Your top priority after being in a motorcycle accident will be to follow your doctor’s orders so you can heal and recuperate as best as possible. Your second priority will be to prove you did not cause your own crash so you can collect as much compensation as possible from the party that did.
Step 1: Be Aware of Motorcycle Bias
If you’ve been a motorcyclist for a while, then you probably already know about the motorcycle bias rooted in both societal and insurance company expectations. People wrongly assume that motorcyclists are reckless by nature, and that’s why they choose to ride a motorcycle in the first place. This subconscious bias creeps into how liability is evaluated by insurance adjusters, judges, police officers, and so forth.
To get a fuller idea of motorcycle bias and how it could affect your motorcycle accident claim, click here to view a previous blog post from The Fran Haasch Law Group in Clearwater, Florida.
Step 2: Proof is in the Evidence
After being in any sort of accident, including motorcycle accidents, you need to know where you can find proof of liability and how to use it. The more evidence you have that shows you were riding responsibly when you were hit by another driver, the better.
Common types of evidence used in motorcycle accident claims are:
- Helmet cam footage: Every motorcyclist should invest in a helmet cam or headlight cam that constantly records while the motorcycle is in motion. The footage record on such cameras can be definitive, showing exactly what happened and who is to blame for the crash. Any dashboard cams owned by the other motorists in your crash can also be useful. It might be possible for your attorney to subpoena the footage to use to your benefit.
- Surveillance footage: Cameras on surrounding buildings and businesses should also be checked to see if they have captured the event of the accident or the vehicles and events leading up to the crash. Surveillance footage can also give a different angle or perspective to better understand the crash.
- Eyewitness testimony: Cameras are perfect to record exactly what happened, but peoples’ memories are the next best thing. Talk to eyewitnesses who stop to help after your crash. Ask any who have good information to provide a written statement, writing it then and there. If possible, they should create it on their smartphone and email or text it to you to create a timestamp that shows when they wrote it down.
- Police statements: Any violent motor vehicle accident should be investigated by first responders, including the police. In a police statement, the officer will usually write one party down as “Party One,” which is typically who they think caused the accident. Ask for a copy of the statement to be sent to you and check it for accuracy. If it is inaccurate or does not list the other driver as Party One, then, with an attorney’s help, you may be able to request the statement be corrected.
- Photographs: Don’t forget the importance of snapping photographs of the crash scene using your smartphone. Pictures really do say a thousand words. Get pictures using multiple angles to best recreate the entire scene.
Step 3: Find an Attorney Who Rides
To get reliable legal representation for your motorcycle accident case, you need to find a motorcycle accident attorney who genuinely understands what it means to be a motorcyclist on the road with negligent motorists in larger vehicles. You need to find a lawyer who is an avid motorcyclist just like you. With their insight and firsthand experience, they will not only be better prepared to handle the details of your case, but they will also be naturally more motivated to secure a victory on your behalf because they and their friends have also been in similar situations.
For the people in Clearwater, Florida, Attorney Fran M. Haasch of The Fran Haasch Law Group is exactly such a lawyer. She loves to ride her motorcycle whenever possible, interacts with her local community of riders, and focuses much of her practice specifically on motorcycle accident claims.
Need Fran’s representation for a motorcycle accident case of your own? Call (727) 784-8191 right now!