Riding a motorcycle provides a strong feeling of freedom. However, there are also risks associated with it, especially since the rider is more exposed to injury during a crash than a car driver.
We are seeing increasingly more motorcycles on the road these days. While these vehicles can be fun to ride, they can also be very dangerous. An overwhelming 4,976 people in the US died while riding a motorcycle in 2015, and 88,000 people were injured due to motorcycle accidents.
Even though motorcycles are more dangerous to ride than automobiles, motorcyclists have the same rights as drivers when they are on the road. If you or a family member has been involved in a traffic accident, it is important to know how to handle the matter, especially if it becomes a civil lawsuit.
What If You Are Innocent?
If you were seriously injured after being in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you should contact a legal professional who specializes in motorcycle accidents. In addition to tending to your injuries, you will likely have to cover pricy medical bills and take time from work to recover.
An accident like this can change your life drastically, even if the change is temporary. The lawsuit will likely turn into a civil case when you are dealing with insurance companies. These will cover the defendant to prove that the defendant is not liable for the accident.
Taking the Right Steps After an Accident
After the accident, make sure you take pictures of all the vehicles involved. Write down the license plate numbers of every vehicle affected by the motorcycle accident. If you can, interview accident witnesses and record or write down their responses.
Call the police once it is safe to do so. Officers can come to the scene and issue a police report. You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible as well. Having a lot of hard evidence could expedite the settlement process for the accident case and lower the chances that it will turn into a civil lawsuit.
Reporting the Accident When You Are Not Liable
Even if you are not at fault for the accident, you should report the incident to your insurance provider immediately. Tell your insurer the location and time of the accident and all the individuals and vehicles involved.
Regardless of who is liable for the accident, some coverages, such as PIP or Med Pay, can provide coverage for those critically or fatally wounded. However, these benefits could be revoked if the policyholder does not report the motorcycle accident promptly. In some cases, the insurance company of the at-fault driver may request you to fill in and sign forms and provide a recorded statement. However, you should avoid this at all costs.
Remember that you are not obligated to cooperate with the demands of the liable driver’s insurance company. Doing so could incriminate you and keep you from getting the financial settlement to which you are entitled. Certain statements you make could be seen as an admission of fault and hurt your chances of winning the case.
Persuading a judge that a motorcycle accident was not your fault can often be easier said than done. Increasing your chances of winning your case will involve careful planning and hard evidence to prove that you are not liable for the accident and are entitled to compensation. This is why it is important to receive professional legal assistance throughout every phase of your motorcycle accident case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Charleston area, consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer serving Charleston. An attorney can let you know what your case is worth and advise you about whether the proceedings will become a civil lawsuit.
Riding a motorcycle provides a strong feeling of freedom. However, there are also risks associated with it, especially since the rider is more exposed to injury during a crash than a car driver. When involved in a traffic accident, do not hesitate to reach out to experts from different fields and lean on your family and friends for support.