If you recently were involved in a motorcycle accident, then you know how alarming it can be. If you were injured because of another person’s or vehicle’s fault, then you may have a legal case on your hands. Read on to get our top questions and answers involving motorcycle accidents and your legal rights.
What are my first steps following a motorcycle accident involving a person or car?
Seek care for any injuries and take care of yourself. Then, consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible. If there is someone at fault in your case – and it’s not you – then you could seek compensation for damages to you and your property. Please remember that you should not sign anything – including insurance forms related to the accident – until you speak to an attorney. In addition, keep a good record of all paperwork related to your cases, such as your hospital bills, medical records and all receipts related to your care.
Should I contact the police about my motorcycle accident?
This actually should be your very first step. When an accident involves bodily harm, damage to a vehicle and in the worst cases, death, you need to get the police involved. They will write a report, which then becomes part of your legal case.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet when I was injured in a motorcycle accident. Can I still file a personal injury suit?
Because you were not wearing a helmet, you may be held accountable for contributing to your own injuries. However, that does not mean the person who caused the accident will not also be held accountable. This is true even in states with helmet laws. Your attorney can determine whether you have a case, but some type of monetary recovery may be possible.
Am I required to wear a helmet?
Helmet laws are state laws, so check your state’s laws and the laws of the states you plan to travel to on your motorcycle. That written it’s always a good idea to wear a helmet. It can be the difference between life and death – or a life of serious brain injury – following a motorcycle accident. It also contributes to overall lower health care and insurance premiums for the general population. When you don’t wear a helmet, you are increasing the possibility of causing problems not just for yourself but for others. The U.S. Department of Transportation approves certain helmets for safety. You can identify these approved helmets by looking for the “DOT” stamp on the helmet.
I was on a motorcycle going straight and a car turned left in front of me, which resulted in a collision. Who is liable?
Nearly one hundred percent of the time, the driver of the car making a left turn is held liable for the crash. Now that can change if you were speeding or if you ran a red light. Make sure the police document the crash, as this only builds your case.
What is the role of my health insurance during my recovery?
Your health insurance will take care of your recovery expenses. If you had to pay out of pocket, you could be reimbursed. Depending on the ruling in the case and if you are helping liable for any of the damages, you may have to pay back your insurance company out of your settlement.
Can you explain “comparative negligence?”
The term “comparative negligence” is used to describe when the fault is shared among the involved parties in the crash. For example, let’s say you were in a motorcycle accident in which a car hit you from behind. Later it is determined that your signal light was not working. You both may be held liable for the crash, to varying degrees. This doesn’t mean a settlement is mute. It just means you may share some of the faults.
Should I get an attorney involved?
It doesn’t hurt to get an attorney’s opinion on your motorcycle accident case. As an expert in personal injury law, an attorney is going to be able to analyze your case and determine whether you have the basis for a legal claim. Call for your free consultation today.