Motorcycle accidents have more than doubled in the United States over the last decade according to a recent report from the Federal Highway Administration. By some accounts, bikers are almost 10 times more likely to be injured and 36 percent more prone to death as a result of an accident than those in other types of vehicles. This places motorcycle crashes in a class all their own.
Building a Case After a Motorcycle Accident
Gathering evidence is essential in any type of accident case, and those involving bikes are no different. While some supporting factors are universal, proving the cause and extent of motorcycle accident injuries may require a more in-depth assessment than other types of crashes. Though police reports aren’t admissible in court, certain other types of evidence have an impact on the outcome of a case.
Photos and Video
Pictures and video speak volumes when it comes to substantiating an injury claim. They’re able to provide details eyewitnesses are sure to overlook and offer solid proof of various circumstances surrounding the accident. Evidence that should be documented following a motorcycle crash include:
· Vehicle Damage: Documentation of vehicle damage goes a long way toward determining speed, force and angle of the impact, whether equipment failure might have occurred and other pertinent facts.
· Injuries: Photos of victims’ injuries help prove they were sustained as a result of the accident should this come into question.
· Road Conditions: From weather-related issues to lack of maintenance, road conditions undoubtedly factor into these types of accidents.
· Obstructions: Anything hampering motorcycle riders’ view of traffic signs and signals or oncoming traffic at intersections should be noted.
· Bikers’ Attire: What the victims were wearing at the time of an accident doesn’t ordinarily come under fire, but quite the opposite is true when motorcycles are involved. Pictures and videos prove whether the bikers were wearing helmets, leathers and other protective gear.
These are only a few aspects that should be recorded for posterity. Don’t hesitate to capture any additional factors you think may be relevant. Also, be sure to take pictures and videos from several angles so all bases are covered. Keep in mind, helmet cams and bike-mounted cameras provide a play-by-play account of the accident.
Proof of Medical Care
Never refuse an on-scene medical exam or ambulance ride to the nearest emergency room even if you think you’re not seriously injured. Adrenaline gives you the strength you need to pull through a harmful situation, but it wears off fairly quickly. Even a fifteen-minute delay in receiving post-accident medical care could mean the difference between surviving a crash and losing your life to a ruptured spleen.
At the same time, this immediate medical attention will form the foundation for a solid paper trail. Moving forward, be sure to collect documentation of any additional medical care needed due to the accident. These costs quickly add up, and verification of your injuries, their extent, and future medical needs is essential to receiving adequate compensation.
Witness testimonies will come into play throughout your case with each observer likely to provide unique key details. Take down their emails, phone numbers and even social media handles if possible. Having multiple forms of contact information ensures a backup plan should one of these options change before the time comes to enlist their assistance.
Compiling in-depth, conclusive evidence is vital to building a strong motorcycle accident case. Be sure to take ample pictures and video at the scene as soon as possible after the crash. Accept medical attention when it’s offered, and keep adequate records of any care needed after the fact. Gather witnesses’ contact info so you can get in touch with them as needed. Doing all this will help prove who is at fault and which damages you’re entitled to among other elements.