Unfortunately, a motorcyclist is many times more likely to incur traumatic injuries in an accident than someone driving a car, often despite riding responsibly. At our law firm, we believe that motorcycle riders have every right to be on the road, and that negligent drivers must be held accountable. When you need to build a strong case against the driver who hit you, it’s time to reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer in San Antonio.
How to Build a Solid Case With Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents are often among the most serious vehicle crashes that occur on the road. If you have incurred a personal injury while riding, proving your damages and demonstrating the other driver’s negligence is of the utmost importance. Presenting a strong case often requires overcoming biases against motorcycle riders, along with showing clear evidence in your favor. Here are some tips to consider as you prepare to go up against the other driver or their insurance company:
Gather as Much Evidence as You Can Before You Leave the Scene of the Crash
Understandably, some riders are in no physical condition to document the crash moments after it occurs. However, if you are able, you should take videos and pictures of the accident while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. Alternatively, someone else could do the documenting on your behalf. Evidence captured on a smartphone is legally permissible in court and could be extremely valuable when determining fault.
In addition to taking footage, try to speak with any bystanders who saw the crash take place. If they are willing, you should take down their contact information so that your lawyer can reach out to them later. You should also note the names of the responding officers and the number of the police report.
Speak With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Immediately After the Crash
The earlier you speak with a personal injury lawyer, the more value they can bring to your case. Your lawyer will coach you on steps you need to take immediately after the crash to protect your claim. For example, he or she might instruct you on how to make sure your injuries are fully noted in your medical records when you go to the hospital or on how you should handle an encounter with the claims adjuster.
While it is best to contact a lawyer early, you may still benefit from legal guidance if you are already in the middle of your case. By taking over communications with the insurance company, your lawyer can help you avoid being the target of manipulative tactics. Among other tasks, your lawyer will check to make sure your list of damages is complete, review any settlement offers you receive, and prepare your litigation case, if necessary.
Contact Your Insurance Company
While you may wish to seek damages from the other driver, you might need to resort to your own insurance if he or she does not have enough coverage to pay for all your losses. Contacting your provider within 24 hours of the crash can help you avoid running into policy clauses stating that your coverage is void if you report an accident more than one day after it occurs.
Delegate All Communications With the Other Side to Your Lawyer
If you have legal representation, you are under no legal obligation to speak with the other side directly. In fact, any statements you make can be used against you in court. While saying things like “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see the car coming” could seem benign, your words might be spun as an admission of partial guilt.
The other driver’s insurance company may try to ask you for a recorded statement. They probably won’t tell you that you have every right to refuse and that the request is an attempt to gather evidence in favor of the defense. Similarly, you are not required to speak with the claims adjuster or sign any insurance documents at the scene of the accident.
Reach Out to Expert Witnesses
If the other side is pushing back against your claim, you may benefit from expert witnesses who can verify the other driver’s negligence and/or the extent of your losses. One of the benefits of working with an experienced lawyer from a credible firm is that he or she will likely have a robust network of professional connections to draw from.
In the case of a permanent disability, a physician may be able to testify regarding the long-term impact of your injuries on your health. Likewise, an economist could project the impact of the disability on your future earning capacity. Often, accident reconstruction experts are brought in to help determine fault.
Present Evidence From a Helmet Camera, If You Have One
Motorcycle helmet cameras are a new trend among riders in Texas. Riding with a camera can provide you with a valuable source of real-time footage if a crash occurs, making it more difficult for negligent drivers to say you were responsible for the accident. Additionally, some insurance companies offer a discount to riders who use a camera.
Request That All Evidence Is Preserved
Occasionally, the at-fault driver may try to destroy evidence in your favor by repairing or disposing of the other vehicle. Claimants often run into this problem when a commercial truck is involved in the crash.
When you meet with your lawyer for the first time, ask if he or she can secure orders to preserve the other vehicle in its post-crash state until the case is resolved. As you can imagine, preserving evidence is a time-sensitive matter that should be acted on as soon as possible.
Always Go to the Hospital
Going to the hospital after the crash is one of the best ways to strengthen your case. If you do not seek immediate medical attention, the other side may argue that your injuries were not as serious as you claim. Most importantly, going to the hospital will create an official record of your injuries that can be used to demonstrate your losses. When you are speaking with the doctors, be sure to point out any areas of your body that feel injured.
You may find that some of your injuries have been completely masked by the adrenaline your body produces in times of extreme stress. Getting checked out by a medical professional is the only way to identify these hidden injuries promptly. After you visit the hospital, you will have a better understanding of the kinds of treatments you may require, along with the estimated cost of your medical care.
How Can I Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer in San Antonio?
Our firm offers free consultations to riders who have been harmed in a motorcycle accident. To schedule a meeting with us, call 210-951-2024.
Our lawyers understand how to tap the sources of evidence in a motorcycle accident case. Handling your case with care and compiling convincing arguments are the most proven ways to strengthen your case against the other side. Our commitment to you comes from a deep recognition of the importance of securing the money you need to cover your medical care. When you need a motorcycle accident lawyer in San Antonio, contact Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC.