The NOLA area offers plenty of truly breathtaking and scenic rides across a variety of historically and culturally important locations. Unfortunately, it’s easy for a great afternoon ride to suddenly take a dangerous turn when another driver isn’t paying attention. Motorcycle accidents in Louisiana tend to end with fatalities more frequently, and often result in serious wounds for survivors. No matter the extent of your injuries, what to do after the crash remains roughly the same, however.
What to Do at the Scene of the Motorcycle Accident
The process of protecting yourself legally and preparing for financial difficulties ahead starts in the first moments after the collision. After any wreck, you specifically want to:
- Avoid speaking with the other driver, especially if they are aggressive or appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Do not admit fault in any way, even to make the other driver feel better.
- Call the police so local law enforcement can come to the scene and document what occurred.
- Collect contact details for anyone who witnessed the crash. Bystanders who can describe what occurred may be important to your attorney’s investigation of the crash or even for testifying in court, if necessary.
- Put together what evidence you can before leaving the scene. That may include taking photos of your motorcycle, the other vehicle involved in the crash, anything in the environment that could have contributed to the accident, and of course your visible injuries. If your motorcycle had dashcam footage, that can also be helpful to keep saved.
What to Do After Leaving the Motorcycle Crash Scene
This aftermath of a motorcycle accident is often chaotic, and you may not be thinking about how to best protect yourself. That’s why the next steps taken after leaving the scene are arguably even more important. In particular, be sure to:
- Head to the emergency room as soon as you can after leaving the scene. This establishes that you were injured and initiates a paper trail that can be referred to in the future.
- Speak with an attorney. A legal professional will need to perform a rigorous investigation into the circumstances of your motorcycle collision.
- Work with your lawyer to avoid common problems that may interfere with your ability to recover the full compensation you deserve.
That first step simply cannot be skipped, even if you don’t think you have a serious injury. The adrenaline released when a motorcyclist is struck by another vehicle may override your pain. Symptoms for life-altering, and in some cases even life-threatening, conditions aren’t always obvious after a wreck. You need to see a doctor to screen for internal issues like bleeding, damaged organs, fractured bones, soft-tissue damage, and of course, traumatic brain injuries.
From there, an attorney can sift through the evidence to find the liable party who caused your accident. In some cases, that’s extremely simple. It may simply be the other driver who was engaged in some act of negligence, like distracted or drowsy driving. There could be other potential sources of compensation for your motorcycle crash injuries, however.
Representation from an attorney is crucial if you were hit by a commercial cargo truck for instance, so your lawyer can send a demand letter and ensure necessary evidence is preserved. Other situations that may complicate the scenario also require an experienced attorney to handle, such as if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or if you were hurt due to improper vehicle maintenance rather than driver error.
Avoiding Common Problems Recovering Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident Injury
Besides handling negotiations and paperwork, hiring your attorney is your best shot at a positive outcome and recovering damages after your motorcycle crash injury. Your attorney can advise you on sidestepping frequent pitfalls in the process, such as:
- Avoiding any discussion of the accident on social media. Even if your account is set to friends-only, there are still ways for the at-fault party’s insurance provider or legal counsel to access your posts. Unfortunately, those parties have a vested interest in finding photos or videos of you engaged in physical activity, so they can argue you aren’t actually as hurt as you claim.
- Decline to provide a recorded statement to insurance. Politely refuse and refer the adjuster to your attorney. Adjusters are specifically looking for ways to get you to admit partial fault or take a lowball settlement quickly without having a lawyer handle the negotiations.
- Following doctor’s orders. Take all of your medication as directed, avoid any physical activity your doctor warns against, and attend all of your appointments.
Valuing Damages for Your Injuries
Besides helping you avoid common problems, an attorney further assists by placing a value on your injuries. That exact number depends on a number of factors, such as the type of insurance policy held by either you or the at-fault party. In many cases, may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party.
In either case, the compensation you may receive is based on key factors like the type and extent of your injuries, as well as how long you were unable to work while recovering. After an investigation into the accident by your attorney, the value of your damages could include:
- Hourly, salaried, or self-employed income you lost because of the injury
- Medical expenses like hospital treatment and surgeries
- Other costs for necessary treatments like physical or occupational therapy
- Various out-of-pocket costs while seeking treatment after a motorcycle crash
- Wrongful death in the event a loved one passed away in a Louisiana motorcycle accident
Talk to a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Louisiana
The only way to find out what you are actually owed and the best way to pursue that compensation is to talk with a trial-ready lawyer who can stand up for your legal rights. Get in touch with the Scott Vicknair team to discuss your options by calling 504-500-1111 or sending a message online over here.