Motorcycle riders head out every day to enjoy the open road. Many people find that riding a motorcycle is a relaxing way to unwind and spend time outside. Others appreciate the social aspect of riding in a group of other like-minded individuals. And still others believe that a motorcycle is the most cost-efficient and convenient means of transportation available.
Regardless of one’s reason for riding a motorcycle, serious injuries can occur when an accident happens. If you were in a motorcycle accident and have reason to believe that another party is at fault for your injuries, speak with a skilled San Jose motorcycle attorney as soon as possible.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries and sometimes even death. Given that those who ride a motorcycle are less protected than drivers of larger vehicles, it is the motorcycle rider who often suffers the most serious injuries of anyone involved in the accident.
Some of the most common injuries that victims of motorcycle accidents sustain include:
- Broken bones and compound fractures
- Road rash
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Neck injuries
No one who goes out on a motorcycle ride expects to be involved in an accident, but it is always helpful to be prepared for the possibility. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you will want to understand what steps to take to protect yourself both physically, legally, and financially.
What to Do if You Were in a Motorcycle Accident
The experience of a motorcycle accident can leave you confused, disoriented, and most likely in pain.
While remaining focused and clear-headed in the immediate aftermath can present a challenge, try to take these steps to protect yourself physically and legally:
- Remove yourself from danger - The circumstances that caused your motorcycle accident can continue to present immediate danger after the initial impact. Survey your surroundings and move yourself to a safe and secure location nearby to avoid sustaining further injuries from surrounding traffic or damaged vehicles. If you can’t safely move, or if you are too injured to do so, ask those around you to take extra precautions to ensure your safety.
- Call 9-1-1 - Although it might not be your instinctual first response, calling 9-1-1 after a motorcycle accident is a very important step. The dispatcher you speak with will send medical assistance to the scene, as well as police officers. Once they arrive and feel assured that there is no immediate danger, the police will typically interview all parties involved in the accident and survey the damages. They will use all of this information to prepare an official police report, in which the officers will typically state who they believe to be at fault for the accident. Additionally, they might also issue a citation to the party that they believe to be liable.
- Seek medical attention - Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Even if you believe that you only sustained minor injuries, such as a bruise or a scrape, seek medical attention directly after the accident. Some injuries can take hours, days, or weeks to present symptoms. It is essential to see a doctor who can perform a proper medical evaluation on you and accurately assess your physical state.
The doctor can advise you on what symptoms watch for, and what type of medical treatment to seek should such symptoms manifest. Additionally, it is strongly suggested to see a doctor immediately after your motorcycle accident because insurance companies will later ask for your related medical records to assess the extent of your injuries when evaluating your claim. If you cannot provide documentation that shows that you sought out medical care promptly after the motorcycle accident, an insurance company may see this as evidence that your injuries are not as serious as you claim, or possibly not even related to the accident for which the claim has been opened.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer - There are many benefits to working with a skilled personal injury attorney after a motorcycle accident. An attorney can properly communicate with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to worry about making a statement that could hurt your claim. They can work to gather evidence to support your case, including supportive testimony from those who witnessed the accident. Your attorney will work through the complicated legal process as well, since they understand how to put together a list of current and potential future damages to request just compensation for your injuries. While there are many reasons to hire a motorcycle accident attorney, perhaps the most important is that they will work on your behalf to maximize your claim while you focus on resting and recovering.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you know the challenges of getting your life back together. Between dealing with doctors’ visits, mounting medical bills, and lost wages due to time off work, the entire situation can quickly begin to feel overwhelming. If you are dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident and believe that someone else is liable for your injuries, speak with an experienced attorney as soon as you can.
The process of obtaining the compensation you deserve can be a challenging one. It is difficult to manage on your own - and even more so while you are focusing on your physical recovery. Don’t let these difficulties prevent you from pursuing a legitimate motorcycle injury claim. Instead, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer right away.
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