When you’re in a motorcycle accident, you’re completely exposed to injury. There isn’t a steel body around you with crumple zones to absorb an impact. There aren’t any seat belts to restrain you, and there aren’t any air bags to keep your body from slamming into anything in front of you. You’re so completely vulnerable that you risk being run over by another vehicle that wasn’t even involved in the collision.
According to the most recent ascertainable statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 4,586 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2014, and the agency estimated that another 92,000 were injured. Motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of passenger cars, and they were five times more likely to get injured. Because motorcycles present such a low profile in traffic, other drivers just don’t see them, or they don’t see them until it’s too late. Most motorcycle accidents involve another driver turning left in front of the motorcycle. So what do you do if you survive a motorcycle crash?
If you’re conscious, call 911, and ask for police and paramedics to be dispatched to the scene. The investigating police officer will complete an accident report that both sides to the case will rely on. Paramedics will treat you at the scene and note any obvious signs of injury like cuts, bruises or road rash. Go directly to the emergency room in the ambulance. You’ll be thoroughly examined there, and another set of records detailing the preliminary nature and extent of your condition will be completed.
Never admit guilt
Don’t say anything to the other driver that might be construed as admitting guilt. It could be used against you in the future. Don’t say anything to the investigating officer that might be construed as an admission of guilt either. He or she can formulate his or her own opinion of what happened from witness accounts and physical evidence at the scene.
Don’t talk to the opposing insurer
An adjuster for the insurer of the driver who caused the accident might contact you a week or so after the crash “just to see how you’re doing.” Then the adjuster will want to take a recorded statement. The law doesn’t require you to give a statement under those circumstances, so don’t give one. You could unknowingly prejudice your case, and you might not ever be able to take that statement back. The purpose of that statement is to obtain information that can be used against you in the future. Never give that statement. Just tell the adjuster to talk to us.
Attend all of your medical appointments
Emergency room personnel might refer you to a specialist. If you’d rather see your family doctor first, that’s fine. Don’t delay though. Your family doctor is probably going to refer you to a specialist anyway. Make that appointment for a date and time as soon as possible, and don’t miss it. If you’re referred to physical therapy by the specialist, attend every appointment on time. Insurance companies and insurance defense attorneys love to see missed appointments or gaps in treatment. Those give them an opportunity to raise issues about of faking, malingering or amplifying your injuries. That’s when they may attack your credibility.
You know that many motorists have a certain prejudice against motorcyclists. So do many insurance companies. That’s why it’s critical that a motorcyclist or a family member of a motorcyclist who has been hurt or killed as the result of the negligence of somebody else contact us as soon as possible after a crash. We’re experienced, professional, aggressive and successful personal injury lawyers who have earned the respect of insurers, their attorneys, judges and jurors in countless courtrooms. The Lamber Goodnow personal injury law team, together with its partner firms in Chicago, are on call 24 hours a day. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation after any accident. When you retain us, we’ll do everything that we can to maximize the compensation that you deserve.
The Lamber Goodnow legal team, and it’s co-counsel personal injury law firms in Chicago, are well-versed in motorcycle accidents. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers never charge a fee, unless we win your case. Get a risk free consultation today.