Over 80% of multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcyclists are not the biker’s fault. Most automobile drivers don’t recognize, or don’t want to recognize, the unique qualities of motorcycles.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you have the right to file a claim against a negligent driver if you can prove 3 things.
1. Negligence – The driver failed to use due care when operating his automobile.
2. Causation – The negligence of the driver caused the accident.
3. Damages – You suffered damages as a result of the accident.
You will often be able to file a claim that includes any property damage as well as physical damage such as pain and suffering. You may also be able to claim any future losses; and in some cases, if the negligent driver was malicious (drunk driving, willful, etc.), you will be able to make a claim for punitive damages.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, remember to try to remain calm and gather all necessary information and evidence. Keep an “accident form” handy to help you remember the information that you are going to need.
1. Get the other driver’s information such as name, address, phone number, insurance information and license number.
2. Try to get the names and phone numbers of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
3. Carry a camera and take pictures of the bike, the car and the accident scene.
4. Protect the accident scene and gather up any evidence.
5. Call the police and your insurance company right away.
If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident, there are a few things that you must remember.
1. Never chase the hit and run driver! An altercation with the “suspect” may result in far more serious problems.
2. If at all possible, get the license plate number of the vehicle.
3. Call 911 immediately. Provide the police with as much information as you can about the other driver. Make, model, color of car, physical description of the driver if you are able to see them, and most importantly, the direction they are traveling. The police will issue a “flash” to pursue the suspect vehicle and also send a unit to assist you.
4. Talk with as many witnesses as you can. Make sure you ask for their name, address, and telephone number and ask them (beg if you must) to please wait for the police to arrive so that they can give a statement while their memories are fresh.
5. Protect the accident scene. Even the smallest piece of evidence could carry a “signature” of the other driver. For example: lenses from headlights and taillights (often smashed during the accident) carry a code from the DOT that marks the make, model and year of the vehicle. This evidence will certainly help to narrow the search.
If you have been putting off carrying uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance, the possibility of being involved in a hit and run accident should “drive home” the necessity of adding it to your policy immediately.
If you or someone you care for has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call 800-437-2571 anytime for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our attorneys experienced in handling motorcycle accidents or use our convenient Free Evaluation submission form.