Motorcycle accident claims can be very complicated. Proving liability and gathering evidence are difficult especially when trying to recover from often severe injuries. Unfortunately, even though your primary focus should be on recovering from those injuries, if you want to have any chance of receiving compensation, you need to make sure you gather these top five pieces of evidence for a motorcycle claim.
1) The Motorcycle
The motorcycle itself is a critical piece of evidence attorneys and experts can use to demonstrate how the accident happened, where the impact occurred, and the damage the motorcycle sustained in the accident.
Make sure that you store the bike in a safe place to later use as evidence. If you must repair it immediately, ensure that you take very detailed photos to show the full effect of the accident. Also be sure to make a copy of your repair bill as evidence of damages.
2) Any Protective Gear Worn in the Accident
Riders should always wear protective gear when riding, as it is the last line of defense between the rider and road rash or a severe brain injury. It can also help in an injury claim to prove that the victim was doing his due diligence to protect himself from injury.
Under Ohio law, if an accident victim contributes to the accident or subsequent injury in any way, the insurer can use this information to reduce or deny a settlement amount. (Note: Ohio’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule bars accident victims who are 51 percent or more at fault for an accident from receiving any compensation at all.)
For example, even if an investigation finds another driver at fault for an accident in which a rider sustained severe brain damage, the insurer can still reduce the settlement if it finds that the rider was not wearing a helmet.
This is also true in cases of road rash, which is why riders should always wear other protective gear, such as a jacket, pants, and boots, in addition to a helmet.
Damage to the helmet can also help show the severity of the accident.
In addition, in the event that you were wearing a helmet with a video recorder, you can use that footage to prove fault.
3) Eyewitness Statements and the Police Report
If you are physically able to do so, getting the contact information of any eyewitnesses will be extremely beneficial to your case. If you cannot gather their information, it should be in the police report that officers create at the scene.
The police report can be even more important than eyewitness statements as the report may include any citations the officer issued (e.g., driving under the influence, speeding), contact information for witnesses, and any suspicions of fault.
Again, as long as you are physically able, take as many pictures as you can. Take pictures of the vehicle damage, the sky (to document the weather), your injuries, skid marks, and any other debris or roadway hazards.
5) Medical Expenses and Wage Impacts
In addition to gathering evidence to prove fault, you must also gather evidence to prove your damages. Evidence may include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Transportation costs
- Any other related costs
- Pain journal
How can I get help?
Do not fight this battle alone. Enlist the help of a compassionate Ohio motorcycle accident attorney who will gather evidence, interview eyewitnesses, file a claim, negotiate with insurers, and take your case to court if needed. David Bressman and the Bressman Law team will take care of everything so you can focus on the most important thing – getting better.
Contact David and his team today at 877-538-1116.