In the wake of a motorcycle crash, injured riders and their loved ones may feel overwhelmed and uncertain of the steps to take to protect their health and legal rights. This piece provides a quick run-down of some of the most important things to check on after a motorcycle crash to protect your medical and financial interests.
First, Check on Your Health by Going to the Doctor
The top priority for anyone who gets into a bike wreck is to make sure they receive necessary medical attention. A motorcycle accident can inflict serious injuries, especially when a rider or passenger gets thrown from the saddle onto the road surface or against another object, such as a vehicle or guardrail.
Some bike crash injuries are obvious, because you can see and feel them immediately. Road rash and broken limbs are common motorcycle injuries that fall into this category. Other injuries, however, might not manifest so immediately, even though they still may pose life-threatening health risks.
For instance, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries (SCI), or internal injuries, might only begin showing symptoms hours or days after a motorcycle accident. In fact, that’s part of what makes them so dangerous. By the time a biker senses that something is wrong, slow-emerging injuries may have worsened and could have a far more severe impact than if they had been treated immediately.
To protect yourself after a motorcycle accident, always seek medical attention as soon as possible. Let an EMT check you over at the scene of the crash, and go to the hospital in the ambulance if first responders advise you to. If an EMT doesn’t think you need emergency attention, schedule an appointment with your regular doctor, or visit a walk-in clinic, within 24 hours.
By getting medical attention right away, you will protect yourself against the worst injuries. You will also protect your legal and financial interests. Medical visits generate medical records, which lawyers for bike wreck victims can use to prove a case for damages. Going to the doctor also demonstrates that you took care of yourself, which can help establish causation between the accident and your injuries and also demonstrate that you are not at fault for your injuries worsening.
Next, Check on Your Insurance Situation
Chances are, a motorcycle accident will deliver a financial blow. You’re likely to face unexpected medical expenses. You may have expensive repairs to make to your motorcycle. And on top of all these sudden expenses, you may miss work while you recover from your injuries, losing the income that could help you pay for them.
Post-motorcycle-accident expenses can be prohibitive to pay out-of-pocket. That’s why motorcyclists carry insurance. In the aftermath of a motorcycle crash, check to see what expenses your insurance provider will cover in the short term by calling them or a knowledgeable attorney. Your health insurance, for example, may cover at least some of your medical costs. Long-term disability coverage, if you carry it, can make up for some income you might lose from missing work. Motorcycle insurance may cover repairs to your ride.
When speaking with your insurance companies, keep it simple, sharing only neutral details about your accident to get basic information about your coverage. Insurance companies make money by minimizing or denying claims. They could try to draw you into a discussion of the causes of the accident and later blame you for the crash so they can avoid liability. Avoid that discussion in the initial phases. You just want to find out what your insurance will cover in the short term, so you know where you stand financially.
Then, Check on Your Legal Rights
With those two immediate steps out of the way, it’s time to check on your legal rights. If the motorcycle accident that injured you happened because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or dangerous actions, you may have the right to take legal action seeking damages for your injuries and losses.
By filing a third-party insurance claim, a lawsuit, or both, a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer may help you recover compensation for your:
Medical and other crash-related expenses
Lost wages and income
Pain and suffering
The most reliable way to find out if you have the right to compensation for your motorcycle accident is to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible. Most motorcycle accident lawyers offer a free consultation so that you can learn about your rights without any financial worry.
In a consultation, a lawyer will usually want to hear about the details of the accident as you remember them, about your injuries and expenses, and your own insurance situation.
With that information in hand, a skilled attorney can form a picture of whether you have a potential claim for damages against the party at fault for the crash, such as:
Against a motorist who turned directly into your travel lane without seeing you on your motorcycle.
Against a manufacturer that produced defective parts for your bike, causing it to break down and get into a wreck.
Against a government road department for failing to post warnings about grooved pavement that caused you to lose control
These are just a few illustrations, of course. Every motorcycle accident is different. That’s why the best way to learn about your rights is to speak with a skilled lawyer right away.
Don’t Let a Motorcycle Accident Overwhelm You
It’s understandable to feel like a loss of control over your life after getting hurt in a motorcycle wreck. Motorcycle accident injuries can land you in the hospital, where you will rack up expenses while missing time from work. You can experience immense physical and (often) emotional pain that disrupts your everyday activities. You’ll likely feel angry and confused about the carelessness of the driver or other party whose actions caused you to crash.
By following the simple checks above, however, you can start to regain a grip on life. The services of a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer, in particular, can have a positive stabilizing effect. While you focus on healing your body, a lawyer can take care of the administrative and legal burdens of securing the compensation you need from insurance companies and at-fault parties.
To learn more about your rights and options, schedule your free consultation right now with a motorcycle accident attorney near you. Just call 210-225-0909, fill out the contact form on this site, or click in the bottom right corner of the page to chat.