The first thing that should be done after a motorcycle accident, if at all possible, should be for the victim or their friends or loved ones to take some photos of the scene as soon after the accident as possible. If that’s not possible, their attorney will do that right after they’re retained. They will go to the scene and see if there was any debris on the roadway or skid marks that were still visible.
It would also be helpful to get the names of witnesses, such as those who stopped for the accident, rendered aid or made sure everyone was okay before leaving. If the witnesses leave before the parties get their names or phone numbers, there will be no way to reach them.
Independent witnesses can be very important in a contested liability case, such as one in which one party said they had the green light, while the other claimed to have the green light. An independent witness can be critical because they lack bias and tend to call it the way they saw it. In my experience, juries tend to believe independent witnesses more than they believe the two parties.
It’s also important for the person to get their medical care right after the accident and to consistently follow up after that. Once out of the hospital, with their medical care established, they should hire an attorney and allow them to investigate the accident and determine who was at fault and what the value of damages would be.
Could Pictures Of The Scene Of The Accident Be Used As Evidence In Someone’s Favor?
Photos can definitely be used as evidence. As little as 10 or 15 years ago, if someone took pictures at the scene of an accident, the insurance company would question whether or not they had staged the accident because the person just happened to have a camera at the time.
Times have changed, however, and it is just accepted that most people have smartphones with cameras, and in almost every case, we see pictures that were taken at the scene. They can often be considered the best evidence available because they are fresh and things like skid marks, debris on the road and the position of the vehicles can be seen clearly. In some cases, people or vehicles can be identified through photographs, which can be helpful if the person’s memory is faulty.
Likewise, sometimes photos can hurt someone’s case, so it can work both ways. However, since they represent the scene at the moment of the accident, they tend to be very helpful.
Are Accident Journals Helpful?
Journals and diaries can be controversial, because the defense can argue that the person overstated their injury or documented excessively just to build up a huge damage case, so they can actually work against the client, since people tend to chart every headache and every ache and pain they have.
On the other hand, it can be important to document special events, such as if they had a seizure that was somehow related to the accident, especially if the journal entry mentions when and where it happened, who was present and how they felt, because they can be important to remember later. The medical treatment will be documented by the doctor, but documenting something like that can be very important.
Another example could be if the accident victim documented when their back went out during a certain situation, such as when they were at home doing yard work. That could be helpful when they are giving testimony in a deposition a year later. They could refer to that and verify what happened on that date, that a neighbor was present and saw it.
What Concerns Do People Have About Their Motorcycle Accident?
Typically clients who get to us early want to know how to pay for the motorcycle to be repaired or replaced; that seems to be a big concern for most people. They frequently ask what they might be entitled to in a lawsuit, so we explain that they would be entitled to their past and future medical bills, their past and future lost wages, if any, and past and future pain and suffering damages.
People also want to know, and should want to know, how they will pay for the attorney, so we explain that we will take a percentage of the recovery, and that we won’t paid unless they did.
For more information on First Steps After A Motorcycle Accident, please call (916) 565-2100 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.