Here are some sombering statistics about motorcycle accidents in the US:
- Some 8.32 million motorcycles were registered with the DMV in 2020
- Most motorcycle accidents involve a collision with a car
- Two-thirds of the accidents are caused by the other vehicle violating the motorcycle’s right-of-way
- The next most common accidents involve intersection collisions and rear-end accidents
- Nearly 50,000 motorcyclists are seriously injured every year
- About 2,000 per year die from their injuries
- A staggering 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents injure or kill at least one person
Most accidents occur because of a failure to spot motorcycles in traffic. Car drivers often fail to maintain the required distance when approaching a motorcycle or make improper lane changes, thus leading to an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may deserve compensation. The at-fault party is responsible for any harm and losses caused to a motorcycle rider. This compensation may include physical impairment as well as economic and non-economic losses:
- Far too many accidents end up in permanent physical impairment. Common injuries involve broken bones of the lower body, as well as brain and spine injuries. Any permanent physical or mental impairment must be considered.
- Economic losses may include rehabilitation costs and medical bills. The medical costs alone can run to hundreds of thousands of dollars. They may also involve the loss of earning ability and lost wages while the injured rider is unable to work. Additionally, economic losses may include household services and the cost of repair or replacement of your motorcycle.
- Non-economic losses may include limitations to the daily activities of life, such as household chores and recreational activities. Such restraints can cause pain and suffering, emotional stress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Should this happen, these harms and losses can be valued and included in your claim.
Your best course of action is to hire an experienced Denver motorcycle accident attorney, who will help you with the process of obtaining the compensation you deserve. Crucially, cost need not be an issue. We know this is a difficult time for people who have suffered an accident. You should be focusing on getting better, not on fighting legal battles. That is why here at Help in Colorado, attorney fees are taken as a percentage of settlements the client receives, without you having to pay anything upfront!
The process will be much easier if you follow some basic rules at the scene of the accident.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
In states like Colorado, the concept of comparative negligence applies: a motorcycle rider who is partially responsible for the accident will have the value of their harms and losses reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to them.
That is why you must clearly establish that you followed the rules of the road and that you are not responsible for the collision. Unfortunately, parties often disagree as to who is at fault after an accident. Witnesses are not always available to tell the police what happened, and the other driver’s automobile insurance company may argue that the collision was your responsibility. They may also dispute the exact circumstances of the accident using a number of excuses. For example, you may have sustained injuries trying to avoid a collision with a car that ignored a red light. While you successfully avoided impact with the car, you still wrecked the motorcycle and injured yourself. Unfortunately, the car driver and their insurance company may deny liability arguing that no collision means no fault.
Additionally, you may be in a state of shock after an accident. Your body will be pumping adrenaline. As a result, you may walk away believing you are not hurt, only to discover later that your injuries are more severe than you originally thought. By then, however, it may be too late: you may not have gotten the other driver’s details or it may be hard to prove that your injuries were the result of the accident.
Finally, another common occurrence is for a car driver to flee the scene of an accident, especially when there are no witnesses. In hit-and-run accidents, you may never learn the name of the perpetrator unless you hire someone to help you.
For all these reasons, you should know what to do in case of an accident with a car. Documenting what occurred at the scene is crucial to a successful claim for compensation. Taking photographs from various perspectives and collecting the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses are critical.
What to Do at the Scene
Your first concern after an accident should obviously be your well-being. Check yourself for injuries and make sure you can safely move. If so, then follow the steps below.
1. Contact Law Enforcement
One major risk after an accident is another passing vehicle hitting you, so you should head for a safe area off the road as fast as possible.
Once you’re safe and sound, call 911 and inform them of the accident. Even if they don’t need to control traffic, you will now have a written record of the collision. This is crucial in determining who the party at fault is.
When the police show up, note the officer’s name and badge number and answer any questions they may have. Also make a note of the contact data of all involved parties and any witnesses to the accident as well as the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance company. If the police ask you to sign a statement, make sure all details are stated correctly.
While you address the police, the other driver, or any witnesses, remain calm. Anger is a natural response at times like this, especially if you or a loved one has been injured, but any profanity or aggressive behavior may go into the police report. Should the matter reach a jury, this may well create bias against you.
Staying calm will also help you avoid another common pitfall. For many of us, our first instinct is to comfort the other party. However, anything you say at this stage may be used against you. Statements such as, “It’s not your fault” can be used to show you are the at-fault party. Even saying something as innocent as, “I’m fine” can compromise your case if it reaches court. While being kind to the other party, avoid making any statements you will later regret.
If you are asked about your injuries, simply say you are not certain how you will feel later. Should you start feeling any discomfort, headache, nausea, etc., report it to the police right after your medical consultation.
2. Take Plenty of Photos
Take as many photos of the vehicles and the scene as possible. Do this as early as you can, since the vehicles involved may be moved for safety reasons. Include in your photos as many different angles as you can, making sure you capture the license plates of all the parties involved in the accident. Also include any photos of the surrounding environment that can help determine the cause of the accident. For example, was the road slippery or wet? Did a tree or other visual obstruction obscure a stop sign, yield sign, or speed limit sign? All these photos will prove invaluable in determining the party at fault.
Once you have all the photos you need, you can help move your motorcycle off the road. Again, you should do this as soon as possible, since you could be held responsible if your motorcycle causes an additional accident.
3. Get Medical Attention
Many people worry about the cost of getting medical attention after an accident. Even something as simple as an ambulance ride can seem daunting. Remember, though, that the cost will likely be covered by your health insurance or recovered from the at-fault driver. Importantly, the paramedics will provide treatment and document your condition. Because of the adrenaline flowing through your body after an accident, you may feel fine, only to discover a few hours later that you have actually suffered whiplash, a concussion, or some other injury that was not immediately obvious to you. This is the primary reason why you should seek immediate medical attention.
A second reason is that doing so will create a paper trail that documents your injuries. Keep all documents that can prove your injuries and the medical consultation and expenses.
Can a Lawyer Help?
After an accident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible, especially if there is damage to your property or, worse, an injury. A lawyer can help right away with things like getting the cost of the ambulance paid by your “Med Pay” coverage on your motorcycle.
Down the line, an experienced personal injury lawyer will help you in your dealings with the at-fault party’s insurance company. They will also organize the witness statements, prepare your medical file, and help you calculate the reimbursement you deserve, perhaps enlisting an expert witness.
If necessary, your attorney can file a lawsuit to obtain a fair settlement for your case. This is no cause for alarm, as a full 98% of the cases are resolved without ever going to trial. This is thanks to your lawyer, who provides you with the leverage you need to obtain a fair result without actually going to trial.
The last thing you need after a motorcycle accident is worrying about finances. Having an experienced lawyer deal with the other party’s insurance company can put your mind at ease, letting you or a loved person focus on what matters the most: recovering from the accident.
Need help understanding your rights to seek compensation? Our legal team is here to help you address any motorcycle accident injury in absolute confidence. The combined years of experience from our skilled attorneys exponentially increase your chances of getting a fair settlement. We also provide valuable advice regarding treatment, including offering you financial assistance by connecting you with medical liens. You don’t pay anything out of your own pocket and don’t owe us anything until we win your trial!
Initial consultations are free and conducted in absolute confidence, so if you are exploring the possibility of having a top-rated personal injury attorney take on your motorcycle accident case, contact Help in Colorado online, call us at (303) 351-2567, or visit our offices at 6795 E. Tennessee Ave. #210, Denver, CO, 80224.