Bike, or motorcycle, accidents are different from car accidents in many ways. For that reason, there are a few steps that our Joplin bike accident lawyer recommends taking if you have been involved in such an accident.
Be sure to stop after a motorcycle accident
The law requires that individuals involved in a vehicular accident, even a bike accident, must stop. If you do not stop then you could be charged with leaving the scene of the accident, which can be serious. In fact, it could lead to more than just a traffic violation, depending on the seriousness of the accident. As long are you are not seriously injured and you have a phone with you, report the accident first to local law enforcement. Then inform your insurance company and contact your Joplin bike accident lawyer.
Obtain information from the other parties involved
To the extent possible, you need to gather certain information from the other driver, including their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and the name of insurance company. Also, make note of the make and model of the other driver’s car and license plate number. Equally important is to record the name and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. If you have the opportunity to take pictures of the accident scene, including especially pictures of any damage to either vehicle, do so.
Never assume or admit that you are responsible for the accident
One of the most important things our Joplin bike accident lawyer will tell you is that you should never admit to liability or volunteer to take the blame for a bike accident, even if you believe at that moment that it may have been your fault. Don’t agree to pay for any damages and certainly do not make or sign any statements without the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Seek medical treatment as soon as possible
It is important that both you and anyone else who may have been riding on your bike with you seek medical treatment immediately. This is true even if you don’t believe you have any serious injuries. The reality is, some injuries are not always immediately obvious so being examined by a health care professional may uncover injuries or problems that were initially unnoticed.
Tips for avoiding the most common accident situations
Two of the most common situations are when a car turns left in front of you or changes lanes into you. In order to avoid a car turning in front of your bike, you need to see the situation coming. As a motorcyclist, you often need to be more observant than the automobile and truck drivers on the road with you. As for sudden lane changes, the best way to avoid this dangerous situation is to be aware of blind spots and stay out of them as much as possible. If you can see a driver’s eyes in their mirrors, they can see you, if they look of course.
How do parties value a potential motorcycle accident case?
Valuing a case means coming up with a best guess at what a jury might award the person suing (the plaintiff), and also guessing what the person being sued (the defendant) would be willing to pay. The two biggest factors in valuing the case are the extent of the plaintiff’s damages — meaning how bad the motorcycle accident was and how significant the resulting injuries are — and how likely the jury is to find the defendant liable (at fault for the accident).
What kinds of damages can I expect?
Estimating the potential outcome of a motorcycle accident case is quite difficult for one main reason: at trial, it will most likely be a jury that ultimately decides just how much money the defendant must pay the injured motorcyclist. Some personal injury damages, like medical bills and lost wages, are easier to predict because “concrete” costs like these will mostly be based on the amount the plaintiff demonstrates he or she has paid or lost and/or will continue to pay or lose. For subjective, less concrete damages like “pain and suffering,” predictions are at best an educated guess based on awards in similar motorcycle accident cases in the past.
If you have questions regarding bike accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 616-6356.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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