accident, the stronger your legal case will be. Once you’ve seen a doctor, there are some things you should do next.
Avoid Speaking to the Insurance Company
If you were in an accident with another driver, you will likely have to deal with their insurance company. If it was just you, you’ll have to go through your own insurance. Either way, it is important that you give them only the most basic information. Do not give them a recorded statement without speaking to your lawyer. The insurance company will take any advantage to avoid paying your claim.
Call a California Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
A motor vehicle accident lawyer will deal with the insurance company on your behalf. They know what to say and what not to say to protect your interests. Most personal injury suits settle outside of court. When the insurance company won’t play fair, or the policy can’t cover your claim, then your attorney will take it to court. Your attorney will discuss your case with you and whether litigation would be a good option.
Preserve All Available Evidence
Whether you can settle your lawsuit or it’s going to trial, you need to have a strong case. You build your case with records of your injuries and expenses and documents regarding the incident and how your daily life changed. Your medical expenses will most likely be a large part of your claim, along with your lost wages or lost ability to work. You can also claim non-financial damages, like emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. To have a strong case for these damages, you need to have evidence to support your claim. Your lawyer will know how to present your evidence in the best way possible.
Silvia Injury Law: Your California Motor Vehicle Lawyers
After a motorcycle accident, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the pressure of figuring out what to do next. No matter how much you think you’re prepared for these situations, nobody ever really knows what to expect. Silva Injury Law, Inc. understands this, and we can fight for the compensation you need while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Our skilled California motorcycle attorneys practice with compassion and can handle your case from beginning to end. We never take on a case we are not prepared to take to trial. Contact us today to discuss your claim.