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What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle riders face higher risks for injury than other motorists on Minnesota roads. The injuries you could sustain in a motorcycle crash may be more serious than if you were in a car. If you do not deal with your injuries, they could get worse. Trying to recover while also dealing with insurance companies can be a nightmare. You do not have to go through this ordeal alone, though. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Kirshbaum Injury Law are here to help ease the process of getting you compensation for your injuries.

What Are the Most Important Things for a Victim to Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to act quickly. You might need immediate medical attention. You may also have an opportunity to gather evidence to support an injury claim, but safety should be your first priority at all times.

Get to Safety

Take a look at your surroundings and the accident scene. If you are able to move, get yourself out of harm’s way. Try to help other drivers, passengers, and bystanders get to safety.

Do not remove any of your protective gear. You might feel like you are fine, but adrenaline could be concealing serious injuries. Wait for emergency responders to take a look at you before you take off any of your gear.

Leave your bike behind. It is dangerous to move it immediately after an accident. Also, law enforcement will consider it evidence and need to mark its location for their accident report.

Call 911

The 911 operator will send paramedics if necessary. A police officer will investigate the scene of the accident. You might need the police report when you submit an insurance claim.

Seek Medical Attention

Have a doctor check you out even if you do not think you are injured. Many serious injuries take time to show symptoms. You might need more medical treatment than you realize.

Gather Evidence

If you are able to gather evidence while you are still at the accident scene, do as much as you can:

  • Take pictures of the scene, including any property damage.
  • Take photos of your injuries if possible.
  • Write down the license plate numbers of the motor vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Get insurance information from the other drivers at the scene.
  • Talk to bystanders. Get their contact information in case you need them as witnesses later on.
  • Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the accident, while your memory is still fresh.

Cooperate with police officers on the scene and do not get in the way of their investigation. If you speak to the police, give them basic factual information, but do not admit fault or offer any guesses about what or who might have caused the accident.

Hire an Attorney

You should talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Do not speak to anyone from the insurance company before you speak with an attorney. Definitely do not sign anything until you have sought legal advice.

Insurance adjusters know many tricks to limit the amount of money they have to pay you. They might, for example, try to get you to admit fault in the accident. Personal injury lawyers know all of these tricks and how to respond to them.

What Are the Most Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accident injuries can range from moderate to severe or fatal. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents were responsible for 5,579 fatalities in 2020. More than one-fourth of the motorcyclists who died in crashes that year were allegedly intoxicated. The NHTSA also reports that less than two-thirds of motorcycle riders wear appropriate helmets.

Some of the most common injuries include the following:

  • Fractures, broken bones, and muscle injuries: Motorcycle accidents often result in motorcyclists being thrown from their bikes. Sprains, strains, and fractured or broken bones are some of the more minor injuries that can result from this. These injuries can heal, but it may take time that keeps you from your job and the rest of your life.
  • Spinal injuries: Motorcycle riders risk injury to the head, neck, and spine, which could result in paralysis or death.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Head injuries, including concussions and skull fractures, can have serious long-term effects. Traumatic brain injuries can cause cognitive impairments, loss of motor function, and numerous other debilitating symptoms.
  • Facial injury and disfigurement: Injuries to the face can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. They may result in permanent disfigurement in severe cases.
  • Road rash: Falling off a bicycle can lead to scrapes and bruises. Falling off a motorcycle, especially if it is moving at high speed at the time, can cause much worse skin injuries. Road rash is the result of skidding across the ground after a motorcycle crash. Without proper medical attention, it can lead to ongoing skin irritation, nerve damage, and other complications.

What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Claim for a Motorcycle Accident in Minnesota?

Minnesota sets a deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits known as the statute of limitations. For motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle accidents involving the negligence of a driver, you have six years from the date of the accident to file suit. In a case involving one or more fatalities, the motorcyclist’s loved ones have three years from the date of death.

Note that filing a lawsuit is usually reserved for situations in which an accident victim and their attorney have not been able to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You should allow plenty of time to pursue an insurance claim before the end of the statute of limitations.

What Minnesota Being a No-Fault State Means for Your Motorcycle Accident

Minnesota’s no-fault law allows people who have suffered injuries in car accidents to recover compensation regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The compensation may cover the following:

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Replacement services, such as the cost of hiring someone to perform essential tasks you cannot do because of your injuries; and
  • Funeral expenses.

Car insurance policies are required to include no-fault coverage. All a driver needs to do is make a claim to his/her own insurance company. The law makes an exception, however, for motorcycles. The mandate for no-fault insurance coverage generally only applies to motor vehicles with four or more wheels. It specifically excludes motorcycles.

Motorcyclists face a certain stigma in our legal and medical systems. Riding a motorcycle is perceived as an inherently dangerous and irresponsible activity. State law reflects this stigma in its provisions on no-fault insurance. Motorcyclists must specifically request no-fault coverage from their insurance companies. Purchasing this coverage is a very good idea.

If you need to make a claim for motorcycle accident injuries, you may have to begin with your own insurance provider. You can proceed to submit a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance or file a lawsuit after that. An experienced Minnesota motorcycle accident lawyer can guide you through the necessary steps of the process.

Do You Need an Attorney After a Motorcycle Accident?

Asserting a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident in Minnesota can be a confusing and frustrating experience. You might be dealing with severe injuries. Attempting to negotiate a settlement with an insurance adjuster while also dealing with injuries and rehabilitation is too much for anyone. The adjuster will not cut you any slack. They will use every tactic they know to get you to admit to fault in the accident and minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay you. You need someone on your side to fight for you.

An attorney with knowledge of Minnesota’s personal injury laws can advocate for your right to fair compensation so that you can focus on getting better. Your lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance adjusters. They know how to counter adjusters’ attempts to reduce the amount they must pay. They also know when it is time to stop negotiating and move to the next stage by filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer will handle the litigation process and guide you through the courtroom proceedings if necessary. They will not rest until you have received the compensation you deserve.

Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Call Us to See How We Can Help You.

The legal advice of a personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation for your motorcycle injuries. Trust your case to an experienced and professional law firm. Trust your case to Kirshbaum Injury Law. Call (952) 545-2700 now or fill out the online contact form to set up a free consultation!

James J. Kirshbaum

Written By James J. Kirshbaum

Jim is a very experienced trial lawyer having conducted jury trials in multiple states both on behalf of injured people and on behalf of defending insurance companies.

Schedule a Free Consultation with James J. Kirshbaum
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