Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle Collision Case: Mistakes to Avoid to Win the Case

Man riding a Harley Davidson bike fast through a woody road.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Mistake 1: Leaving the Crash Site

III. Mistake 2: Failure to Seek Medical Attention

IV. Mistake 3: Not Reaching Out to the Police

V. Mistake 4: Quick-Settlement Acceptance

VI. Mistake 5: Not Collecting Evidence

VII. Mistake 6: Not Hiring the Right Attorney

VIII. Conclusion

Introduction

You could experience shock, confusion, and fear when a motorbike crash occurs. It can be challenging to decide what to do in this demanding situation. However, you know that accidents can happen while riding your bicycle. Accordingly, you should be knowledgeable about what to do whenever it happens. 

As a rule, insurance companies investigate the accident for some of the same reasons. It is worth stating that insurance companies want to minimize their losses and avoid paying as much money as possible. In a motorbike crash case, you need to ensure that your rights are protected and your interests are adequately protected.

Poorly handled motorbike accidents can have serious consequences such as lost wages, pain, suffering, and even wrongful death. It would be best to continue reading this article to have more information. Listed below are some mistakes you should avoid winning your claim regarding your motorcycle collision case.

Motorcycle laying on the pavement after suffering accident.
Image by Franz P. Sauerteig from Pixabay

Mistake 1. Leaving the Crash Site

Leaving the scene of a motorcycle accident is a grave error that can significantly jeopardize your chances of obtaining fair compensation from insurance companies and responsible parties. This mistake can have far-reaching consequences, so it's essential to understand why it should be avoided, how it can impact your case, how to prevent it, and the proper way to address this situation.

Why Leaving the Crash Site is a Mistake:

  1. Loss of Crucial Evidence: One of the most compelling reasons to remain at the crash site is the preservation of vital evidence. The accident scene can tell a story that words alone cannot convey. Skid marks, debris, vehicle positions, and road conditions are all pieces of the puzzle that accident reconstruction experts use to determine fault. If you leave, you forfeit the opportunity to collect this critical evidence.
  2. Challenging Claim Validation: Departing the accident scene prematurely can cast doubt on the legitimacy of your claim. Insurance companies may question your motives for leaving, assuming you have something to hide or that the accident was not as serious as you claim. This skepticism can make it harder to secure compensation for your injuries and damages.
  3. Legal and Ethical Obligation: In many jurisdictions, staying at the scene of an accident is a legal obligation. Fleeing the scene can lead to criminal charges, including hit-and-run offenses, which can have severe legal consequences, including fines and potential imprisonment.

How Leaving the Scene Can Affect Your Compensation:

When you leave the crash site, you inadvertently provide the insurance companies with ammunition to dispute your claim. They may argue that your departure undermines the credibility of your injuries and the severity of the accident. As a result, you might receive a lower settlement offer, or your claim could be denied altogether.

How to Avoid This Mistake:

First and foremost, remain calm and composed, even in the midst of a harrowing situation. Next, if it's safe to do so, move yourself and your motorcycle to a secure area to prevent further accidents or hazards. Check for injuries, not only on yourself but on others involved, and seek medical assistance immediately if necessary. Additionally, promptly contact the authorities and emergency services, notifying them of the accident. Lastly, exchange contact and insurance information with other parties involved in the accident. By following these steps diligently, you can significantly enhance your chances of handling the situation effectively and ultimately securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Side angle of motorcycle with man on top ready to take off long road.
Image by jcomp on Freepik

Mistake 2. Failure to Seek Medical Attention

Failing to seek immediate medical attention after a motorcycle accident is a critical mistake that can have profound repercussions on both your health and your legal case. This error can be displayed as negligence on your part, potentially leading insurance companies and the court to question the severity of your injuries and the legitimacy of your claim.

Why Failing to Seek Medical Attention is a Mistake:

  1. Negligence Implication: When you delay seeking medical care, it may be interpreted as negligence, suggesting that you didn't take your injuries seriously or failed to address them promptly. This can give insurance companies grounds to dispute your claim, arguing that you bear some responsibility for the worsening of your condition.
  2. Worsening of Injuries: Some injuries may not manifest immediate symptoms, and their severity can worsen over time if left untreated. For example, a fractured bone that goes untreated may heal improperly, leading to long-term complications. In such cases, insurance companies may argue that your delayed treatment contributed to the complications, further complicating your claim.
  3. Underestimation of Injuries: Many accident victims underestimate the extent of their injuries, assuming they are not severe enough to warrant medical attention. However, certain injuries, such as internal bleeding or concussion, may not exhibit obvious symptoms initially but can have severe consequences if left untreated.

Common Injuries After Motorcycle Accidents:

It's crucial to recognize the types of injuries that motorcyclists commonly face, including those that may not immediately display symptoms:

  1. Road Rash: Abrasions and lacerations from contact with the road surface.
  2. Fractures: Broken bones, which can range from minor to severe.
  3. Head Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, or skull fractures.
  4. Spinal Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord, leading to paralysis or other long-term issues.
  5. Internal Injuries: Injuries to organs or blood vessels, often not immediately apparent.
  6. Soft Tissue Injuries: Damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  7. Psychological Trauma: Emotional and psychological distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How to Avoid This Mistake:

To avoid this critical mistake, prioritize your health and well-being immediately after a motorcycle accident:

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Even if you believe your injuries are minor or not immediately apparent, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional promptly. They can evaluate your condition thoroughly, identify hidden injuries, and document your medical records.
  2. Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to your doctor's recommendations regarding treatment, medication, and follow-up care. This not only aids in your recovery but also strengthens your legal case by demonstrating your commitment to addressing your injuries.
  3. Document Everything: Keep records of all medical appointments, diagnoses, treatments, and expenses. This documentation can serve as vital evidence in your insurance claim or potential lawsuit.

In summary, never underestimate the importance of seeking immediate medical attention after a motorcycle accident, regardless of how you feel initially. It's a crucial step in protecting both your health and your legal rights, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. Delaying care can be interpreted as negligence, potentially undermining your case and leaving you with long-term health issues that could have been prevented.

Female doctor holding a sticky note with the words  "no"
Image by stockking on Freepik

Mistake 3. Not Reaching Out to the Police

One of the most significant oversights you can make after a motorcycle accident is failing to contact the police. This error can have far-reaching consequences, both in terms of your immediate well-being and the success of your insurance claim and potential legal proceedings. Here's why it's crucial to reach out to law enforcement after an accident:

Police Report for Insurance Claims: The police play a pivotal role in facilitating the insurance claim process. They create an official police report that documents the details of the accident, including the parties involved, witness statements, and their assessment of fault. This report serves as a critical piece of evidence for your insurance claim, helping to substantiate your side of the accident story.

Protection and Emergency Services: In the chaotic aftermath of a motorcycle accident, the presence of the police can provide protection and order. They can secure the accident scene, direct traffic, and ensure everyone's safety. Additionally, if injuries are severe, the police can promptly call for emergency medical services, ensuring that injured parties receive the necessary medical attention without delay.

Identifying Hit-and-Run Offenders: If the other driver involved in the accident attempts to flee the scene, involving the police is essential. They have the expertise and resources to initiate a proper investigation, including identifying the suspect through vehicle information and witness statements. This increases the chances of bringing the hit-and-run perpetrator to justice.

Police as Witnesses: In the unfortunate event that your case reaches the court, having the police involved from the beginning can be invaluable. They can serve as credible witnesses, providing detailed accounts of the accident scene and their interactions with the parties involved. Their unbiased perspective can carry significant weight in establishing the facts of the case, especially if you were not at fault.

Body Cam Footage and Precision: Many police officers now wear body cameras, which can capture crucial footage of the accident scene and interactions with the involved parties. This footage can serve as additional evidence and is often viewed as highly reliable. Moreover, police officers are trained to document accident scenes with precision, ensuring that important details are recorded accurately.

In summary, failing to reach out to the police after a motorcycle accident is a mistake with potentially dire consequences. They play a multifaceted role, from creating an essential police report for insurance purposes to ensuring your safety, identifying hit-and-run offenders, and serving as credible witnesses in legal proceedings. Their presence and involvement not only help protect your immediate interests but also significantly strengthen your position in the event of an insurance claim or lawsuit. It's a crucial step in ensuring justice and fair compensation after an accident.

Police car closeup of the roof sirens
Image by Franz P. Sauerteig from Pixabay

Mistake 4. Quick-Settlement Acceptance

Settling your injury claim swiftly may seem like an attractive option, offering the promise of quick financial relief. However, it's crucial to delve into the reasons why insurance companies often present lowball settlement offers initially and why accepting such offers can be detrimental to motorcycle accident victims.

Lowball Settlement Offers: Insurance companies have a vested interest in minimizing payouts. They often make lowball settlement offers initially as a strategic move. This tactic serves to reduce their financial liability and close the case swiftly. By offering a fraction of what victims may deserve, they hope to save money and dissuade claimants from pursuing further legal action.

Impact on Motorcycle Accident Victims: Accepting a quick and inadequate settlement can severely impact accident victims, especially in cases involving serious injuries. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage, may require long-term, costly medical treatment and rehabilitation. Victims who accept quick settlements risk being left with insufficient funds to cover their current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Long-Term Treatment Costs: Certain motorcycle accident injuries demand extensive and ongoing medical care. For instance, a victim with a spinal cord injury may require lifelong rehabilitation, mobility aids, and adaptive living arrangements. Similarly, traumatic brain injuries may necessitate long-term therapy and specialized medical attention. Quick settlements rarely account for the extensive, ongoing costs associated with these injuries.

Consulting an Attorney: To navigate the complex terrain of personal injury claims effectively, accident victims should consult with an experienced attorney. Attorneys understand how the insurance system operates and how judges may view their cases. They can assess the evidence in their client's favor and provide informed guidance on whether to accept a settlement or pursue legal action.

Example: Consider a scenario where a motorcyclist, John, sustains a severe spinal cord injury in an accident caused by a negligent driver. The insurance company representing the at-fault driver offers John a quick settlement of $20,000. Eager to alleviate immediate financial burdens, John contemplates accepting the offer. However, he consults an attorney who reviews the case and evaluates the long-term implications of his injury.

The attorney determines that John's spinal cord injury requires extensive rehabilitation, ongoing medical treatment, and adaptive living accommodations. They estimate the total cost of these expenses to be over $1 million throughout John's lifetime. Armed with this information, John's attorney advises him not to accept the lowball settlement and instead pursue a more substantial claim to secure the financial support needed for his long-term care.

In this example, seeking legal counsel prevents John from making a costly mistake by accepting an inadequate settlement. It underscores the importance of consulting an attorney who can assess the full scope of the victim's injuries and advocate for their best interests in the negotiation process.

Woman baffled by an offer made by insurance company
Image by yanalya on Freepik

Mistake 5. Not Collecting Evidence

In personal injury claims, evidence is the foundation upon which your case rests. It plays a critical role in establishing fault, influencing the case's outcome, and determining the compensation you receive. Having a solid body of evidence is not merely a suggestion; it's a necessity to prevent lengthy legal proceedings and ensure you receive a just settlement. Here's why collecting evidence is crucial, how it strengthens your position in negotiations, and why it's essential to be cautious about sharing too much information.

The Power of Evidence: Evidence is the bedrock of any personal injury claim. It's what substantiates your version of events, establishes fault, and validates the extent of your injuries and damages. Without compelling evidence, your claim lacks the necessary support to succeed, whether in negotiations or court.

Negotiation Leverage: Amassing a wealth of compelling evidence is the surest way to build negotiation leverage. A well-documented case is more likely to encourage insurance companies to settle for a substantial amount. Avoiding protracted court battles benefits both parties by saving time and avoiding court fees. However, insurance companies may resist substantial settlements, necessitating a strong evidentiary foundation to tip the scales in your favor.

The Inherent Value of Evidence: Every accident, including motorcycle collisions, contains evidence waiting to be gathered. This extends beyond photographs and videos; it includes witness statements, accident reports, medical records, and a meticulous account of the accident's details. There is no such thing as too much evidence; the more, the better.

Oversharing and Admissions: While collecting evidence is crucial, it's equally essential to exercise caution in conversations with other victims, insurance adjusters, and even the police. Avoid disclosing excessive information or admitting guilt. Consult with your attorney before making any statements. This principle extends to social media, as insurance companies may scrutinize your online presence. A seemingly harmless post or comment can be used against you during negotiations or in court.

Example: Imagine you're involved in a motorcycle accident where a negligent driver ran a red light and collided with you. At the scene, you gather extensive evidence, including photographs of the intersection, damage to your motorcycle, and your visible injuries. You also secure the contact information of several witnesses who saw the incident unfold.

Upon contacting the negligent driver's insurance company, they offer you a quick, lowball settlement. However, you consult with your attorney, who advises against accepting the offer. Instead, your attorney compiles all the evidence meticulously and prepares a compelling case. During negotiations, the weight of your evidence forces the insurance company to reconsider, ultimately leading to a settlement that adequately covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

In this scenario, the power of evidence, combined with prudent legal counsel, enables you to secure a just settlement, showcasing the pivotal role that evidence plays in the negotiation process.

Mistake 6. Not Hiring the Right Attorney

When facing a legal issue, it is crucial to have the right attorney by your side. The wrong attorney can cost you time, money, and even your case. Here are some things to consider when hiring an attorney:

a. Make Sure the Attorney Is Experienced in the Area of Law You Need Help With

Just because an attorney is a licensed attorney does not mean they are experienced in all areas of law. You would not go to a family doctor for brain surgery, so do not go to an attorney who does not specialize in the area of law you need help with.

b. Check the Attorney’s Credentials and Reviews

You can check an attorney's credentials by visiting their website or doing a Google search. You can also check reviews of the attorney by doing a Google search or visiting Avvo.com.

c. Make Sure You Feel Comfortable With the Attorney

This is important because you will be sharing sensitive information with the attorney. If you feel uncomfortable with the attorney, you will not be able to trust them fully, and they will not be able to represent you effectively.

d. Make Sure the Attorney Is Available

Some attorneys are very busy and may be unable to take your case. You should make sure the attorney is available to take your case and will have the time to dedicate to your lawsuit.

e. Get a Consultation

Most attorneys offer free consultations. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with the attorney, ask questions, and get a feel for their personality and style.

Hiring the right attorney is essential. Take your time, research, and find an attorney you are comfortable with.

Attorney hiring with a handshake.
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Conclusion

Knowing what to do in a motorbike accidents' chaotic and emotional scene might be challenging. You should avoid many mistakes to win your motorcycle crash claim. On the other hand, it's essential to know your rights, protect yourself, and ensure that your interests are adequately protected.

By being knowledgeable about those, you will be able to win your case and get the money you deserve. In that case, hiring a reliable attorney specializing in vehicular accidents would be beneficial.

If you need the best motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles, Mendez & Sanchez Law is the best for you! Our professional legal experts are here to help you through the challenging legal landscape as we pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us immediately!

FAQ's

Leaving the crash site is a mistake because it can lead to the loss of crucial evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of your claim, and may result in legal consequences.

Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial to assess and address injuries promptly, prevent potential complications, and establish the seriousness of your injuries for insurance claims.

Contacting the police is essential as they create an official accident report, ensure safety, identify hit-and-run offenders, serve as credible witnesses, and provide critical evidence for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Accepting a quick settlement can be a mistake because insurance companies often offer lowball settlements initially, which may not cover long-term treatment costs or other damages. Consulting an attorney can help assess the true value of your claim.

Evidence is crucial as it substantiates your claim, strengthens your negotiation position, and can be used in court if necessary. Collecting evidence is essential for building a compelling case and securing fair compensation.

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