You’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash. Now what? No doubt you have a lot of questions about the claims process: how to file when to contact the insurance company, and what evidence to provide. It’s natural to feel confused and even overwhelmed, especially if your financial security is at stake. But with the right approach, you may be able to recover the compensation you need to move on with life.
Below are a few tips to keep in mind after being injured in a motorcycle accident caused by a car. If you still have questions or if you’d like advice regarding your particular case, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Waks. Call (562) 206-1939 to set up a free consultation.
1. Call the Police
Even if nobody was seriously injured, you should still contact the police so an officer can direct traffic at the scene and create an accident report. The insurance company will want to see this report before approving your claim. It will contain important information about the crash including the time, date, and location; details about the drivers involved; and the apparent cause of the accident.
2. Gather evidence at the scene.
The scene of a motorcycle crash is inherently chaotic—especially when a person suffers an injury. But it’s important that you remain calm and gather evidence if you are able to do so.
Take photos of injuries, property damage (inside and outside of vehicles), the weather and road conditions, traffic signs, and skid marks. Be sure to capture both closeup and wide-angle shots.
Look around for surveillance cameras that might have captured the wreck. If you do not need emergency medical care, go to the business that owns the camera and ask to view the footage. Record it using your cell phone, and ask for a copy.
3. Write down the driver’s contact and insurance information.
The insurance company and your attorney will need the other driver’s contact and insurance details to investigate your case. To ensure your records are accurate, take a photo of the driver’s license, license plate tag, and insurance card.
4. Record the contact information of eyewitnesses.
Eyewitness testimony often plays a critical role in personal injury claims. If the other driver disputes liability, your motorcycle accident lawyer might bring in eyewitnesses to corroborate your version of events. Be sure to write down their full names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses. If they consent, use your cell phone to record their statements about what they saw in the moments leading up to the collision.
5. Visit a doctor.
To recover a fair settlement, you must be able to prove that the accident resulted in an injury or loss. If you wait too long to visit a doctor, the insurance adjuster might argue that your injury was caused by something else, or that you did not take steps to mitigate your damages.
All personal injury claimants must take reasonable steps to minimize the costs associated with treating their injuries. If you fail to seek a prompt medical evaluation, the insurer might argue that your own negligence contributed to the severity of your injuries and you are therefore liable for at least a portion of your damages.
6. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney.
After a serious crash, you might think contacting the insurance company would be a smart first step. But the insurer has incentive to find reasons to undervalue or deny your claim. It is not uncommon for claimants to make statements that jeopardize their cases, especially when the shock and trauma of the accident is still fresh.
The best way to protect your interests is to let a lawyer handle correspondence with the insurance adjuster on your behalf. Attorney Michael D. Waks has many decades of experience negotiating with insurance companies, and he knows the tactics they use to reduce their liability and dispute claims. He will make sure you are treated fairly and will help you take the necessary steps to give your claim the best possible chance of success.
7. Learn everything you can about the claims process.
Filing a personal injury claim is inherently stressful. This is especially true if you have incurred significant medical bills and lost income. With so much at stake, it’s only natural to feel nervous about the proceedings because they could have a major impact on your financial future. One way to alleviate this anxiety is to learn as much as you can about the claims process.
At the Law Office of Michael D. Waks, we can evaluate your situation for free and answer your questions. Our office is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call.
8. Stay off social media.
After being injured in a motorcycle crash, you’ll want to make sure your family and friends know that you’re okay. The easiest way to do this might be to publish a social media post about the incident, but doing so could actually harm your claim.
The insurance adjuster will likely review your social media profiles for evidence to use against you. Photos of your injuries, posts about your recovery, or pictures of you participating in physical activities could all be used to undermine the severity of your injuries. It’s best to play it safe and stay off social media entirely. You should also tell your friends and family not to post any photos of you or discuss your case online until your claim has been resolved.
9. Avoid costly mistakes that would jeopardize your case.
Posting about your case on social media is just one of many mistakes that could derail your claim. Here are a few other missteps you should avoid:
- Making a recorded statement to the claims adjuster;
- Failing to keep invoices and receipts for medical bills and other accident-related expenses;
- Accepting a settlement without your attorney’s approval;
- Failing to follow your doctor’s instructions; or
- Participating in strenuous activities that have the potential to aggravate your injury.
10. Keep a journal about your recovery.
The outcome of your case will ultimately hinge on the strength of the evidence you have to prove liability and damages. You can help your attorney prove the severity of your injuries by keeping a journal about your recovery. Make notes about how your injuries are affecting your everyday life and your relationships with loved ones. These entries might help your lawyer prove non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Discuss Your Case with a Long Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
Attorney Michael D. Waks is a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Long Beach with extensive experience representing motorcycle accident victims and their families. Michael can help you navigate every step of the claims process and avoid costly mistakes that would jeopardize your case.
Our law firm offers free initial consultations, and you won’t have to pay anything upfront to retain our legal services. We won’t charge any legal fees unless we win a settlement or trial verdict on your behalf, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a case review.
Call (562) 206-1939 today to get started. You can also reach us online using our Contact Form.
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