Being involved in an accident of any kind can be an overwhelming experience, but many times, those involved in a motorcycle can prove to be some of the most devastating. Not only does a motorcycle fail to provide the rider with any protection against their much larger counterparts in the event of a collision, but they are usually not even seen before it is too late. For this reason, motorcyclists are much more susceptible to a serious injury than those in a passenger car. If you have suffered a serious injury, you probably have questions about what steps to take next. Because of this, our firm has compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions regarding motorcycle accidents in the hope that we can provide you will valuable insight into what rights you possess and how to proceed in obtaining compensation.
If you have been involved in an accident involving a motorcycle it is essential that you do not leave the scene of the accident. If you have not been seriously injured, it is imperative that you remain calm and call the police. Even if you are not seriously injured, seek medical attention immediately. Your injuries may not become apparent for a few days or even weeks. It is very easy to be overwhelmed after an accident and accept the blame or apologize for the accident even though it was not your fault. Never accept blame or implicate yourself in any way with the cause of the accident, your words can be used against you. Get names and phone numbers of any witnesses and get the insurance information off of any individual’s involved in the accident.
If you are operating a motorcycle, or any vehicle for that matter, you should buy “uninsured motorist coverage.” This policy will cover your injuries and damages should the other motorist be uninsured or underinsured or if you were the victim of a hit and run accident. While Connecticut law does not require this coverage, it is imperative that you make sure that you will be protected in the event of such an accident. Surprisingly, an astounding number of drivers in the state do not have a valid driver’s license-thus meaning that they do not have car insurance-so it is, unfortunately, up to you to ensure that you can afford the costs associated with a serious injury if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
While most victims of motorcycle accidents usually receive a settlement offer soon after the accident, these offers are usually too low to adequately cover all your medical expenses, your full damages, or any long-term monetary needs. Payouts from insurance companies usually do not anticipate the severe financial impact your injuries may have on your future. Your injuries may cause you to missed work or in some instances result in permanent disability. It is of the absolute importance to have an attorney by your side to fight to ensure that you receive full and adequate compensation for your injuries and hardship. In almost every case, hiring an attorney significantly improves your chances of a successful outcome.
Unfortunately, the only goal of an insurance adjuster is to pay you as little money as possible for your injuries. If you were involved in an accident in which the other party was at fault, you may begin to receive calls from their insurance company immediately after. They will ask you to make a statement-which they will record for their records-and try to coax certain answers out of you. They may try to get you to admit fault or to accept the settlement offer that they are making, but it is important to realize that you do not have to speak to them without first consulting an attorney. An insurance adjuster will likely try to deter you from doing so, but it has been proven that you may be able to recover up to 40% more money will the help of a lawyer. For this reason, you should not hesitate to do so before making any sort of statement.
One of the most important things that you can do after a motorcycle accident is to take pictures of the scene-as long as the circumstances allow you to do so. If you are able, you should always snap a few shots of the damage that has been done to both vehicles, as well as of any injuries that you have suffered, with your cell phone or a camera. Taking the time to do so may greatly increase your chances of being able to recover compensation in the future, as these pictures can be used as evidence in your favor, so you should never disregard this crucial step. If you leave it up to an insurance adjuster, you can’t be certain that this evidence will be utilized to your advantage or that it won’t go “missing” when you need it to make your case.