Steps to Take When You Are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle Accidents can result in significant injuries, even when they initially seem minor. Because motorcycle accidents can be damaging for the rider, it is important to take immediate action to both establish and protect your rights. Working closely with a medical and legal team experienced in motorcycle accidents will help ensure you recover the settlement you deserve.
Seek and Follow Medical Advice
Although sometimes injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident are obvious, sometimes they do not manifest immediately. Whether or not you have immediately obvious injuries, it is crucial to seek an evaluation from a medical professional immediately. It is crucial that you follow all medical directives, and that you comply with any orders or recommendations for follow-up care, treatment, or appointments.
Seeing a doctor right away will help ensure that all injuries are both diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion, but it will protect your claim from allegations that your injuries are unrelated to your accident.
Gather Evidence from the Scene
Preserving the scene of your accident as soon as possible is of the utmost importance. If you are able, take pictures of the site of the accident, video of the traffic conditions, and recordings of the weather conditions, skid marks on the road, street signs, and any other external factors that might help establish what happened. Similarly, capture images of your vehicle and any other property that may have been damaged prior to repair. An experienced attorney will help gather evidence to bring the strongest possible claim.
Keep Receipts and Other Documents Related to Your Case
You may be entitled to recover all of your costs related to the accident, including medical bills, a rental car, and less-obvious damages such as lost wages related to your absence from work. Keeping receipts and other documentation will be necessary to recover the full amount to which you are entitled. When it doubt, don’t throw it out.
Call an Attorney Immediately
Just as you need the assistance of a medical professional, obtaining legal counsel as soon as possible is crucial to protecting your legal interests and making sure you obtain the settlement you deserve. An attorney experienced in both personal injury and criminal law is crucial, for litigation after a motorcycle accident involves the same kinds of police reports, witness statements, and forensics that are common in criminal litigation. An experienced attorney will not only investigate the facts of your case, but also work with experts such as, accident site survey teams, accident reconstructionist, civil engineers, and medical experts to ensure that your case is properly evaluated and prepared for litigation.
A skilled attorney will not only work diligently to establish your right to recovery, but he will zealously represent you in court proceedings to ensure that you recover every cent you deserve.
What Am I Entitled to?
Although every case is different, you may be entitled to significant compensation if you were involved in a motorcycle accident and the other driver was at fault. New Mexico law allows for the recovery of present and potential future medical expenses relating to your injury, Regenold v. Rutherford, 101 N.M. 165 (N.M. App. 1984), lost income due to time off work or an inability to return to work, Hubbard v. Albuquerque Truck Center Ltd., 125 N.M. 153 (N.M. App. 1998), property damage to your motorcycle, emotional trauma, Folz v. State, 110 N.M. 457 (N.M. 1990), and loss of enjoyment of life. Sena v. New Mexico State Police, 119 N.M. 71 (N.M. App. 1985). In extreme circumstances, you may even be entitled to punitive damages. Campbell v. Bartlett, 975 F.2d 1569, 1575 (10th Cir.1992), if the other driver had a “culpable mental state, and [his] conduct must rise to a willful, wanton, malicious, reckless, oppressive, or fraudulent level.” Clay v. Ferrellgas, Inc., 118 N.M. 266, 881 P.2d 11, 14 (1994).
What Can an Attorney Do for Me?
We are committed to handling your case with the personal attention and expertise you deserve. We will fully investigate your case and deal directly with the insurance adjusters. We will fully assess your claim and prepare the case for trial. Most importantly, we will treat you with respect and keep you fully informed every step of the way.
We Can Help
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic but preserving and pursuing your claim doesn’t have to be. Motorcycle litigation is complicated and requires experience and resources. We are here to diligently pursue and protect your claim. Call us for help.