As a motorcyclist, you know you’re taking a risk when you’re on the road. Even if you’ve gone through extensive training, fix your bike whenever it has an issue and follow the law, you can’t trust that the drivers around you are being safe as well.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, the number of motorcyclists killed in crash in the U.S. was 4,985. Motorcyclists are overrepresented in traffic-related fatalities, making up 14% of all traffic-related fatalities, even though they only account for 3% of the entire registered motor vehicle fleet.
Additionally, according to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 89,000 motorcyclist injuries in the U.S. In 2018 in Georgia, there were 154 motorcyclist fatalities, with the highest number of fatalities occurring amongst motorcyclists ages 20-29.
You learned firsthand how dangerous it was to ride a motorcycle when a driver hit and injured you. Maybe you experienced a fracture, a sprain, internal injuries like bruised kidneys or a ruptured spleen, whiplash, a neck or spine injury, head trauma, road rash or burns, and you have to start medical treatment.
Though you want to begin your healing process, you’re not sure what to do. While you have insurance, you don’t want your premiums to go up – you believe the other driver who was at fault should pay for your medical bills. But how exactly do you go about that?
If a driver hit you while you were on your motorcycle, here’s the course of action you may want to take.
Obtain Your Medical Records
After your accident, you should have gone directly to the hospital. There, you probably got a full check-up as well as X-rays or even an MRI to see what kind of injuries you were dealing with. You may have to undergo continued treatment like physical therapy, or you might have had to undergo surgery or take medicine. No matter what type of care you received, you should take note of all your medical records, doctors you saw and when you saw them. If you had to buy any medical equipment to function day to day, hire help and/or take off work to go to the doctor, make note of those factors as well, as you’ll need that crucial information for later on.
Collect Other Important Records
Once you got in your accident, you should have told the police that you were hit while on your motorcycle and filed a police report. You also should have collected the information of the driver who hit you, including their insurance policy number, their contact information, the make and model of their car, their VIN and their license plate number. If you took photos of the scene or got any statements from witnesses, then gather those as well. You should also have photos of the damage to your motorcycle and records of any maintenance you paid for to repair it. The more information you have about your accident, the better.
However, don’t stress if you weren’t able to take photos or get much more information about your accident because you were rushed away to the hospital. You can always figure out what happened down the line.
Find Any Bills You Paid
If you paid out money for your medical bills or motorcycle repairs, then make sure you have records of them. In case you’re missing any, you can always contact your doctors and mechanic to see what they have on file, as well as look at your credit card and debit card records.
Get in Touch With Your Insurance Company
After your accident, you hopefully told your insurance company about it and they started a claim for you. You’ll need to keep that claim number handy. If your insurance reaches out for a recorded statement, you can decline to do it if you don’t feel comfortable. Also, if you are dealing with your injuries and not in the right mindset, it’s best not to give a recorded statement.
If your insurance company or the driver’s insurance company offers you a settlement, don’t take it, because they will likely offer you much less than you deserve. They’re trying to get off the hook and pay as little as possible – and at this point, you just don’t know the extent of your injuries and what kind of settlement would actually be fair. What happens if you accept $1,000, but end up having to pay $20,000 in medical bills because you start to feel pain again? You need to know you’ll be able to cover additional expenses should they come up.
Contact a Personal injury Lawyer
After going through a motorcycle accident, you need to start healing from your injuries. You don’t have time to deal with insurance companies and trying to navigate the claims process. Right now, you have to get better so that you can get back to your normal life and get out on the road once again.
If you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer who works with collision injury victims, then you could get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you find treatment, keep up with your insurance claim and go to bat for you to work out a settlement that will cover your medical bills, your motorcycle repair costs, time you had to take off work and additional pain and suffering you may have experienced. For instance, if you use your motorcycle for your job, then the injury and accident would be a bigger deal for you than for someone who simply rides it during their leisure time; that’s just one example of pain and suffering.
A good personal injury lawyer will make you feel comfortable, take you through every step of the claim and settlement process to ensure you understand the legalities and represent you in court if it gets that far. Usually, you’ll never have to go to court, though, since personal injury cases are typically settled outside of the courtroom.
By getting in touch with a lawyer, you’re ensuring the best possible outcome for your case and focusing on what matters most: getting better after your accident.