Motorcycles are a popular means of transportation, but riding a motorcycle carries risks. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is one of the most dangerous ways of getting around. Because motorcycles don’t provide the same amount of protection as a car or truck, riders involved in accidents are at higher risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death. While no one anticipates being involved in an accident, it’s essential to know what to do after a motorcycle accident so that you can protect your rights.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in Kentucky
After an accident, your adrenaline may be surging, making it difficult to think clearly about what to do. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn what you should do after an accident before you are in one. Completing the following steps can help you when you seek compensation for your damages.
Contact the police so that they can report to the scene of the accident. The responding officer will prepare an accident report detailing vital information about the accident. Some reports may even state who the officer believed was at fault. Police will also assess whether medical attention is required, and they can request immediate emergency assistance.
Exchange information with the parties involved in the accident. Get the following details and write them down:
- Full name and contact information;
- Insurance information;
- Driver’s license number;
- License plate number;
- Car make, model, and year; and
- Registration number.
You should also write down the number of the police report being prepared by the responding officer so you or your attorney can order a copy later. If your injuries prevent you from collecting this information at the scene, the police accident report will contain most or all of this information.
If you are physically able, gather evidence while at the scene of the accident. Take photographs of the vehicles, license plates, the surrounding environment, and other evidence of the crash, such as skid marks or broken glass. Additionally, take pictures of your injuries if any are immediately visible.
Write down what you remember about the events leading up to, during, and after the accident as soon as you can. While a motorcycle accident is undoubtedly shocking and traumatic, many people are surprised by how quickly important details fade from memory.
Seek Medical Treatment
One of the most important things you can do for your well-being and to help your compensation claim is to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. While most motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries, not all injuries are immediately apparent. Many serious injuries can take hours, days, or even weeks to appear. It’s vital to seek a complete medical evaluation after a motorcycle accident, even if you think you are fine. The medical records from your doctor visits will also help you connect your injuries to the accident, which is essential to recovering compensation.
Report Your Accident
Under Kentucky law, you need to file a written accident report with the Kentucky State Police within ten days of an accident if the police do not investigate the accident and at least one of the following occurred:
- Damage exceeds $500, or
- The car accident caused injury or death to any person.
Additionally, you must file a report with your insurance company. Don’t wait to notify your insurance company. As more time goes by, essential details may fade from your memory. You want to ensure that the insurance company has all the necessary information to help your claim succeed.
Contact an Attorney
A personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accidents can make all the difference in getting the compensation you need. You might receive a settlement offer from the liable party or an insurance company soon after your accident to keep your case from progressing. While it might be tempting to accept a quick initial offer, these offers rarely compensate a victim for their actual harm and leave you to deal with additional costs. An experienced attorney can calculate all of your damages after conducting a thorough investigation. Knowing the true value of your claim can help you make sure you ask for enough compensation to cover all of the costs associated with your injury. Your lawyer can also negotiate with the insurance company or defendant on your behalf so that you can focus on recovering. If you do not receive a fair settlement offer, your attorney can also help you seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can occur for any number of reasons. Even when motorcyclists drive safely, accidents still happen. Your attorney will investigate the cause of your accident to determine who is liable for your damages and to gather evidence to support your claim.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. These substances significantly impact an individual’s judgment, reaction time, and vision. Motorcyclists may be less noticeable to an intoxicated driver than a sober one which further increases the risk of a collision.
Under Kentucky law, drivers and riders must operate their motor vehicles in a “careful manner with regard for the safety and convenience of pedestrians and other vehicles upon the highway.” Though not explicitly prohibited under Kentucky law, lane splitting is dangerous and increases the likelihood of an accident. Because lane splitting is dangerous, if you engage in it and are involved in an accident, it might be more difficult to establish that the other party was solely at fault for your injuries.
Hazards like uneven road surfaces, potholes, wet pavement, asphalt cracks, and wet leaves create dangerous conditions for motorcyclists. If a motorcycle accident resulted from a failure to maintain a roadway, the injured victim might be able to hold the city, county, or state agency responsible for maintaining the road liable.
Texting, talking on the phone, adjusting your radio, eating, or talking to passengers all divert a driver’s attention away from the road. Even taking your eyes off the road for a second can have disastrous consequences, especially if a car collides with a motorcycle.
Inclement weather conditions like rain, snow, wind, hail, and even heat, create dangerous situations for drivers and riders alike. Some drivers might not take the necessary precautions, or have enough experience, to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them.
The impatience of some drivers leads them to drive too closely to other cars or motorcycles. Unfortunately, when traffic conditions require a tailgating driver to suddenly slam on their brakes, they do not have enough room to stop, and they collide with the vehicle in front of them.
Speeding endangers everyone on the road. When there’s a sudden change in road conditions, speeding cars may find it difficult to stop without colliding with the cars and motorcyclists around them. Speeding also increases the likelihood of severe injuries for anyone involved in an accident because the amount of force generated by a vehicle will be higher the faster it travels.
At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, we understand that you may feel angry, confused, and overwhelmed after a devastating motorcycle accident. You may be at a loss as to where to even begin the process of recovering compensation. We are here to guide you through the claim process and help you get your life back on track. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Gladstein Law Firm today to schedule a free case review.