The end of summer is on its way, and for many, the cooler days and nights are the perfect time to get out and take a long ride on their motorcycle. However, with the nice weather comes lots of traffic, and higher chances of suffering a motorcycle accident injury.
Just this week I was talking to a biker who was rear ended as he was properly yielding to the traffic in front of him. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 4,668 motorcycle riders killed in 2013 – 32 in Iowa – and over 88,000 motorcyclists injured.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a motorcycle accident, you should follow these simple steps in order to protect your rights. If you don’t, you better believe the insurance industry will try to use the situation to its advantage.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Most motorcycle accidents result in injuries. Often those injuries are serious enough that they need to be treated immediately. Even if you’re not sure whether or not you were seriously hurt in your wreck, it is a good idea to see a doctor.
If an ambulance is called to the accident scene, take it. Don’t try to tough it out – remember your adrenaline is flowing and when it wears off, you will likely be in pain. Get checked out by an ER doctor.
Many injuries don’t show up immediately, or can grow worse with time if not properly treated. Your body and mind will be in shock after the accident and will conceal the extent of your injuries. When in doubt, always see a physician to make sure your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated.
Treat Your Injuries Until You Are Healed
Many motorcycle accident injuries are severe enough that physical therapy or multiple visits to the doctor may be necessary. This can be a hassle. Obviously, broken bones or amputations will need months or even years of treatment. But even if you suffered road rash, you may need multiple skin grafts to ensure your skin is properly reconstructed. Regardless, it can take months to heal the skin. Make sure that you are treating all of your injuries until a doctor says that they are healed.
If you quit treating before the doctor says to, it may be more difficult to prove that you had a serious injury if you file a lawsuit down the road. The insurance company will say you were not hurt that badly because you did not fully treat or skipped appointments.
Don’t Sign Any Paperwork from the Other Person’s Insurance Company
Insurance companies want you to settle as quickly as possible, for as little as possible. That is their number one goal. They want to gather information that helps them, not you. They do not want to offer you a fair settlement right away because that means more money taken out of their pocket.
Often, victims of a motorcycle accident don’t realize that they are being offered incredibly low settlements that will not cover their lasting injuries, nor will there be any money left for future doctors’ appointments or necessary treatments. And let’s face it, your largest injury is simply you – you are often not the same after a bad motorcycle collision, and it takes a lot to make up for this.
Don’t sign over your bike until it has been photographed and measured by a motorcycle attorney or his or her expert. You would be surprised how often the insurance company tries to blame the motorcycle rider years after an accident occurs – one that you thought was clear-cut.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to review an insurance company’s offer and tell you whether or not they are offering a fair settlement. More than likely, you will need to talk to an attorney to make sure that you will be compensated fairly for your injuries. And I don’t want to disappoint or scare you but I must tell you the truth: motorcycle cases can take some time to handle correctly. It deserves your attorney’s full and complete attention.
At RSH Legal, we have knowledgeable attorneys that can help you get justice after your motorcycle accident. Call us today at 1-319-774-1542.