Motorcycle accidents can be both physically and mentally traumatic. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in California, here’s what to do after a motorcycle accident. The first and foremost priority is to get yourself checked by a doctor. Other than this, there are other steps that you should consider after an accident on a motorcycle. This guide will walk you through all the essential actions that you should consider after a motorcycle accident in California to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights.
What Are The Steps A Motorcyclist Has To Take After A Motorcycle Accident?
Here are some steps that a motorcyclist has to take after an accident.
Move To A Safer Place
After the accident, you might want to be with your motorcycle at the crash site. Avoid doing this. Being at the crash site with your motorcycle might put you at risk of getting hit by other vehicles. Instead, you need to move to a safer location. While moving to a safer location avoid moving your motorcycle, this may worsen your injuries if you have any.
Make Sure You And Everyone Involved In The Accident Are Okay
After moving to a safer place, make sure you and everyone at the crash scene are okay. If you or anyone else is injured, immediately ask for medical assistance or call 911. Even if the injuries are minor, still seek medical assistance. The injuries might look minor now, but they could worsen over time if untreated.
Call The California Police Right Away
After getting medical attention, call the local police department and ask for police personnel to be present at the crash site. Having police personnel is important because the accident report filed by the police will be beneficial for your personal injury claim. During the police investigation make sure to give accurate information about the accident and avoid making any admission of fault. Also, make sure to get a copy of the police report.
Gather Information And Evidence
On your part, you should also gather evidence of the crash site, which would help in your personal injury claim. Here’s what you need to document at the crash site:
- Take photographs of your motorcycle and other vehicles involved in the accident. The photos would include damage to the vehicles, skid marks, and any injuries you have sustained.
- Obtain contact details of the witnesses who saw the accident. In the aftermath of any accident, there are eyewitnesses. You need to obtain the witness’s statements and contact information. Eyewitness statements can be crucial to your case.
- Apart from seeking the contact information of the eyewitness, you should also gather information about the other driver. You should collect the driver’s name, contact information, insurance details, vehicle license number, etc.
Use your mobile phone to gather all the necessary information including photos, witness statements, contact information, and other crucial pieces of evidence.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company and report the accident. No matter who is at fault, you need to inform your insurance company of the accident. When informing them, ensure to provide accurate information about the accident to your insurance company. After informing the agency, it will inform the Department of Motor Vehicles. Reporting this type of accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles is mandatory in California.
Make sure you do not contact the other party’s insurance company. The other party’s insurance company can use your statements against you. Contact them in the presence of a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Consult A California Motorcycle Accident Attorney
After the accident, consider consulting a personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle accidents. A California motorcycle accident attorney will help you in filing a personal injury claim, navigate the complex legal process, and try to get fair compensation that you deserve. Here’s why you need to seek the help of a legal expert.
- A motorcycle accident attorney will study your case and determine the strength of your claim, then, the attorney will take the most suitable course of action.
- When you are involved in an accident, you need to deal with the insurance company. Most insurance companies attempt to deny claims or minimize the compensation. Here’s where legal experts play a vital role. They negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company and try to get the maximum payout that you deserve.
- If the negotiations fail, a motorcycle accident attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf in court and fight for the maximum compensation.
- If the matter goes to court, evidence is required to support the case. A motorcycle accident attorney helps in gathering evidence to support your case. The attorney can gather key evidence like witness testimony, photos, and other documents.
If you require a motorcycle accident lawyer in California, contact Krasney Law Accident Attorneys.
Take Care Of Your Health
The accident may leave you physically and emotionally traumatized. Get yourself checked with a doctor and start your rehabilitation process. Attend doctor appointments. Take the prescribed medicines. During the rehabilitation, make sure to document your recovery process.
Document Your Recovery Process
Documentation of the recovery process is important to build a strong personal injury claim. During the recovery process, document the following things:
- Document all the medical bills.
- Maintain a record of lost wages or missed work due to injuries.
- Maintain a journal documenting your daily pain levels.
A personal injury claim is a lengthy legal process. Be patient and don’t settle your claim early. By settling your claim early you may lose the compensation that you deserve.
What You Should Not Do After A Motorcycle Accident In California
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be a stressful ordeal. In such a situation, emotions can run high, and the motorcyclist can make mistakes, which can hamper the legal process. To avoid this from happening, here’s what you should avoid doing after a motorcycle accident.
- Leaving the crash site: After the accident, don’t leave the crash site, especially if there are injuries or property damage. Leaving the crash site is illegal in California. So, stay at the scene until the law enforcement authorities arrive at the crash site.
- Admitting fault: In a situation where one motorcycle crashes with another vehicle, the motorcyclist should avoid admitting fault. Even if you have contributed to the accident, avoid admitting fault. Fault can be determined in the investigation later, and admitting guilt immediately can be detrimental to your legal case. Admitting fault at the crash site can be used against you in the legal case. You may lose compensation for damages.
- Engaging in heated arguments: Don’t engage in heated arguments with other parties involved in the accident. By engaging, you will escalate the situation, which may harm your legal case. So, stay calm and handle the situation with a cool mind.
- Neglecting medical assistance: Don’t ignore medical assistance. Seek immediate medical assistance after the accident because minor injuries may worsen without treatment.
- Discussing accidents on social media: Avoid discussing or sharing information about the accident on social media. Sharing accident details on social media can be used against you in legal proceedings or insurance claims.
- Settling claims without a legal attorney: Don’t settle any claim with your insurance company without a motorcycle accident attorney. Insurance companies try to settle the claim quickly to avoid paying the compensation that you deserve. Accepting such settlements can result in low compensation which is not adequate to cover your future medical bills and damages. So, when dealing with an insurance company, make sure you have a California motorcycle accident lawyer for negotiations.
- Missing deadlines: California law mandates individuals seeking personal injury claims to file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. Failing to do so may lead to losing your compensation.
- Delay in notifying your insurance company: After the accident, immediately contact your insurance company and inform them about the accident. Delaying in reporting the incident will complicate the claim process.
What Should You Include In Your Claim?
When filing a claim for a motorcycle accident in California, include all the details that will help strengthen your claim and get fair compensation. Here are some of the things that you can consider including in your claim:
Injuries And Medical Records
List all your injuries no matter how minor they are. In addition to this, include medical records and bills related to your injuries and treatments. You should also include statements from medical experts detailing your prognosis and any permanent disabilities or impairments.
Include all the details of the accident, from the date, time, location of the accident, and contact information of all the parties, to the police report.
Lost Wages And Earning Capacity
Include the lost wages in your claim. Document the lost income due to time taken off the work because of the injuries. In addition to this, you can also include how your injuries can affect your future earning capacity.
Include photos of the damaged motorcycle and other property damages. Plus, give the repair estimates and receipts for the motorcycle repairs.
What Are The Steps Involved In The Litigation Process For Motorcycle Accidents
The litigation process is very complex. Many motorcycle accidents do not go to ligation. They are settled with insurance companies. However, when a settlement fails with the insurance company, the case may go to litigation. Here are the steps involved in a litigation process:
Filing A Complaint
The first step in the litigation process is filing a complaint which is done by the victim against the party or parties believed to be at fault. The complaint includes facts of the claims, monetary compensation, and other details.
Serving Official Notice To The Defendant
After filing the complaint, the victim has to serve the complaint and summons to appear in court to the defendant.
Response To The Complaint
The defendant gets a time frame to respond to the complaint. The answer can include either admitting or denying the allegations.
In the discovery phase, both parties gather evidence to strengthen their case. The evidence includes witness statements, medical records, accident reports, and insurance policies.
Either party has a chance to file a pretrial motion to discuss various issues.
Mediation And Settlement
Courts give an option to both parties to settle the matter outside before going to trial. The settlement involves a third party who helps both parties reach a settlement agreement.
If the settlement fails, the case goes to trial. The trial preparation includes selecting the jury, developing legal strategies, and collecting evidence. Once the trial starts, both parties have to put up strong opening arguments, present the evidence, examine witnesses, and then end the trial by giving closing arguments.
Verdict And Judgement
After closing arguments, the judge will examine statements and evidence and reach a verdict. If the victim prevails at the trial, the judgment will be in his/her favor. The judgment will specify the compensation amount awarded to the plaintiff. If the defendant wins, the plaintiff gets nothing in compensation.
Either party gets an opportunity to appeal the judgment if they feel errors were made during the trial.
To Sum Up Everything About Motorcycle Accidents in California
Experiencing a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. However, in this unfortunate situation, you should know what to do afterward to protect your legal rights. By following these steps you can ensure your safety, and get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages. To get fair compensation, you need to take the help of an experienced California motorcycle accident lawyer.
When it comes to motorcycle accident lawyers in California, look no further than Krasney Law Accident Attorneys. At Krasney Law Accident Attorneys, experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can file a lawsuit to recover maximum damages from the other parties. The compensation will help in covering medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Besides this, the attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies to get you fair compensation. Contact our office today to learn more about our services.