7/05/2020- Updated As Of
Being in a motorcycle accident is a traumatic and often overwhelming experience. Some accidents are minor incidents, but many are serious, complicated, and often not the rider’s fault. Motorcycles have equal standing with other vehicles under Oregon law, and yet courts, judges, and insurance companies can seem less willing to give riders the compensation they deserve after they sustain a motorcycle accident injury. There are plenty of careless drivers on the road; riders encounter constant brushes with danger, and just one accident could change your life forever.
Greg Veralrud, one of Oregon’s top personal accident injury attorneys, has some advice on things you should do after a motorcycle accident. If you have recently suffered an injury from a motorcycle accident, you are probably in a great deal of pain and most probably unable to work until you recover. The information you gather and what you do and say after your accident will have a say in your insurance settlement or personal injury case. Here is a quick checklist of things you can do to make sure you get all of the compensation that you deserve.
AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT:
1. Assess Yourself for Serious Injuries
Do a check to gauge the damage done by the accident. Call 911 immediately if you have a serious injury.
2. File a Police Report
File a police report. Some drivers will offer not to get the police involved and handle compensation personally. Do not fall for this. Not only is it illegal not to report accidents ending in injury or property damage of $1,500 or greater, but filing a police report is the only way you can document the accident and make sure to get your side of the story on the record.
You might feel fine now, but you never know if the nagging pains you feel are indicators of long-term medical issues caused by the accident. When the police come, make sure they take down your statement, and make sure that you report any and all injuries you have received, no matter how small they seem right now.
3. Get Driver and Witness Names and Contact Information
Get the name, address, phone number, insurance information, driver’s license number, and vehicle license plate of all motorists involved in the accident. Make sure to also ask witnesses for their name and contact information.
4. Don’t Admit Fault
Never apologize for an accident, whether to other motorists or to the police. Even if you are pretty sure the accident was your fault, just check yourself for injuries, make sure everyone at the scene does not have serious injuries, and call the police and file the accident report. Do not say anything or admit to anything that you do not have to. If other parties’ insurance try to interview you, refuse to give any type of statement until you have legal representation.
AFTER THE ACCIDENT:
1. Document the Accident
Take mental notes on how the accident happened. Try to remember road, weather, and traffic conditions as well as the what/where/when of the accident. If you have a smartphone or camera on hand after the accident, take pictures of the accident scene. Make sure to take as many good pictures as you can, including traffic signals/signs and the place of the accident. (If you cannot do this due to your injuries, ask a friend or family member to help you as soon after the accident as possible.)
Leave your motorcycle, clothes, and riding gear untouched after the accident. This can be good evidence for the severity of the accident. Take good pictures from many angles so that a person could judge the severity of the accident based on those pictures.
2. Document Your Injuries
Visit to the doctor to get checked out immediately after your accident, even if do not think you have serious injuries. Doing so establishes a record that you sustained a motorcycle accident injury. Again, you might feel fine, but you could have incurred severe medical issues from the accident.
3. Document Your Recovery
Consider creating a journal of your injuries, their lasting effects, and the process (and all costs incurred by you) of getting better. Make sure you keep all correspondence from medical professionals, and you get the name and address of all doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals your doctor refers you to. Also keep test results, forms, bills, and other paperwork.
- Make a daily entry (photos are valuable) recording your pain level, injuries, medication, and any decrease in your quality of life stemming from being injured.
- Make an entry when you talk with a nurse or doctor about your injury. If the communication is a phone call, jot down a summary of the conversation and put it into the journal.
- Record travel expenses to and from your doctor visits.
- Save your prescriptions, co-payment receipts, as well as all other medical bills and receipts (such as special food and nutrition, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and other equipment).
4. Consider Calling an Oregon Personal Injury Attorney
If you followed all the steps above, you have everything you can to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Unfortunately, sometimes doing everything you can is not enough. The truth is that in many cases, insurance companies and at-fault parties will do anything and everything they can in order not to have to make things right, or pay as little as they can. Courts and insurance companies can show a great deal of prejudice against motorcycle riders. Hiring an Oregon personal injury attorney is often the right choice if you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident. With Greg Veralrud, you will have a team of legal professionals on your side to handle the insurance claim and lawsuit (if one is needed) who will do everything they can to make sure that you get the treatment and compensation you deserve.
If you are still unsure on whether or not you need an Oregon personal injury attorney, call Greg Veralrud today for a free phone consultation. Greg will review your case with you and discuss your legal options free of charge. We are confident that we can help make things right. Any and all legal fees are contingent on you winning your case or settlement.
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