Motorcycle accidents involving vehicles that are turning left are all too common, often resulting in devastating consequences for the motorcyclist. These accidents typically occur when a motorist fails to yield the right-of-way to an oncoming motorcycle, making a left turn directly into the path of the motorcyclist. If you or a loved one have been involved in such an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and other damages. The following are key steps to winning a motorcycle accident case caused by a left-turning vehicle:
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The most crucial step after any accident is to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe, it is essential to be thoroughly examined by a healthcare professional. Not only is this essential for your well-being, but it also creates a record of your injuries and their severity, which can be crucial evidence in your case.
2. Document the Scene
If you are physically able, try to document the accident scene. Take photographs of the vehicles, their positions, the road conditions, and any skid marks. Also, gather information from witnesses and the other driver, including names, contact information, and insurance details. The more evidence you can collect at the scene, the stronger your case will be.
3. Report the Accident
Contact the police to report the accident. A police report is an official document that will detail the circumstances of the accident, the parties involved, and any citations issued. This report can be a valuable piece of evidence when building your case.
4. Preserve Evidence
In addition to photographs and the police report, make sure to preserve other evidence, such as your damaged motorcycle and any torn or bloody clothing. These items can serve as critical pieces of physical evidence that demonstrate the severity of the accident.
5. Do Not Admit Fault
Avoid admitting fault at the scene of the accident, as any statements you make can be used against you later. Stick to the facts when speaking to law enforcement and other parties involved. It’s best to consult with your attorney before providing a statement to any responsible insurance company.
6. Consult an Experienced Attorney
After seeking medical attention and preserving evidence, your next step is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents. An attorney can provide you with valuable guidance and help you navigate the complex legal process ahead.
7. Determine Liability
In cases involving left-turning vehicles, liability is often clear. In most jurisdictions, the vehicle making the left turn is presumed to be at fault, as they have a duty to yield to oncoming traffic. However, insurance companies may still attempt to dispute liability, so it’s important to have a strong legal team to advocate on your behalf.
8. Gather Witness Statements
Your attorney will help you collect statements from witnesses who saw the accident occur. These statements can corroborate your version of events and strengthen your case. Eyewitness accounts are often compelling evidence in court.
9. Obtain Expert Opinions
Depending on the complexity of your case, it may be necessary to obtain expert opinions, such as accident reconstruction experts or medical professionals, to provide insight into the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Expert testimony can be instrumental in establishing liability and demonstrating the impact of the accident on your life.
10. Review Medical Records
Your attorney will thoroughly review your medical records to understand the extent of your injuries and their long-term effects. This information is essential for accurately calculating your damages, including medical bills, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
11. Calculate Damages
Motorcycle accidents often result in significant financial and non-economic losses. Your attorney will work with you to calculate the damages you may be entitled to, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
12. Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Your attorney will handle negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It’s important to let your lawyer handle these communications to ensure that you are not taken advantage of or pressured into accepting an inadequate settlement.
13. File a Lawsuit
If negotiations with the insurance company do not result in a fair settlement, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit. The process of filing a lawsuit involves drafting a complaint, serving it on the defendant, and entering the formal legal process of discovery and court proceedings.
14. Prepare for Trial
While many personal injury cases are settled before going to trial, it’s crucial to be prepared for the possibility of litigation. Your attorney will build a strong case and present it in court, using the evidence, witness statements, and expert testimony collected.
15. Stay Informed and Involved
Throughout the legal process, stay informed and involved in your case. Your attorney should keep you updated on developments, and you should be prepared to provide any necessary information and cooperate fully.
Winning a motorcycle accident case caused by a left-turning vehicle can be challenging, but with the right steps and guidance, you can achieve a fair and just outcome. Remember, seeking immediate medical attention, preserving evidence, consulting with an experienced attorney, and building a strong case are key elements in your pursuit of compensation for your injuries and losses.
While the steps outlined in this article provide a general overview of the process, each case is unique and may have its own complexities. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney who can assess the specific details of your case and provide the legal representation you need. By taking these steps and working with a dedicated legal team, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome and fair compensation for your motorcycle accident caused by a left-turning vehicle.
Call TonaLaw If You or Someone You Love Has Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident Caused by a Left Turning Vehicle
We are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help you build a strong case tailored to your unique circumstances. We will be your advocates, ensuring your rights are protected and that justice is served. Contact our client-centered practice today.