4 Crucial Steps to Take After Your Motorcycle Accident
Accidents happen when we least expect them and motorcyclists rarely expect to suffer a brain injury in a motorcycle accident. Bikers know they take a risk when they ride, simply because motorcycles cannot offer the same protections afforded to drivers or passengers of cars and trucks. But, riders who wear helmets and other appropriate safety gear and those who follow traffic laws reduce the chances of being involved in an accident and sustaining injuries.
Minimizing and reducing the risks of an accident, however, does not eliminate every danger. Despite taking all precautions and committing to safely operating their motorcycle, some riders will inevitably experience traumatic accidents that cause victims to suffer brain injuries. Knowing what to do after sustaining a brain injury can help motorcycle accident victims make the right choices to protect their legal rights and financial interests. Our experienced Virginia motorcycle legal team discuss the most important things to consider after your crash.
First, Seek Medical Care
After an accident that causes brain injury, the single most important thing any motorcyclists can do is seek immediate medical treatment. Even if they believe that they have only sustained minor injuries, accident victims should not wait until symptoms worsen to seek a medical evaluation. Instead, they should seek medical care immediately after any accident. Some serious and even life-threatening injuries may only be revealed through professional diagnostic testing.
Brain injuries, in particular, can have catastrophic consequences for accident victims, and oftentimes, symptoms of brain injuries do not appear for days or weeks following an accident.
Under Virginia’s motor vehicle laws, motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet while operating their motorcycles. Helmets can significantly reduce the severity of the injury. Helmets are designed to absorb and re-distribute the force and impact riders may experience in an accident. Nonetheless, helmeted riders still can, and still do, suffer brain trauma.
Although the protection provided by a helmet may save their lives, it may also create a false sense of security. Even when using the best safety equipment, seemingly minor collisions can cause devastating brain injuries. Please, motorcyclists, do not think that because you were wearing a helmet, you are invulnerable to brain injury in the event of an accident.
Accident victims who are lucky enough to survive serious head trauma experience extreme difficulties in coping with the life-long consequences. Even brain injuries that are medically defined as “minor” can cause long-lasting, life-altering impacts for motorcycle crash victims. Mild brain injuries may cause mood changes, insomnia, chronic headaches, and brain fog, which can be debilitating for many.
After experiencing any type of motorcycle accident—from minor to catastrophic—motorcyclists should seek a medical evaluation and treatment right away. Your brain health and cognitive and physical functioning depend on it.
Second, Do as the Doctor Tells You
Adhering to the treatment plan and following physician’s recommendations is essential to recovering. Make sure to attend all follow-up appointments, take prescribed medications as directed, and seek rehabilitative therapies.
Strictly following the doctor’s suggested treatment plan is important for the following reasons.
- First, failing to follow treatment guidelines puts an accident victim’s health at risk. Years of education and training are required of licensed physicians, so don’t forget that they know which treatments are most effective for specific injuries. Following your treatment providers’ advice will assure that you are traveling in the right direction to recovery.
- Second, medical records can help to demonstrate the impacts the injury has had on accident victims and the costs and expenses of treatment. Medical records can support a motorcycle accident claim for damages.
- Lastly, following doctors’ orders provides critical protection from insurance companies and defense counsel who will aim to discredit the severity and extent of your injuries to avoid paying the compensation you deserve. When victims fail to adhere to their prescribed treatment plan, liable parties may claim that the victim worsened the condition.
Third, Do Your Best to Collect and Save Evidence
Of course, some injured victims may not choose to pursue legal action after sustaining a brain injury in a motorcycle accident. However, should you decide to exercise your right to seek compensation from the parties responsible for causing the accident, actively collect valuable evidence in support of your claim.
Many individuals who suffer brain injuries can’t collect critical evidence on their own. Friends or family members can help injured victims by gathering accident evidence.
Generally, motorcycle accident victims should collect and save any documentation related to the accident and their injuries. For example, accident victims may strengthen their claim by collecting:
- Any correspondence from medical providers or insurance companies;
- Photographs from the scene of the accident;
- Contact information of individuals involved in the accident, as well as eyewitnesses; and
- The police report.
Victims should preserve their wrecked motorcycle and any detached parts until their lawyer can investigate the causes of the accident and evaluate the extent of the property damage.
Fourth, Consult an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Right Away
The aftermath of a catastrophic motorcycle accident, particularly those resulting in brain injuries, can overwhelm accident victims and their families. Although your physical health must be your top priority, you should consider consulting with an experienced brain injury attorney. Reaching out to an attorney as soon as possible can be the most important and beneficial step you take, and here’s why:
motorcycle accidents frequently occur because of the poor decisions and dangerous actions of someone other than the motorcyclist. Anyone who contributes to causing a motorcycle wreck is potentially liable for any accident-related damages.
Depending on the circumstances leading to the accident, it may not always be clear who might be responsible for compensating injured victims for their losses. You may have a claim against a careless driver who recklessly cut you off causing a collision. However, you may also have a claim against that driver’s employer, or an automotive manufacturer, or even a local government. A lawyer can investigate your accident and identify the parties who may share liability.
Just as each brain injury is unique, so too is an accident victim’s claim for compensation. As a result, it is impossible to predict how much compensation a brain injury may be worth. Insurance companies for at-fault parties may try to contact you directly, offering you a low settlement in exchange for quick cash. Unfortunately, nearly all initial settlement offers from insurance providers will be insufficient to cover all costs associated with your injury. An experienced brain injury lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and make sure you receive an amount that reflects the true value of your claim.
If you or a loved one has suffered brain injury due to a motorcycle accident, you need the legal help of Emroch & Kilduff. Our attorneys and legal team are ready to fight and go after the compensation your child deserves. Contact us today to discuss your case or call our office at (804) 358-1568.