If you suffered injuries in a Virginia motorcycle accident, you know the aftermath can be a confusing and overwhelming time. You are likely dealing with physical pain, emotional distress, and financial worries, and you may be facing the daunting task of filing a personal injury claim. Because the process of obtaining compensation for damages can be complicated, it’s important to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. They will explain the legal process and help you avoid making mistakes that could weaken your claim.
9 Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Virginia Motorcycle Crash
If you were hit by a truck or car while riding your motorcycle, and you want to pursue a personal injury claim, it’s as important to know what not to do as it is to know all the proper steps to take.
Even if you believe you have an open-and-shut case against the at-fault driver, you could inadvertently make a mistake that hurts your claim.
#1: Waiting Too Long to Get Medical Care
It is essential to obtain medical attention right after a motorcycle accident, even if you do not think you are seriously injured. You may not experience symptoms right away. Injuries such as traumatic brain or spinal injuries may not present themselves until later. In addition, the insurance company could claim that your injuries were caused by another incident or are not as severe as you claim if you delay being examined by a doctor.
#2: Not Calling the Police
Even if the motorcycle collision is minor, it is important to call the police and obtain a police report. The report will state the date, time, and place of the accident, who caused it, and whether any traffic tickets were issued. If you don’t contact the police immediately, you could lose critical evidence that can help you prove the other driver’s negligence.
#3: Not Gathering Evidence at the Crash Scene
Use your cellphone to take pictures of the crash scene, damage to your motorcycle and the other vehicles involved, your injuries, weather conditions, and skid marks. These photos can help you prove that the negligent driver caused your collision and you suffered injuries. Ask a witness to take pictures if you can’t.
#4: Not Obtaining Contact Information
You will need the other motorist’s contact information to file an insurance claim. You should also get this information from eyewitnesses who might be able to corroborate how the motorcycle crash occurred. If you do not obtain this information, you could lose compelling witness statements that could prove the driver’s negligence.
#5: Talking to the Insurance Company Without an Attorney
The insurance company is a for-profit business, so, they want to pay out as little in compensation as possible. To do this, they will look for ways to deny your claim or try to prove that you’re not as injured as you say you are. They may call pretending to be caring and sympathetic, just so you’ll talk and offer information they can use against you later; they may ask for permission to review all of your medical records. It is best to let a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer contact the insurance company and communicate for you.
#6: Accepting a Low Settlement Offer
The insurance company may try to get you to accept a lowball settlement offer soon after your motorcycle crash, hoping you will accept it. You should not agree to any settlement offer without consulting with a lawyer first.
#7: Agreeing to Give a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster could ask you to provide a recorded statement soon after your collision. You are not required to give one and might make a statement that the insurance company could use against you in settlement negotiations and court.
#8: Not Notifying Your Insurance Company
You should inform your insurance company of your motorcycle accident even if you do not plan to file a claim. If you do not report the collision to them, they may not cover your losses if the negligent driver has no insurance or has insufficient insurance coverage to compensate you fully.
#9: Not Hiring a Lawyer
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not hiring a motorcycle crash attorney immediately after the collision. They can collect the evidence you need, fight for the compensation you deserve, and advise you on other mistakes to avoid. They will also have strategies to handle any errors you may have already made in your case.