Motorcycles have the same right to be on Duluth roads as other motorists, but they often get less respect. Many drivers don’t understand motorists’ rights, and a lot of people carry unfair biases that leave them blaming bikers after an accident. If you were hurt in an accident on your motorcycle, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistake—and a Duluth motorcycle accident lawyer can help.
Our lawyers have been working with injured motorcyclists and their families for over 20 years. Our goal is to get you full compensation for your damages and protect your legal rights. Working with us is risk-free because we don’t get paid unless we win you money. To schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your case, call us today at (404) 948-4815 or contact us online to get started
Things You Should Know After a Motorcycle Accident in Duluth
There’s a lot going on, physically and emotionally, after a motorcycle accident in Duluth. Not only are you dealing with the pain of your injuries, but you’re also likely worried about paying for the costs of treatment, damage to your bike, and much more.
Here are four important facts to know after getting into a motorcycle accident.
1. You Can Seek Compensation for Your Damages
If you did not cause the accident (which is likely), you may be entitled to full compensation for the losses you have faced. In Duluth and the rest of Georgia, you have the right to seek recovery of your damages from the person who was negligent (Georgia Code section 51-1-6).
Damages you may be able to recover include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Repair or replacement costs for damage to your motorcycle
- Pain and suffering damages
- Wrongful death damages (if you are filing a claim on behalf of a deceased loved one)
To seek financial recovery, you will need to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Most of the time, the person who caused the accident will be a driver who crashed into you. So, you will file your claim with their auto insurance company.
2. Others May Try to Blame You
Some drivers have unfair and misdated biases against motorcycle riders. They might see you as “reckless” or irresponsible, and they may try to say you caused the accident—even if they were fully at fault.
The insurance company may try to blame you, too—with the motive of reducing their liability for your damages. Insurance companies care most about their bottom line, so they may try blaming you for some of the accident, using something you say against you, offering you a very small settlement, or taking a long time to answer your claim, hoping you’ll let it go. This is why having a Duluth motorcycle accident lawyer on your side is so important when protecting your legal rights.
3. You Should See a Doctor as Soon as You Can
Many injury victims feel hesitant to get their injuries looked at because they’re worried about cost. This is completely understandable, but waiting to see a doctor is one of the worst things you can do for your accident claim.
In order to pursue a settlement that will hopefully cover all your costs, you’ll need to get medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. There are a few reasons for this:
- It shows the insurance company that your injuries are as serious as you say in your claim.
- You’ll have a clear record of treatment costs and proof of your medical damages.
- It will ensure you get treated before your injuries worsening, which is common after a vehicle accident.
You may also be able to delay out-of-pocket costs until the money from your insurance claim arrives. Either way, it’s best to get checked out right away for the best recovery later.
4. You Should Never Accept the First Settlement Offer
After you file your claim, the insurance company may contact you soon and offer you a settlement right away. It might be tempting to accept it, too, if you are stressed about how to pay bills from the accident. But you should never accept the first offer.
Insurance companies know that you will be worried about money already. They are hoping you’ll take their first offer out of desperation. But if you accept any offer, you will lose your chance at negotiating a higher settlement—and you deserve more (usually much more) money than the first offer covers.
It’s best to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible—even before you talk to the at-fault person’s insurance company. A lawyer can help you know what is actually a fair settlement by calculating your damages and fighting for your rights. An experienced lawyer is on your side, which cannot be said for anyone else in this situation.
What to Do After a Duluth Motorcycle Accident
There are ways you can begin protecting your rights as soon as the accident happens. Doing the following things will help a lot when you file a personal injury claim against the person who caused the accident.
Check Yourself for Injuries
Right after the crash happens, check yourself (and others who were involved) for injuries. If there are injuries that require immediate treatment, call 911 for an ambulance. Safety is the number one priority.
If you are well enough to stay at the scene, use your phone or a camera to take pictures:
- The entire accident scene
- Your injuries
- Damage to your bike
- Anything else that helps set the scene of the accident
Pictures help show what the accident looked like at the moment before anything can be changed or manipulated. This can be extremely helpful for your insurance claim.
Get to a Safe Location
If you are in the line of traffic, move your bike off the road as soon as it’s safe. The last thing you need is for another accident to happen with oncoming traffic.
Call the Police
If you didn’t already dial 911 for an ambulance, you should still call the Duluth police department to report the accident. An officer will respond to the scene and create an accident report of what happened. (This is crucial for your injury claim—plus, it’s against the law to not report most accidents.)
The responding officer will also take down information for all parties involved in the accident, including driver’s license numbers, names, and insurance information. It’s a good idea to ask the other driver(s) for this information yourself too. Also, if anyone witnessed the accident, ask for their name and contact information—you will need this later.
Call a Duluth Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
You should also call an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. Most personal injury lawyers offer a FREE consultation to go over the details, so there’s no risk in reaching out. They can let you know how your case looks and what you should do next.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers have been helping injured bikers recover the money they need for over 20 years. We can help you, too—starting with a FREE consultation and case evaluation. Call (404) 948-4815 or contact us online to get started today.