What to Do after a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle Accident Riverside County
If you have recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, whether in Orange County or elsewhere, we encourage you to take the steps outlined below. Some of the below steps should be taken immediately after the accident, so there's a likelihood that you didn't complete all of the following, but taking all of the steps that you can will be to your benefit. By taking the following basic actions, you can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive proper care for any medical conditions that may have resulted from the accident. In the event you require legal counsel, the following steps will help us determine liability and hold the negligent party accountable for his or her actions. To arrange a complimentary consultation with our experienced team, please contact our Newport Beach law firm today.
Document the Accident - This involves a number of things: photographing the accident scene, soliciting witness information and testimonies, contacting local law enforcement and obtaining an accident report, obtaining contact and insurance information from the involved parties, and contacting your insurance provider. If the accident report indicates that you are at fault when you believe the other party to be, you may want to consider legal counsel to assert your rights. It is important to remember that the other party will likely be documenting the accident as well - under no circumstances should you provide a recorded or official statement to the other party or his or her insurance provider, as it could be used against you at a later point in time.
Seek Medical Attention - Even if you don't believe that you have been injured, some symptoms may not be evident immediately following your accident. It is important to seek medical attention to ensure that any injuries are properly treated and documented. If you fail to go to the emergency room or your regular care provider following an accident and injuries present themselves at a later point, it may not be possible to attribute your injuries to the accident. Even if you do seek medical care following a motorcycle accident, in Orange County or elsewhere, if you fail to follow up with your primary care provider, the insurance company may claim a "gap in treatment" that can hinder your ability to recover damages.
Retrieve Your Motorcycle - After an accident, your motorcycle may be towed from the accident site to a local storage and towing yard. Regardless of who is at fault, it is the vehicle owner's responsibility to pay any fees accrued while a vehicle is in storage, regardless of cause. If you fail to retrieve your motorcycle in a timely manner, you may risk forfeiting ownership of the bike, at which point it will go to a lien sale. However, even if this occurs, you are still responsible for towing and storage fees. Retrieving your property as early as possible will minimize the fees that you have to pay out of pocket; we can then help ensure that you are reimbursed for these costs.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Provider - If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that involves more than $500 worth of damage, you are obligated to contact your insurance provider and report the accident, regardless of who is at fault. If seeking reimbursement for property damage, it is often beneficial to go through your provider even if you aren't at fault, as going through the defendant's provider will often result in delays or a lack of compensation. Your provider is contractually obligated to guarantee repairs or pay you a cash value for the total value of your motorcycle. We can help you recover your deductible if you go through your provider.
File an SR-1 Report - If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that involves more than $500 worth of damage, you are also required by California law to file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Failure to do so could result in penalties.
Have You Been in a Motorcycle Accident? Take Action Today.
The last step you should take following a motorcycle accident is contacting a lawyer. At our Orange County law firm, we specialize in protecting the rights of motorcyclists. We are riders ourselves at the Inland Empire Motorcycle Law and understand motorcycle law. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, or are having difficulty obtaining compensation for property damage, we can help.