The first thing anyone should do after a motorcycle accident is to be checked out by a doctor or a hospital. Once they are determined to be okay physically, the second step should be to consult a lawyer just to find out their legal rights, and find out what the lawyer thinks about the case. They should do this even if they don't want to hire a lawyer, because the lawyer can advise them as to what steps they need to take next.
Most of the time, after a motorcycle accident, the bike is totaled, and at the very least the person will have to deal with who was at fault and determine the value of the motorcycle.
With most motorcycle accidents, there is an injury; at least a severe road rash, which means they won't be able to go back to work for a period of time, which means they must deal with work issues, which may include some type of short term disability or an income withholding plan to get them over the hump. They will have to deal with the doctors and insurance companies, if there is insurance available; and making sure medical expenses are paid. If there is no insurance to cover medical expenses, they will have to try to work with the doctors and perhaps ask them to hold off until the case is resolved.
What Happens Next?
Once the person is done with medical treatment or has reached what is called maximum medical improvement, they have to put together all available information and make a claim against either the defendant's or the at fault party's insurance company, whichever is appropriate.
If we can get fair value for the case and it's something that the client decides that they want to accept, then we can resolve the claim and try to negotiate some of the bills with the healthcare providers. If the insurance company is being unfair, the client must then decide if they want to take the next step and file a lawsuit.
If they choose to file a lawsuit, we have to go through the litigation process, including written discovery, answering questions under oath and depositions, which are oral statements. The client may have to be examined by a doctor chosen by and attend several court hearings. Before the client gets a trial date, the court will require them to go to mediation, which is an informal settlement conference with another lawyer who is a neutral third party. If the case does not resolve in mediation, then you move toward trial.
That's the process.
Examples of Interesting Motorcycle Accident Cases
Once, a client on a motorcycle was hit by a drunk driver, was taken to a hospital, spent many days in the hospital and incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. The person who hit him was pretty much uninsured, and the motorcyclist had no health insurance, nor did he had uninsured motorist coverage on his bike. Basically, the motorcyclist was out of luck, and stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and problems for the rest of his life.
In another case, a motorcyclist fractured his tibial plateau, which is the bottom part of the knee, needed surgery and developed arthritis in his knee, but the accident was clear cut accident and he ended up getting a fair amount.
Most motorcycle injuries are to the head or the lower extremities, including fractures of the femur, knee or ankle. They can often be severe orthopedic injuries or head injuries.
Once, a NYPD police office was riding his motorcycle in Daytona Beach when a lady turned left in front of him, causing an accident that caught his led between the bike and the car. The damage to his leg was so severe, he lost it in an above-the-knee amputation. Another client suffered a severe ankle injury when it became caught in the peg when the bike went down.
So, those are the types of injuries that we see most often.
Do Scooters and Mopeds Fall into the Category of Motorcycles?
On the personal injury side, the issue isn't what you were riding, but whether the driver of the other vehicle was negligent and whether that negligence caused the injuries.
For more information on Aggravating Factors for Motorcycle Accident Cases, please call (219) 874-4878 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you're seeking.