Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling way to get around Baton Rouge, but unfortunately, it is not always the safest. Thousands of motorcycle accidents happen throughout Louisiana every year, and when they do, it is always bikers who sustain the worst injuries. Motorcycle accidents happen in an instant, and afterward, you may be suffering from severe injuries and not know what steps to take next.
The actions you take now, though, are crucial. If someone else’s negligence caused your crash, you can hold them liable for paying damages for your losses. Taking the right steps can protect any future claim you file so you obtain the full compensation you deserve. Below, our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyer outlines the most important things to do after a crash.
Under Louisiana law, you are required to report any accident that results in injury, death, or over $500 in property damage. Still, even if there is the slightest chance that you do not think you are hurt, you should still report the accident. Calling the police to the scene will result in a police report being filed, and the report is an important piece of evidence when filing a claim. The police may include important information in the report, such as who was at fault for the crash. After the police have been called and the report has been filed, a Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyer can obtain a copy of it for you.
Motorcycle accidents cause some of the most severe injuries. It is critical that you seek medical treatment for them as soon as possible so they do not become worse. Seeking medical treatment will also document the nature and severity of your injuries, making it easier for you to prove your case in the future.
You may have also sustained some injuries that were not apparent right away. For example, you may have suffered a concussion but not realize it in the moments following a crash. A doctor will know what injuries to look for so you receive proper treatment and so they are all fully documented.
Not only is it essential to seek medical treatment immediately after a motorcycle accident, but it is also just as critical to follow through with all recommended medical treatments. If you fail to attend medical appointments or do not complete all treatment, the insurance company will use that as evidence that you are not really as injured as you claim. On the other hand, following through with all medical treatment shows the insurance adjuster and possibly a jury and judge that you are as hurt as you say and that you are experiencing a great deal of pain.
You may be surprised at how quickly an insurance adjuster will call you after your accident. They may act very friendly and as though they want to help you during this difficult time. They do not. They want to obtain a statement from you so they can take your words out of context in the future and use them as reasons to deny your claim.
If the adjuster offers you a settlement at this time, which is common, it will not be enough to fully cover the cost of your injuries and other losses. You should not accept the settlement offer and never sign anything the adjuster gives to you. Also, do not allow them to look at your damaged motorcycle.
When an adjuster contacts you, direct them to your Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyer. A lawyer will not allow the insurance company to use any of their common tricks in an attempt to deny or reduce the fair settlement you are entitled to.
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic, but still, over time, your memories may fade. It is important to keep detailed notes about some aspects of your accident to help keep your memory fresh. Write detailed notes about your recovery process, the amount of pain and discomfort you feel, your emotional state, and other important information. Also, detail how your injuries and the pain you have suffered have affected your daily life and relationships.
You will also receive a lot of documentation following a motorcycle accident. You should store all of this information in a safe place so you can access it easily when needed. Some of the most important documentation to keep includes:
- Medical documents pertaining to your doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and other medication, and laboratory results
- The date and cost of every visit when you received treatment
- Photographs of your injuries immediately after the crash and throughout the recovery process
- Receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
Some auto insurance policies have specific requirements for reporting accidents. An insurance policy is a contract with your insurer, and as long as the language complies with state law, you must follow its requirements. If you do not report the accident in the manner outlined in the policy, your insurance company may have the right to cancel the policy. Insurance policies are not always easy to understand, as they are often filled with legal jargon. A Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyer can review your insurance policy for you to make sure you comply with any requirements listed within it.
The recovery process after a motorcycle accident is a long one, and you will have a lot to think about. You must follow through with medical treatment, and you may be suffering from significant pain and emotional trauma. Now is not the time for you to collect evidence or negotiate with the insurance company. At Big River Law, our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyers can handle every detail of your claim, so your only focus can be on getting better. Call us now or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.