9 Things to Consider When Filing for Motorcycle Injury Claims
Accidents and injuries involving motorcycles are trickier to handle compared to those involving four-wheeled vehicles. There are certain limitations that only apply to motorcycles and their riders. For instance, motorcycle riders have less visibility to other vehicles and pedestrians, as well as need to wear protective gear while driving. In addition, motorcycle accidents can often cause worse injuries than other vehicular accidents.
If you’re a victim of a motorcycle accident and don’t know your rights or aren’t aware of the complexities of such a case, it may be difficult for you to get just compensation. Therefore, you should get the help of competent attorneys like Viviene Sandhu in filing your motorcycle injury claim. Having a reliable lawyer at your side will help you address the unique characteristics of your case and take into consideration factors like the following we list below.
Getting Medical Treatment
Even if you (or the offending party) don’t think that the injury is serious, it’s still best if you get medical treatment. This will establish the link between the accident and your injury. It will also start an important trail of documents to help with your injury claim.
Sometimes, the motorcycle accident may not have been caused entirely by the driver. For example, there may have been a pothole or an oil slick that caused the motorcycle to slip and hit you. This is dependent on the motorcycle owner to prove. Nonetheless, such conditions can affect your injury claim.
Behavior of the Driver
This may not be as easy to prove. Still, if you can gather evidence that the driver was engaging in risky behavior, it can certainly help your case. Some high-risk behaviors include speeding, accelerating too quickly, and tricky maneuvers.
One of the key factors in calculating the damages (and therefore the amount of the claim) is negligence. It could be that the driver is only partially at fault. It could also be that both you and the other party were both negligent. This is regardless whether the aggrieved party was driving a vehicle or not when the motorcycle collision occurred. Consult your lawyer on how to determine negligence and how it affects your case.
The Number and Kinds of Vehicles Involved
Were you hit by a motorcycle as you were crossing the road? Were you riding your motorcycle when you got into a collision with another motorcycle rider and got hurt? Were you hit by a four-wheeled vehicle while on your motorcycle? These factors can affect the complexity of your claim.
Motorcycle Modifications and Defects
The state of the motorcycle while it was being driven can be a huge influence on the results of your injury claim. There are motorcycle owners who customize their vehicles despite many of these modifications being strictly controlled or outright illegal. If it’s determined that the motorcycle in question has been modified illegally, the victim can more or less expect a positive outcome.
On the other hand, motorcycle accidents may also be caused by manufacturing or design defects. A defect may not be the sole reason for the accident and resulting injuries, but it’s certainly a contributor. Ask your lawyer regarding steps you can take in investigating whether the motorcycle involved has a manufacturing or design defect.
If you’re the motorcycle owner, you may be tempted to immediately repair your vehicle. However, this is not advisable. The motorcycle is a piece of evidence, which can show how serious the accident was. If you also sustained injuries in the accident (and not just a fellow motorist and/or a pedestrian), then the damaged motorcycle can also help prove your injury claim.
Meanwhile, if you’re the injured party, it’s best to coordinate with the motorcycle owner. Ask them to hold off on the repairs until everything has been finalized.
Ideally, you should be wearing protective gear like a helmet and elbow and knee pads when driving a motorcycle. However, if you ever get into an accident and injure yourself while not wearing such protection, you may still be entitled to compensation. The lack of safety gear will definitely affect the outcome, so consult with your lawyer regarding the best way to handle your case.
Photos and Other Evidence
As long as you are able, take pictures of evidence like the motorcycle itself, all vehicles and people involved in the accident, your injuries, the road conditions, and even road signs. You may also want to collect the names and contact details of witnesses, if any, since their testimony can help build your claim. If you can’t immediately take pictures due to severe injuries, ask your lawyer how you can gather these pieces of evidence.
We don’t want any accidents to happen. Perhaps this is why there are people who end up confused when these things do occur. Hopefully, this list can help you figure out the next steps you should take if you ever find yourself injured in a motorcycle accident.