What to Do If I’m in an Accident on My Motorcycle
Being involved in a motorcycle accident in Louisville can be a truly devastating experience, and can potentially result in catastrophic injuries that lead to costly medical bills. And, to be sure, even minor injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash often require immediate medical attention, and may leave the rider unable to return to work for a period of time and earn the money necessary to take care of his or her family.
Sadly, motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common in our state. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office of Highway Safety provides statistics showing that in 2014 alone there were 1,275 motorcycle accident-related injuries statewide, 76 of which led to fatalities. Fortunately, however, there are a number of steps that motorcycle accident victims can take in the aftermath of a crash in order to help protect their rights to compensation, which include the following:
Do Not Admit Fault
Most importantly, victims of a motorcycle accident in Kentucky should be careful to never admit fault in the aftermath of the wreck, or to say anything that could potentially be construed as an admission of liability. For example, a motorcyclist involved in a crash with other drivers or riders may be tempted to say “I didn’t see you there,” or “I didn’t mean to hit you”. Saying either of these phrases could be used by the other drivers to demonstrate an admission of guilt. Even simply saying “I’m sorry” could lead to a larger amount of fault being apportioned to the motorcyclist than necessary. Ultimately, a crash victim should say as little as necessary after a wreck in order to avoid unnecessary liability.
Call the Police
At the scene of an accident, an accident victim should be sure to contact law enforcement as quickly as possible. Police officers will take an accident report on scene, which will allow each party involved to describe their version of the story. Police officers will also take witness testimony and record other details of the crash, all of which will be included in a crash report. This, in turn, can be utilized later on should a crash victim choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
Outside of avoiding an admission of guilt, perhaps the most important step in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident involves obtaining medical attention as soon as possible. In more serious accidents, a rider may be unconscious or unable to call for medical attention for him or herself; however, even if a rider has sustained only minor injuries, or doesn’t show signs of injury at all, he or she should still make sure to be examined by a medical professional after the wreck. In general, this is important for a number of reasons: for one, many injuries, such as those affecting soft tissue, may not show symptoms immediately, but can lead to long-term issues later on. By receiving medical attention quickly, a crash victim may be able to mitigate these damages. Furthermore, obtaining immediate medical attention will protect a victim’s rights in a civil lawsuit later on. To be sure, waiting for days or even weeks after the date of the crash could allow an insurer or other defendant to claim that the injuries worsened over time, and that the victim should be partially responsible for his or her own damages.
Contact an Attorney
Finally, all motorcycle accident victims in Kentucky should make sure to call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A skilled personal injury attorney can act as an advocate on behalf of the victim and help him or her decide the correct course of action to recover compensation, whether that involves filing an accident claim or pursuing a lawsuit. Additionally, a lawyer can help gather all necessary evidence of the crash, such as photographs, witness statements, and more to help bolster a claim for compensation.
At John H. Ruby & Associates, we understand the pain and devastation associated with being involved in a crash in Louisville, and we are here to fight for the rights of crash victims in the area. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office today for a consultation and to learn how we can be of assistance. Contact our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at (502) 895-2626.