Motorcycle accidents have been rising in Las Vegas, NV, recently. If you happen to be a biker and are involved in an accident of this nature, the effects can be life-changing for you and your immediate family. Motorcycle crashes are often fatal because you have no walls protecting you from the road surface when a road accident occurs. The effects range from minor to fatal ones. Depending on the accident’s nature, guidelines are available to help reduce the pressure and confusion from a crash. Further, these guidelines elevate the chances of a favorable outcome when pursuing compensation.
You need an experienced injury attorney who understands motorcycle crashes and the pain it causes for proper representation and to ensure you obtain reasonable damages. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we are ready to build a solid claim on your behalf to recover your rightful damages for all the losses suffered. In this article, we have highlighted what to do after a motorcycle accident.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Even if you adhere to all state safety rules for bikers or motorcycle riders, you are still at a high risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash. These accidents usually occur very fast, leaving you with little or no time to react or escape the oncoming traffic. The cause of these accidents is your negligence as a rider or a motorist. Sometimes, these crashes are caused by unavoidable situations like adverse weather conditions or brake failure.
You will face severe challenges after you have been involved in an accident. First, you will incur the costs of medical examination and treatment for the harm. Again, you will lose your earnings if the injuries prevent you from working. You will incur many losses after the crash, and life will not be unbearable. Nonetheless, guidelines or steps are available to help you through this difficult time by ensuring you know what to do after an accident. The steps you should take after a motorcycle crash are:
Call 911 Immediately
When a collision occurs, you will be thrown off the motorcycle because you have no walls around you, exposing you to full impact. If the crash involves a motorist, they should remain in the car to analyze the situation and check on the vehicle occupants to ensure they are safe. Afterward, the motorist should immediately step out of the vehicle and contact the police.
Besides, if you have not been seriously hurt, you can contact the authorities or ask someone to do it on your behalf. Calling the police is recommended because it ensures that all the relevant information is recorded and a report produced regarding the accident. As you make the emergency call, ensure to share your location information with the police to make it easy to find you.
Calling the law enforcement authorities at the crash scene has many advantages. First, the officers will gather accurate information about the crash and ensure none of the involved parties leave the scene without providing the necessary info.
When the police arrive at the scene, ensure to share accurate details about the accident. However, do not mistake admitting fault or sharing all the details of the accident because some of the information can be self-incriminating. Even though you are in shock and confused, we at the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm recommend you minimize the info your share. Your name, physical address, and bike registration number are enough.
Do not share additional details of the accident because the authorities will likely conclude you are liable. Besides, bikers are not the only liable parties in motorcycle accidents. Motorists can be responsible for the accident when they lose concentration and fail to spot you in your lane because of the small size of motorbikes. Even if the car driver is to blame for the accident, avoid disclosing all the case’s facts because their insurer or attorney can twist your statement invalidating your lawsuit or reducing the recoverable damages.
Remain Calm and Gather Relevant Information
If you have not obtained severe injuries or when possible, move your motorcycle from the traffic to a safe location. Emotions are running high now, primarily if the other motorist is to blame for the accident. The feelings, anger, or remorse can prevent you from thinking, which is why you must remain calm. If you panic, take deep breaths to enable you to follow the guidelines and make informed decisions while still at the scene.
Be careful when exhibiting your sorrow because exhibiting specific behavior like crying or saying you are sorry could imply guilt admission. Every step you take after the accident could be self-incriminating in a future lawsuit which makes the need for composure critical at this stage.
As much as you feel disappointed after the accident, remain composed and avoid conduct that could put you in more trouble or incidents that can negatively impact your claim.
Once calm, you can evaluate your injuries and collect relevant information about the case. If you are not in a position to do so, you can request a family member, friend, or witness to collect the details for you. Some of the crucial details you must gather include:
- Photos of the injuries obtained from the crash
- Images of your motorcycle, the accident stage and surroundings, and the other vehicle involved in the crash.
When taking pictures of the accident, capture the position of your motorbike and the other vehicle after the accident. You should catch these images from different angles, including the road condition and the damage on your bike.
Also, you can call the police to the scene to gather this information and prepare an official report. The accident report contains details of the accident, including the parties involved in the crash. You should share relevant info about the impact and obtain a final report print once the investigations are complete. The police report consists of the names, contact information, and vehicle details like the number plate, vehicle identification number, model, and type.
Lastly, you or the officer at the scene should cross-examine witnesses to obtain their perceptions of the accident. You can record their statements over the phone or write them down on paper. As you do this, do not forget to gather their contact information in the event they are required in the future to testify in court.
Sometimes, the witnesses at the crash scene simplify your work because they can have images or videos of the crash before or after. You can speak to these witnesses and see if they can provide the evidence they have gathered to add to what you already have.
As you interview witnesses, do not disclose many details about what you will do with the statement or evidence they have provided. Many eyewitnesses do not want to appear in court, meaning you should skip the court part. Instead of mentioning that they need to be present in court, jot down their contact info for easy reach out if you choose to go to court to seek compensation in the future. The statements from the witnesses will help your injury attorney develop arguments to demonstrate that negligence by the vehicle driver was the direct cause of the accident.
You should not force witnesses to disclose crucial info like home address or phone number, although they will provide these details comfortably and even agree to testify most of the time.
Adhere to Helmet Safety Rules
If you are a motorcycle rider, you understand the importance of having your helmet on every time you are on the road. Wearing your helmet is advantageous because it protects your skull and holds your neck and spinal cord in position, preventing severe injuries after impact. After the crash, do not rush to remove your helmet because it can cause more pain and harm. Wait for a medical expert or EMT to remove it because they have the knowledge and skills to do so without compressing the neck or backbone, causing further harm.
It is critical to emphasize the need to have an expert remove your helmet because if it is discovered you sustained some injuries while removing it, it will affect your damages. The defendant in the case will argue that particular neck or spine injuries were not caused by the motorcycle accident. They will say that you caused the injuries while removing the helmet and support the assertion with pictures or videos of you taking off the helmet after the accident. At the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we encourage you to keep the helmet on after the accident to avoid allocating yourself blame for the injuries stemming from someone else’s negligence.
Do Not Over-Interact With Other Motorists Involved in the Crash
Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm discourages you from negotiating with or apologizing to the other parties involved in the vehicle crash because your acts will be construed as admitting fault. Extensive talks with other parties involved in the collision can severely harm your future claim because you disclose critical info that sometimes can be used against you to deny or reduce the damages you should obtain. Other times, the at-fault driver could trick you into admitting fault if they have been in the same situation in the past and learned a few tactics to avoid liability. Therefore, avoid extensive interactions after the accident to prevent statements that could diminish your hopes of obtaining compensation.
Similarly, avoid statements that will expose you to scrutiny by the court. For instance, the opposing side can use inconsequential words like apologies to leverage, thus detrimental to your claim.
Other times the at-fault party will entice you not to pursue a legal claim by offering money to cover the losses incurred after the crash. While the offer can be tempting at the moment, the amount could be minimal to cover all the damages incurred. The issue with these roadside agreements is that they are not legally binding, and there is no way of ensuring the involved party keeps their promise.
Also, the driver could offer a portion of the agreed amount and never pay the remaining amount. In a situation like this, you cannot file a claim against the party in court because the statute of limitation will have lapsed or lack adequate evidence necessary to demonstrate the defendant acted negligently, leading to the motorcycle accident and subsequent injuries or losses.
Seek Proper Medical Attention
You should seek medical attention whether you have obtained injuries or not. Sometimes, you will experience what is called delayed symptoms after an accident. The shock from the crash causes you not to feel pain, which could make you think you have not been injured, only to develop serious health complications later. Even when you seek treatment for the accident later, the compensation amount will reduce significantly because the defendant will argue that your injuries are unrelated to the motorcycle accident and that you obtained the injuries from something else other than the accident. Again, you will lack relevant medical documents linking the damages to the motorcycle accident, denting your claim.
Even if you feel okay after the accident, seek immediate medical examination to assess the sustained harm and any other underlying health complication that could have stemmed from the motorcycle accident. The doctor will conduct investigations to determine if you are unchanged to help you decide on whether to pursue compensation or not.
During a medical checkup, the doctor will identify some of the injuries that could have gone undetected and offer appropriate remedies to prevent severe complications and expensive medical treatment.
Whiplash, broken bone and abrasions are common injuries in motorcycle crashes. When you sustain any of these injuries from the crash, do not hesitate to receive a medical checkup. Call or ask someone to contact an ambulance right away. With these injuries, you do not want to consider exchanging information, collecting evidence, and following the above-listed steps. Instead, you should focus on receiving treatment because these injuries are life-threatening. Again, delaying seeking treatment can trigger the contributory negligence rule as the defendant will argue that you were negligent by delaying treatment, causing your injuries. So, seeking immediate medical treatment is mandatory after a motorcycle crash to address your medical emergency needs.
Only Discuss the Details of the Injuries With Your Doctor or Lawyer
The only people you should discuss your injuries with are your legal representative and physician. Any info you disclose, in writing, over the phone, or in a comment, could be used against you in the claim. Therefore, go for medical treatment first and then contact your attorney. An attorney is critical in the hospital because they ensure that as you recount the events leading to the accident, you do not disclose necessary details detrimental to the case. Medical experts write notes regarding the accident and injuries; sometimes, these notes are admitted in the case as evidence and could incriminate you.
Document Your Medical Expenses
Keep all the prescription receipts for medical examination, prescriptions, ambulance fees, and other medical costs related to the accident. Also, the x-ray results, lab tests, physical therapy, and dental bills should be recorded appropriately. With proper documentation of your expenses, you will have evidence for every medical cost incurred, elevating the chances of fair compensation.
Preserve Medical Evidence
The casts, medicine containers, and other prescriptions by the doctor must be preserved. The x-ray results and medical receipts can also be scanned and uploaded to the cloud storage for easy retrieval during the trial.
Obtain Legal Counsel
Once you have gathered medical evidence and collected the necessary information, the next critical step is to find an attorney to guide you through the rest of the claim. Calling your injury attorney while at the scene allows you to focus on receiving emergency medical care while they focus on collecting evidence and gathering info. Again, your attorney has experience handling these cases and will keep in touch with the defendant’s team until they offer a reasonable settlement.
If you do not have an attorney on the dial, you must do your research to find one that is appropriate for the case. Nonetheless, because researching under your circumstances is not possible, you can obtain referrals from other motorcycle accident victims who had excellent representation in their cases. Always opt for a legal representative likely to deliver total compensation for the harm, losses, and property damage.
Having a personal injury attorney on your side in these cases is highly beneficial. Firstly, when they happen to be at the scene after you have been rushed to the hospital, they will speak to the involved motorist and obtain contact info, the insurer’s number, and the vehicle number plate. The information is adequate for the attorney to serve motion notices to all relevant parties, notifying them of your intentions to file a civil tort. If a driver flees the crash scene, the attorney will forward the car registration number to the DMV to help identify and track them.
Similarly, your attorney will help interview witnesses. They have been doing this for a long time and understand the best questions to ask and how to do it. Besides, attorneys will focus on obtaining crucial information about the accident from the witnesses to build a strong claim. Your attorney will also issue several business cards to the witnesses to contact the law firm directly if they have additional information necessary in your lawsuit.
The police officers at the motorcycle accident scene are not your friends. They are there to identify the person responsible for the accidents. All those involved in the crash are suspects, so your attorney should be present during police questioning to prevent using self-incriminating statements.
Your attorney will help obtain critical evidence of the case by taking photos and videos of your injuries, the area surrounding the crash scene, and property damage. Further, they will conduct an independent investigation of the accident and give their opinion, which will be used to build a solid claim.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Court
Before filing a civil tort against the responsible party in Nevada, it is critical first to contact the at-fault party’s insurer to attempt and settle the claim out of court. And because not all parties want to waste their time and resources in the trial, most injury claims are resolved through negotiations by the parties in question.
Nonetheless, when the negotiations are unsuccessful, you should proceed to court. Typically, you can file a claim in a civic court within the area where the crash occurred. If the accident were due to the motorcycle manufacturer’s negligence, you would file the claim in a court within the maker’s jurisdiction.
Even after you have filed a lawsuit, the option to settle outside court is still in the offing. As you continue negotiations, you will undergo several litigation procedures like:
- The discovery stage, where opposing parties present evidence
- Showing up for a deposition
- Answering questions under oath
Rarely will these cases proceed to trial, but if this happens, both parties must present their evidence and witnesses. The evidence required in these cases includes:
- Video footage of the events leading to the crash and the road condition
- Medical report
- Medical evidence and testimony
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
- Witness statements
- Weather reports
After weighing the evidence provided by all the parties, the jury will determine who is to blame and the compensation they should obtain.
It is worth noting that you cannot appeal the decision when you settle the case out of court. Nonetheless, in a court trial, you can always appeal the decision to a higher court if it is unfavorable.
You are encouraged to seek legal representation after a motorcycle crash in Las Vegas because that way, the opposing side will be willing to play ball.
Find an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near Me
Fielding a motorcycle accident claim in Nevada is not easy. You want to partner with an injury attorney that knows laws governing motorcycles to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. In addition, you want to understand the steps you should take after the crash to avoid the pain and confusion that often leads to irrational decisions. We at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm will assist you after a motorbike accident to avoid hurting your claim or suit. Reach out to us today at 702-576-0010 for a free consultation.