Legal Tips on filing a motorcycle accident claim
One thing that millions of Americans can agree on is that motorcycles bring a freedom that can’t be found in a car, SUV, or truck. But with the freedom of a motorcycle also comes the risk. Usually due to the distraction of other drivers, those who operate motorcycles are more likely to be in a fatal or injury-inducing accident than other drivers. This means that motorcyclists need to be knowledgeable on the steps they need to follow after an accident, particularly one that results in an injury. If you are ever in an accident, it is good to have information on what you need to do
Injury Statistics for Motorcyclists
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 2015 there were 88,000 motorcycle-related injuries. While that was a decrease from previous years, it is still high enough to make it likely that a motorcycle crash has affected you or someone you know. To know more, check out the injury statistics from the U.S. DOT, NHTSA, and FHWA below:
- The most dangerous time of weekday for a motorcyclist to drive is between 3 and 6 PM with 23.7% of fatalities and 27.5% of injuries occurring during that time.
- Per 100,000 registered vehicles, the number of fatal crashes has decreased from 74.31 in 2006 to 59.02 in 2015.
- The rate of accident fatality in 2016 was 5,286 out of 8,679,380 registered motorcycles.
Some of these statistics can be daunting or a bit scary. Knowing what to do if an accident does occur can help to relieve some of those fears and anxieties. Below you can find a list of tips on how to file an accident claim.
Tips on Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in the Boulder/Longmont Area
Being aware of the accident claims process is crucial for motorcyclists. Since you are at a statistically higher rate for accidents, you should be aware of what to do in the case of an event, especially an injury-inducing one. These tips are great to know before they are needed but can be used even after an event has occurred:
- Get medical treatment. If you have been hurt in an accident, the first thing you need to do is take care of yourself and any injuries you may have received.
- File a police report. If you are in an accident involving an injury, it is likely that the police will be called. Talk to them and file a report for documentation purposes. Also, be sure to receive the accident report number so you are able to obtain a copy of it.
- Take photos. If you are able to get pictures of the accident and/or any road conditions, do so. These could be very beneficial to any lawyer overseeing your case case if you ever need to file a claim.
- Talk to witnesses. If you get in an accident where there are witnesses, attempt to talk to them and get their information. This is not necessary but it can help your case.
- Get the other driver’s information. Get the name, address, license number, and insurance of the other driver involved in the accident. The best way to do this is by asking for their license and insurance card. Even if you are unable to get this for yourself, it should have been included on the police report.
- Do not talk to an insurance company alone. After an accident involving another driver, do not talk to their insurance company. Instead of trying to handle in on your own, contact a lawyer with experience in motorcycle accident claims.
- Be aware of your state's system. Colorado is a tort state. This means that someone must be found to be at fault for causing the accident. This also means that the at-fault person is responsible for the other driver’s medical expenses.
- Know your policy. Do you have med pay, un/underinsured coverage, or an umbrella policy? Despite what many insurance agents say, med pay is a great benefit to have. More than likely you already have un/underinsured coverage, but it is always useful to know all aspects of your insurance before you need it.
Having preemptive knowledge about what to do in the case of an accident is the responsible thing to do. Even if you are finding these tips after an accident, they can still be very helpful — you just may need extra help from a lawyer. If that is the case, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If You Get in an Accident
In the event that you are in an unavoidable accident and you are injured while riding your motorcycle, please don’t hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Edward Smith for legal guidance. I have been working in the Boulder and Longmont areas of Colorado for more than 26 years helping people collect payment from those responsible for such incidents.