6 Motorcycle Accident Mistakes from a Missouri Motorcycle Accident lawyer.
We’ve reached the time of year where motorcycles are out on the roads in full force. I know I am out riding about every night right now. I love riding in the evenings after it has cooled down. Unfortunately, this is also when the number of motorcycle accidents spike. As a Missouri personal injury attorney who has helped motorcycle accident victims fight insurance companies, I can help you avoid making mistakes that could cost you.
1. Not Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
If you have been injured in a Missouri motorcycle accident, you must see a doctor right away. Even if you are not sure whether or not you’ve been seriously hurt, you should take an ambulance from the crash site to the hospital to be checked out. Many conditions do not appear to be serious until weeks or even months after an accident. This can be especially true in motorcycle accidents, when you often have to use your whole body to try and avoid an accident and often you take a tumble no matter what you do. Untreated injuries can grow worse, turning your sore neck or shoulder into a permanent and disabling condition.
2. Not Preserving Evidence
Leave your bike in exactly the state it was in after the crash. Take photos. Keep your helmet and riding clothes even if they can’t be worn again. (You will want to replace your helmet before you ride next though.) Have a mechanic take a look at it but don’t fix anything. What you need is the mechanic’s expert opinion about the condition of the bike after the crash. Keep your bike in exactly that condition until after your lawyer tells you otherwise.
3. Speaking to the other Driver’s Insurance Company
Most insurance companies do not care whether or not you are compensated for your injuries. They have tricks of the trade that they will use against you to try and limit the amount of money they have to pay. Never sign a waiver or give a recorded statement regarding your accident. The easiest way to avoid their tricks is to avoid talking to them. If you are not sure what they are asking you to sign, have the document reviewed by an attorney. Better yet – DON’T sign anything until you talk with an experienced Missouri motorcycle accident attorney.
4. Waiting For Someone Else to Take Action
Both Missouri and Arkansas law say that the victim or the victim’s family is responsible for proving that the harms and losses are the result of the motorcycle accident, and that it was the other driver’s fault. Even if you believe the accident was not your fault, your own insurance company will not see it that way. Only you can take the first step in talking to a personal injury attorney.
5. Not Hiring a Qualified Motorcycle Accident Expert
Riding a motorcycle is very different from driving a car or a truck. To fully understand how motorcycles work, specific expertise is often required. In order to have your case reviewed fully, you should hire an expert who understands motorcycles. Your attorney will know who to hire if they have handled motorcycle accident claims.
A competent motorcycle expert can study the following factors that may have caused your crash:
- Measure skid marks to determine your speed and the speed of the other vehicles during the accident
- Study damage patterns on your motorcycle and other vehicles
- Study the weather conditions of the day of the accident to see if this factored into your accident
6. Waiting Too Long to Talk to a Motorcycle Attorney
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you must speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations in Missouri for personal injury are very strict. You must file your case by 5 years in Missouri from the date you were injured. If you do not do so, you cannot recover any damages for your injury.
However, a competent attorney will often spend up to six months (or sometimes even longer) looking into a case before they decide to file a lawsuit. Sometimes you can get a case on file sooner but you do not want to assume this to be true. The reason it takes time is in order to properly investigate the injuries you suffered to make sure your case is worth pursuing. That is why you cannot wait to speak with an attorney.
If you want more information about what you should do after a motorcycle accident and learn more about common missteps (and how to avoid them) order your copy my free book before you speak with another lawyer or anyone from the other drivers insurance company.
Clearly, situations where a victim would benefit from legal representation for a motorcycle accident claim far outnumber situations in which having an attorney is unnecessary. Fortunately, we are here to provide you with the assistance you need after a crash. When you are ready to take the next steps, contact me at 417 883-5886 or Toll Free a 1800 345-0535 for a free, no-obligation consultation.