Motorcycles are a symbol of good times – traveling the highway and byways with the wind in your face and the open road before you. Motorcycle enthusiasts gather for weekend trips through the mountains and to the beaches, making memories and forging lasting friendships.
As fun as motorcycles are, they also pose a deadly risk to riders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,668 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2013, and about 88,000 motorcyclists were injured.
While you hope never to be involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to be prepared for any situation. Joye Law Firm, which works with motorcyclists who have been in accidents, offers the following tips should you find yourself in a traffic crash:
- It’s likely you’ll need medical treatment after a motorcycle accident. Even if you don’t need emergency care, follow up with a doctor soon after for a full exam. This creates medical records that can serve as primary evidence if you pursue a legal claim.
- Get names, contact information and insurance information from everyone in the accident. If there are witnesses, get contact information for them too.
- Take photos that help illustrate the accident scene and circumstances surrounding the crash. This includes pictures of the scene, your bike and its damage, the other vehicles, skid marks, your injuries, damaged clothing, road defects and weather conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
- Cooperate with police who respond to the accident, but do not admit fault or downplay your injuries or the damage to your bike. Ask how to get a copy of the police report and do so as soon as possible.
- Tell the towing company that every effort should be made to preserve physical evidence if your motorcycle is taken from the accident scene, Follow up in writing.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Decline to provide a recorded or written statement without representation by an attorney.
- Create a file and keep all records of your accident, including receipts for medical treatment or medication.
Even though the lawsuit may not be top of mind in the moments following an accident, it’s important to follow proper procedures and gather as much information as possible in the event you decide to move forward with legal action.
If you eventually pursue a claim, you generally have three years from the date of your accident in South Carolina. However, each case is unique and time limitations can vary greatly. That’s why it’s so important to consult with an attorney experienced in working with motorcyclists. That attorney will be knowledgeable in state law and know the best way to handle your particular case.
The personal injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm can help you through the confusion and strain that follows a serious motorcycle accident. Since 1968, they have helped injured people recover the money and benefits they deserve, and piece together their lives. For more information, visit JoyeLawFirm.com or call (843) 507-4959.