Motorcycle accidents, specifically hit-and-run motorcycle accidents, happen all too often in the United States. In 2019, motorcyclists represented 14% of all traffic-related deaths, and about 75% of motorcycle accidents involved another vehicle. About 80% of motorcycle accidents result in fatalities, and almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2018.
For those who survive motorcycle accidents and hit-and-run motorcycle accidents, knowing what to do after the accident can be difficult if you don’t know the proper paths to take. In this article, you will find step-by-step instructions on what to do immediately after you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, what to do when the accident is over, and how to build a lawsuit for your accident. We’ve also included legal resources to help you or another victim of a hit-and-run motorcycle accident.
What to do at the Scene of an Accident
In this section, we’ll cover the basic steps of what to do if you’ve been involved in a hit & run motorcycle accident and you’re the party that was the victim of the incident.
Step 1 - Find a Safe Area
After an accident, you want to make sure that you avoid any further damage or injuries by moving yourself out of the way of traffic so that no one else gets hurt. If you’re on a residential street or a street with a sidewalk, find safety near the curb and make sure you are not seriously injured. Your safety is the priority.
Step 2 - Seek Medical Attention
After an injury, you may have serious injuries that must be attended to. Once you get to safety, call 911 or ask a bystander to call for medical assistance. Make sure to give a single person specific instructions on how they can help you. The sooner you receive medical attention and start a police report, the better.
Step 3 - Describe All Symptoms and Injuries
Once 911 arrives, and you receive medical attention, describe your symptoms and any injuries you may have suffered as thoroughly as possible. Traumatic head injuries can often take place in motorcycle accidents, so report any signs of concussions or other head injuries.
Step 4 - Give a Detailed Report to Police
After you’ve gotten medical attention:
Talk to the police and give them a detailed report of the incident.
Be thorough with your report.
Note traveling speed, the vehicle's make/model/color, what the driver looked like (if you saw), and their approximate age, as well as the direction they came from and where they headed, if applicable.
Some states have laws that allow motorcyclists to wear recording devices while driving, so if you are wearing one, state that to the authorities.
What to Do After Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Step 1 - Gather Evidence
Gather as much evidence as you can for your claim. This includes pictures of the accident scene, photo evidence of any injuries, photo evidence of damage to your vehicle, video evidence (if allowed by state law), CCTV footage, hospital bills, and vehicle repair costs. Also, keep track of lost wages if your injuries keep you out of work.
Step 2 - Contact Your Insurance Company
After your accident, contact your insurance company about the accident and file an insurance claim as soon as possible. This will help ease some of the worries after an accident and quickly get the ball rolling on your claim. The sooner you contact your insurance after a hit & run motorcycle incident, the better.
Step 3 - Contact a Lawyer
Once you’ve gathered your evidence after the accident, call an attorney to see if you may have a case. Despite it being a hit & run accident, sometimes things like potholes, missing traffic signs, or debris can lead to the incident occurring. This would give the victim of the accident a case against the government agency responsible for those things and make them liable for the accident.
Can I Still Recover Compensation if the Other Driver Isn’t Identified?
The answer to this question depends on some factors. Sometimes, you can still recover compensation if the other driver of your hit & run motorcycle accident is not identified or found. You can try to file a claim through your insurance under the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, but it must be included in your own insurance policy.
What Happens if the Police Find the Other Driver and They Don’t Have Insurance?
If the driver who hit you is found after your accident and it is discovered that they do not have insurance or is underinsured, you can still attempt to get compensation from your own insurance policy if you have the uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. If the driver is underinsured, your policy will cover the difference in the cost of the claim.
How to Start a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
If you have recently been the victim of a motorcycle accident or a hit & run motorcycle accident, this section will provide the necessary steps to build and start your lawsuit. Victims of these accidents deserve proper justice and compensation, so follow these steps to get what you rightly deserve!
Step 1 - Find and Hire an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
After getting the proper medical attention after your accident, the top priority should be finding and hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you recoup compensation. Your attorney will fully understand the extent of your legal rights and help you get the compensation you deserve from this traumatic experience. Hiring an attorney right away while the details of the incident are still fresh in your mind is important.
Step 2 - Gather Evidence
As previously stated, you should gather as much evidence of the accident as possible. An attorney can help you determine what is needed and can utilize their resources to collect things like CCTV footage, which can be challenging. Getting information for witnesses is also extremely important, as your attorney can speak with them and build your case using their testimony.
Step 3 - Determine Negligence
If your motorcycle accident is not a hit & run incident, it is important to establish the negligence of the at-fault party in your lawsuit. In these types of accidents, negligence is determined as the failure to be responsible on the road. It could be that the at-fault party was speeding, merging lanes without signaling, or driving under the influence. These are all examples of negligence that could lead to a motorcycle accident.
Step 4 - Put an Amount on Your Claim
In your motorcycle accident claim, it’s important to put a value on both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include hospital bills, treatment costs, lost wages, and repair costs to your motorcycle. Punitive damages are things like emotional damages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress that can occur after an accident.
Step 5 - Decide if You Want to Settle or Not
Many accident cases rarely make it to trial. Most motorcycle accident cases end up getting settled before going to trial since these types of lawsuits can take a very long time and cost a lot of money, sometimes a lot more than it would be just to settle the case. Trials also do not guarantee a victory for the victim, which is why most victims will settle before it goes to trial.
Legal Resources for Victims of Hit and Run Motorcycle Accidents
Getting in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident can be very traumatic. It’s important to follow the steps that are in this document, especially when it comes to your health. If you or someone you know is the victim of a hit-and-run motorcycle accident and is unsure of where to get legal help regarding the accident, this section will provide several legal resources with links attached. Get the help you need and deserve as a victim of this unfortunate accident!
Motorcycle Legal Foundation
The Motorcycle Legal Foundation is an educational resource that is privately owned and operated to provide legal resources to motorcyclists involved in hit-and-run motorcycle accidents. The site includes contact information for nationwide attorneys specializing in motorcycle and hit-and-run motorcycle accidents. The site also provides resources for motorcycle safety, insurance, gear, products, motorcycle reviews, and blogs on several motorcycle topics. To learn more about the Motorcycle Legal Foundation and how they can provide you with support after your accident, visit their website here.
US Claims is a website dedicated to helping victims of personal injury accidents, including hit-and-run motorcycle accidents, get the funding they need to pursue their lawsuits. They can provide information on how to find an attorney to help with your case, as well as provide funding for your attorney and the lawsuit as a whole. While they are not exactly a true legal resource, they can help you locate an attorney for your case and help you get the funding you need for your attorney and your lawsuit in order to pursue it if that is what you choose. To learn more about US Claims and how they can help you after your hit-and-run motorcycle accident, visit their website here.
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