What Steps Should I Take After a Motorcycle Accident?
The most important step you should take following a motorcycle accident is seeking medical treatment. Even if you did not seek help from the EMTs and paramedics at the scene or go to the emergency room, you still need to be seen by a doctor. Those who have been in crashes experience a rush of adrenaline that can mask injuries. Some injuries may not be immediately obvious, such as a closed head injury, hairline fractures, and soft tissue injuries.
If you haven’t sought medical treatment yet, do so now so you can get the proper treatment for your injuries. Furthermore, you will need medical documentation of injury-related diagnoses that connect your injuries to the crash for any insurance claim.
If you have been seen by a doctor, follow the treatment plan. You should complete the plan as prescribed, even if you start feeling better. It will substantiate the value of any claim for damages you make; however, the more important reason to do it is for the sake of your long-term health.
Here are three other key steps you should take:
- Document what you can and gather documents. Photos of the crash scene and the vehicles involved, including your motorcycle, are helpful for your claim. Writing down the events as you remember them while they are fresh in your mind is also useful. There are also documents to gather, including the crash report, witness statements and contact information, insurance information, as well as copies of your medical records for treatment related to the crash.
- Contact your insurance company and the negligent driver’s insurance company. Because Hawaii is a no-fault state, your insurance will pay up to the limits of your coverage following a crash. If your damages exceed the limits of your policy, or if your injuries are permanent or disfiguring, you can file a third-party claim against the bodily injury liability coverage included in the at-fault driver’s policy. Therefore, you will need to put their insurance company on notice.
- Hire a personal injury attorney. Investigating the circumstances of the crash, collecting documents, notifying insurers, and filing a third-party liability claim may seem overwhelming to you. Your personal injury attorney will take care of these things on your behalf, plus guide you through the claims process, value your claim, negotiate with insurers and if necessary, present your case in a civil court.
What If My Loved One Was Injured or Killed in a Motorcycle Accident?
If a loved one is not capable of filing their own personal injury claim following a motorcycle accident, their attorney in fact, named in a durable power of attorney, may file a claim or sue on their behalf. If there is no attorney in fact, the court can appoint a conservator to do so.
If a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, certain people may file a wrongful death action. The surviving spouse, children, parents, or others financially dependent on the decedent may file to recover their damages. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a claim to recover expenses incurred by the estate, such as medical expenses and funeral and burial costs.
Any personal injury or wrongful death claim must establish negligence on the part of the other party by proving their action or inaction caused the accident and resulting damages.