Probably the biggest misconception people who have been injured in a motorcycle is in thinking that just because that they are injured, the other party needs to pay them money. It's not that easy.
In order to collect on your accident, you will have to prove that the other person was negligent, that their negligence caused the accident and that the injuries you claim were directly caused by the specific accident. Simply being injured in a motorcycle accident is not enough.
Unintentional Mistakes That Can Hurt a Motorcycle Accident Case
Sometimes, a client will post stuff about their injuries on social media. The problem with that is, doing that means the other side can use all of their social media posts and document everything they did before, during or after the accident, which can open up a can of worms.
Another mistake some will make is to give far too much information to the other party's insurance company without thinking. If you're involved in an accident, you have no duty to give the other insurance company statement of any kind, especially a recorded one. Sometimes, you may say something that hurts your case, such as, “I saw that other vehicle about a minute before the accident.”
To say something like that without thinking can be used against you, even if you said “a minute,” but you meant a split second. As you can guess, there is a lot of difference between a split second and ‘a minute.' If it had been a full minute, the defense can make the case that you had plenty of time to stop.
Another mistake is to wait to see a doctor after the accident. When you're making an injury claim, you have to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. There may be something for the doctor to find that isn't immediately apparent, such as internal bleeding or a hairline fracture or a number of other medical conditions that could be happening.
Many accident victims also immediately get the motorcycle repaired or totaled without taking pictures of the bike to document the damage before allowing the bike to be totaled or repaired. Often, people assume the body shop or insurance company will take pictures.
Accident victims also fail to take photos of the scene. This is important, because there may be a number of conditions present that could help your case. In Indiana, it's possible that trees or corn or soybean fields could be obstructing lines of vision, which can sometimes be a really important fact in the case.
If you're in an accident in July or August when the corn is pretty high, but you don't hire me until January, obviously if I go to the scene to take photos, it won't look the same, because the trees are bare and there are no corn stalks. It's important to document the scene at the time of the accident.
Sometimes, a client won't document their injuries, some of which may heal over the course of six months. Without photos of the injuries immediately after the accident, the insurance adjuster, the judge or the jury may not fully understand what you went through. It's important to document all of your injuries, including bruises, cuts and scrapes because those injuries heal and you know a picture is worth a thousand words.
If I haven't Hired an Attorney Yet, What Should I Say to the Other Party's Insurance Company?
First, don't tell them that you have a lawyer if you don't, because that's a lie. Instead, tell them you're thinking about hiring a lawyer. Then, you should be quiet and not give a sworn or recorded statement to the other insurance company, because nothing good can comes from these statements. If you plan to go ahead without an attorney, explain that you're uncomfortable giving a sworn statement, but if they want you to discuss the incident or injuries without informally, you will. But never a sworn or recorded statement.
For more information on Misconceptions about Motorcycle Accident Cases, please call us today to schedule a free initial consultation, and get the information and legal answers you're seeking.