Assume that you’ve been in a motorcycle accident where a careless driver either cut you off or broadsided you and your bike. You might be justified in thinking that the driver is entirely at fault and that you have a good case to recover all of your damages and compensation for your injuries from the driver. Regardless of how clear-cut the case seems to be, the driver can always claim that you were at least partially at fault. If you have to file a lawsuit to recover your damages, your motorcycle accident attorney will need solid and objective evidence to prove your claims in that lawsuit.
Your emotions and adrenalin will be on high alert immediately after a motorcycle accident, but you’ll need to calm yourself down and immediately gather all evidence of the crash as is possible. Everyone carries a cell phone with a camera. At a minimum, use that camera to record every aspect of the accident site, including multiple pictures of your bike, the other car or truck that was involved in the collision, road skid marks and debris, and anything else that will show the condition of the road when the accident happened. Take written notes of weather and lighting. Also note the time of day and the traffic that was in the area of the accident. If any pedestrians or other witnesses saw the accident, ask for their contact information.
If you were wearing a helmet that was damaged in the accident, you will want to get a new helmet, but do not discard the damaged one. That damaged helmet may very well provide critical clues about the accident. Keep the damaged helmet in a safe place and make sure that it does not suffer any additional damage that will detract from its usefulness if your case goes to trial.
You will inevitably form different memories of the accident than the other driver, and witnesses will each have their own versions of events. Your motorcycle accident attorney will need to paint a very detailed picture of the accident and its causes to prove that the other driver was at fault, and he will need to reconcile statements from all witnesses to do that.
If your bike was damaged in the accident, have it transported away from the accident site and into safe storage as soon as you can. If you leave a damaged bike at the roadside, the other driver might claim that the bike’s damages were the result of your neglecting the bike. Get the bike to a reputable repair shop and ask for a written repair estimate. If the repair shop fixes your bike, keep your receipts, as they will verify the dollar amount of the damage to your bike.
If you were injured in the accident, regardless of how minor your injuries might be, see a doctor immediately. If you delay making a doctor’s appointment even by a day, the driver will use your delay to argue that you must not have been injured in the accident. Doctor’s bills and bills for any therapy or prescription medications will be further proof of your monetary damages. Tell your doctor about any pre-existing conditions and ask him to confirm that your injuries were caused by the accident and did not flow from those prior conditions. Lastly, if your doctor tells you to do something, the you should follow his advice. Failure to follow a doctor’s orders will be used as proof against you to minimize the extent of your injuries.
Keep notes about how you feel for several weeks after the accident. If you miss work, note how much pay you are losing because of your inability to work. Your case may not go to trial until several months or years after the accident, and your memory will fade as time passes. Your notes will help you and your motorcycle accident attorney to remember the accident as it actually happened.
Motorcycle accident lawsuits are rarely simple and straightforward, and you might discover that a bias exists against you simply because you ride a bike. We have experience in dealing with that bias and in collecting and organizing evidence to show which party is at fault for an accident, Please contact us if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident anywhere in Colorado and you have questions about what evidence you need to prove your case.