You always knew it could happen. Despite taking safety precautions when riding your motorcycle around Kansas City, you were hit by a careless driver and have suffered serious injuries. You’re pretty sure you have grounds to file a claim against the at-fault driver, but you’re not sure how to go about it. The steps you take immediately after your accident can improve the chances that your claim will be successful and that you will be compensated the maximum amount for your injuries.
Taking the First Steps
Any kind of vehicle crash leaves victims feeling shocked and angry, not to mention physically injured, so it’s not always easy to have the presence of mind to take logical steps to protect your future claim. Being aware of what to do, however, and educating family members about what to do on your behalf, could be enough to prevent you from making mistakes with your claim. In general, you should do the following after being hit by a negligent driver while riding your motorcycle:
- Get medical help. Not only is this important for your well-being, but it will support your claim that you were injured in the accident. If you suffer catastrophic injuries, you will receive emergency medical care and documenting your injuries will not be a problem. However, for minor injuries, it is important that you see a doctor and keep all records of your visits. Even if you don’t feel like you have serious injuries at the time of the accident, problems can surface later. When you first saw a doctor for your injuries could play a key role in determining your settlement.
- Document the accident. If you are physically able following the accident, gather as much evidence as you can at the scene. The police should be called no matter how minor the accident seems to be. They will investigate and write a report that should support your claim if the other driver was indeed at fault. Take pictures of everything with your cell phone. An accident reconstructionist may be able to testify as to what happened by examining photos of the scene. If you are unable to do these things, a family member on the scene could do it for you.
- Call your insurance company. Even if you are sure you are not at fault, notify your motorcycle insurance carrier about the accident. If it turns out the other driver is uninsured or does not carry enough insurance to cover the medical cost of your injuries, you will need your own insurance policy to cover the gap. Make sure the at-fault driver has also notified his or her insurance company, but do not talk to his agent or agree to any quick settlement offers.
- Consult an attorney. As a motorcyclist pursuing an injury claim, you will face some challenges that other motorists don’t have to face. Insurance adjusters, judges, juries, and even some law enforcement officers often have biases against bikers and may not treat you fairly as a result. That is why you should not attempt to take them on without an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at your side. An attorney will be able to debunk the biases, gather evidence, and tell your side of the story so that you get the best possible settlement.
If you have taken these steps after your accident, the actual process of filing the claim will be much easier. Take care of yourself first, then let an attorney take care of the rest.
Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.
You can also order your FREE copy of our book, "KC Biker Bible."