When motorcycle accidents take place, injuries are often devastating to the rider. From broken bones and fractures to deep lacerations, road rash, and head, neck, and back injuries, the road to recovery can be long and arduous. While the majority of motorcycle accidents that happen are often caused by automobile drivers who are careless and negligent while behind the wheel, some accidents are caused by motorcycle malfunctions of which the bike’s rider was unaware. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident that may have been caused by malfunctions, don’t rely on an attorney who has little if any experience with these complex cases. Instead, rely on a knowledgeable Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer.
Call Police to the Scene
When you have a motorcycle accident, always call police to the scene as soon as possible. By doing so, they will begin an investigation of the accident and its possible causes, and will also file an accident report detailing their findings. This may be crucial to your personal injury case, since the police report will detail what they think happened and who may have been responsible for the accident. Since California does have laws stating motorcycles must have working headlights and turn signals, this report could back up your claims about what led to the accident. Once this report is filed, obtain a copy and then schedule a meeting with a trusted motorcycle accident lawyer.
The Role of Expert Witnesses
If you and your California motorcycle accident lawyer believe your accident may have been caused in part by a malfunction on your bike, expert witnesses can play a tremendous role in helping you win your lawsuit. By hiring an attorney who has extensive experience with these accidents, they can also bring in experts who are trained in reconstructing motorcycle accidents and how motorcycles are made and should function while on the road. Thus, if an automobile driver is accusing you of recklessness, having an expert witness who can testify in court as to what happened may allow you to win your case and gain the compensation you need to pay medical bills.
Always Allow Medical Treatment
Since even relatively minor motorcycle accidents can cause serious injuries, don’t make the mistake of not allowing medical personnel to provide treatment to you at the accident scene. Though you will be upset and possibly not thinking clearly, always let medical personnel evaluate your condition and transport you to a hospital for further evaluation. In many of these accidents, riders suffer internal injuries that are not easily diagnosed at the scene. By going to a hospital, doctors can run tests to see if you are suffering from internal bleeding or other serious injuries.
Examining Manufacturer Information
By hiring a Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer who handles these types of cases on a daily basis, it may be possible to discover your bike’s manufacturer has had problems in the past with certain types of bikes being involved in accidents. By looking further into a motorcycle manufacturer’s past history, your motorcycle accident lawyer may find a pattern of prior accidents similar to yours. Should this happen, it then becomes much easier to prove that you were not responsible for the accident. Once this happens, your lawyer can then turn their attention to negotiating a settlement that will give you the money you need to replace your lost wages, compensate you for your pain and suffering, and take care of your medical treatment and other related expenses.
Choose Your Words Carefully
When you are at the accident scene, lying in a hospital bed, or on the phone with anyone from an insurance company, always make sure you carefully consider what you say to others about the accident. For example, if you are talking to police, paramedics, or an automobile driver at the scene of the accident, never say “I’m fine” or “I’m sorry” to anyone. If you do, they will interpret this as you saying you are not injured or that you know you caused the accident. In almost all situations like this, you should never talk to insurance companies about the accident. Instead, it is best to hire a California motorcycle accident lawyer who can handle these and other conversations on your behalf.
Get Witness Accounts of the Accident
If you can do so at the accident scene, try to speak to anyone who witnessed the accident take place. In many instances, it is something one or more witnesses will say that can swing a case in favor of the motorcyclist. For example, if multiple witnesses say it appeared as if your bike suddenly sped up or slowed down, this could be a sign of a malfunction. Also, they will be able to verify you were following California law and had your helmet on at the time of your crash. When talking to witnesses, also make sure you get their names and contact information, then turn this over to your Los Angeles motorcycle lawyer. Once you do, it is likely your attorney will speak to these witnesses to obtain additional details about the accident.
Don’t Negotiate with Insurance Companies
When motorcycle accidents occur, insurance companies love to do all they can to deny injury claims. Since most people tend to blame a motorcycle rider when an accident occurs, you may find yourself dealing with insurance personnel who already have made up their minds about your accident, even if the evidence you and your motorcycle accident lawyer have clearly shows the accident was not your fault. Because of this, never assume you will be able to handle insurance company negotiations on your own. If you do so, you will probably wind up with either a denied claim or accepting a settlement offer that is far below what you need. To avoid these mistakes, work with an attorney who has an excellent track record of success getting clients the maximum compensation they need and deserve.
Know Your Bike
If possible, try to be as familiar with your bike as possible. For example, make sure your bike’s handlebars are no more than six inches above your shoulders when you are sitting on your bike, which is a requirement of California law. Also, try to make sure your bike is always well-maintained prior to you hitting the road. However, even if you do so, it is still possible your bike could malfunction in a manner you never anticipated. But by showing you have your bike maintained in safe manner on a regular basis, this will play to your favor should you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Don’t Delay in Hiring an Attorney
Though you will be busy trying to recuperate from your injuries following your motorcycle accident, you should also be having an eye on hiring an attorney to represent you in a personal injury lawsuit. If you don’t, you will make critical and costly mistakes that could result in you losing your lawsuit and being left without the money you need to keep you and your family from financial ruin.
If you need legal representation following your motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation today with a California motorcycle accident lawyer you can trust to fight hard for maximum compensation.