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Motorcycle accident; image by Joshua Kimberly (Own work), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, no changes.
Motorcycle accident; image by Joshua Kimberly (Own work), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons, no changes.

The joys and freedom that motorcycling can give to the enthusiast can seriously be overshadowed or even taken away by an accident involving personal injury. In this article, we will address the process of winning your personal injury claim with the assumption that the accident was not the admitted fault of the motorcycle rider. Being made whole after such an accident can be difficult simply because of the inherent risk that is not part and parcel of riding in a vehicle.

Pre-accident Measures

The personal injury can be anything from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones, internal injuries even to the extent of head and neck injuries. The higher up the physical seriousness of the injury, the higher the difficulty will be in winning the personal injury claim in a motorcycle accident.  For starters, the insurance company will bring into question what you as the cyclist did to protect yourself from the injury while riding.

Lucky 8 motorcycle helmet; photo by terimakasih0, via Pixabay.com, CC0.
Lucky 8 motorcycle helmet; photo by terimakasih0, via Pixabay.com, CC0.

Do not assume that just because your state has a no helmet required law, that it means that the insurance company will accept the not wearing a helmet as having nothing to do with your head or neck injuries for compensation.1 Wearing a helmet before an accident is a proof to any insurance company that you are a safety-conscious rider. In addition, wearing protective clothing or even padding will not only potentially protect you during the accident, but will also prove that you are a safety-conscious rider.

Taking the above into consideration along with a motorcycle driving record with few or no moving violations are some of the steps you can take before any accident to help win your personal injury claim. In addition, any substance abuse while riding will not help your case. To sum this part up you should consider four salient points:

  • Always wear a helmet when riding;
  • Always wear protective clothing or joint padding;
  • Maintain a clean motorcycle driving record;
  • Any substance abuse detected on the injured motorcycle rider may have a bearing on your claim.

Post-Accident Activities

The scenarios involving personal injury of a motorcycle rider are numerous and it’s not possible to cover each and every possibility. We will assume that at the time of the accident, the police were involved, ambulance and medical teams if necessary were involved, and all necessary reports were taken, and information exchanged. The more information gathered as to exactly what happened at the time of the accident, the better for your case.

We will also assume that insurance companies will be very willing to settle for the least out of their pocket as possible. That being said, it is best for you to take some of the following steps before settling. Document all costs associated with this to present to the insurance carrier.

  • If it appears you are not seriously hurt, still have a full physical performed by your physician.
  • Include an x-ray exam to detect any possible fractures, especially along the head, neck, and vertebrae.

The insurance companies have the knowledge of applicable law and experienced attorneys on their side of a claim. They will try to settle quickly, for the least amount possible or even deny your claim. It would be incumbent upon you and your family to take the time to at least shop around and interview at least three reputable personal injury lawyers.

Most personal injury lawyers will give you a free consultation. Do your homework and research their practice and success rates. Bring into the interview all of your reports, notes and current situation since the accident. Above all, simply state the truth as you know it. Do not try to exaggerate or bear false witness with your claim. This is no time to be accused of insurance fraud.

Please understand that insurance settlements are not designed to make a person rich. They are designed to bring just and proper compensation for a loss. Personal injury claims are no different. If you have suffered a severe injury, have medical bills resulting from the accident, and even lost wages, these are all good reasons to seek a professional personal injury lawyer.2

In this short article we have left out many details as the variables are so numerous it would be impossible to cover every possibility. What we have explained is simply a four-pronged approach that is restated here now.

  • What to do to protect yourself before an accident occurs if you are a motorcycle rider.
  • Obtain complete and accurate police and medical reports of all persons involved in the accident.
  • Settle only small claims with an insurance carrier if you are comfortable with the settlement and convinced no long-standing injuries have occurred.
  • If severe injuries, high medical bills, or lost wages are in the scenario, seek a professional personal injury lawyer immediately and hire the one you are comfortable with.

Once you can tick the boxes representing the mentioned aspects, your chances of winning your motorcycle accident case and getting your rightful compensation are much greater.

Sources:

  1. How Helmet Laws Affect Motorcycle and Bicycle Accident Claims
  2. When To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

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