What Evidence Do I Need to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s negligent behavior, it’s unlikely that the person who hurt you (and their insurance company) will admit fault and take responsibility for your injuries. That’s where evidence comes in.
Good evidence is essential for a successful personal injury claim that can help pay for your medical bills and other losses. In this article, we’ll help you understand the most important types of evidence in a motorcycle accident case and what you can do to strengthen your claim.
Medical Bills, Pictures, and Eyewitness Accounts Can Support Your Injury Claim After a Crash
You can bet that the other party’s insurance company and their legal team will make every argument they can think of to prove their client shouldn’t be held responsible for your injuries. The more evidence you and your attorney can gather to refute their arguments, the better.
Some of the most valuable evidence in a motorcycle accident case will include:
- The police report
The officer who arrived at the scene of your crash should have prepared an official police report that includes the time and date of the crash, notes about road and weather conditions, the names of the drivers who were involved, injuries, the names of witnesses, and more.
All of this information is extremely valuable for your case, which is why you should obtain a copy of the report as soon as you can. Usually, a copy of the police report will be available within a few days after the crash. You can call the police department that responded to your incident and ask for a copy, or your attorney can help you obtain it.
- Photos of the scene and the vehicles involved
Pictures of the vehicles that were involved in the crash can help establish how severe the crash was as well as how it happened, and photos of the scene can illustrate any road conditions or other factors that may have played a role in the wreck.
- Forensic evidence and expert accident reconstruction
Professional accident reconstructionists can use key details like tire tracks, debris, and vehicle damage to recreate your crash and tell the story of what happened with a high degree of accuracy.
- Eyewitness statements
While eyewitness accounts are notoriously shaky as evidence, they can help flesh out the story of how your collision happened, especially when supported by photographic and forensic evidence.
- Records of your medical treatment
Medical bills and records of your treatment will play a significant role in demonstrating the extent of your injuries and helping the court translate those injuries, as well as your pain and suffering, into financial terms.
- Testimony from medical professionals
Statements from expert medical witnesses can reinforce the evidence in your medical records, establish your long-term prognosis, and explain the future costs and losses you might face because of your injuries.
What Can I Do to Help My Case After a Crash?
It’s common for attorneys to suggest that people take photos of a vehicle collision immediately afterward using their smartphone camera and otherwise gather evidence at the scene to help their case.
But the reality in a motorcycle crash is that the victim usually suffers serious injuries and won’t be in any condition to walk around the scene snapping photos and talking to witnesses. (In fact, motorcycle wrecks accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths in the most recent year with complete data — but motorcycles only made up about 3 percent of vehicles on the road.)
Even if you’ve been seriously hurt, you can still take action to help your case.
The first thing you should do, as soon as possible after the wreck, is call an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can start investigating your case and gathering and preserving evidence right away. Some of the most important forensic and photographic evidence will only be available for a short while after a crash, so the sooner you call an attorney, a better. An experienced lawyer who has successfully handled motorcycle crashes will know exactly what to look for at the scene and in the hours and days afterward.
Medical Evidence Can Make or Break Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Even if you couldn’t gather evidence at the scene, you can still play an important role in gathering some of the most important evidence in your motorcycle accident case: medical records and bills. These documents will play a pivotal role in your case by showing the extent of your injuries.
After a car accident, it’s extremely important to get prompt medical treatment for your injuries and attend all follow-up appointments that your doctor schedules. Make sure to tell your doctor about any symptoms you experience in the days, weeks, and months after the crash — including physical symptoms like pain, weakness, and numbness as well as mental symptoms like anxiety and depression, which are very common among injury victims.
You can also keep a journal that documents all your healthcare-related appointments, including the name of the doctor you saw, what type of treatment they gave you, and any money you paid for the treatment. Don’t forget to log other expenses you incur because of your treatment, like gas, food, and lodging when you have to travel to see a specialist. Keep copies of any documents that will verify the information you’re putting in your journal, like receipts and medical bills.
Finally, don’t forget to write about anything else you experience related to your injuries, like changes you have to make in your lifestyle or important events you have to miss. For example, if you have to cancel a vacation you had been looking forward to or give up a favorite activity, this can contribute to the overall picture of your pain and suffering and the extent of your injuries after the crash, which can in turn affect the total damages in your case.
If you’re not sure if something is related to your accident or your injuries, make a note of it to be on the safe side. Any experienced personal injury attorney can tell you: there’s no such thing as too much information from the victim after a serious crash.
Contact Atkins & Markoff for Help if You’ve Been Hurt in an Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident
After a serious motorcycle crash, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney right away so they can begin investigating your case and preserving evidence. At Atkins & Markoff, we have the resources and experience needed to handle your motorcycle injury claim. We’re ready to listen to your story, and we will fight to get you justice and compensation.
If you have been seriously injured or even lost a loved one in a motorcycle wreck or other motor vehicle accident, contact Atkins & Markoff today by calling 405-607-8757 or filling out our quick and simple online contact form. We’ll get back to you right away. Your initial consultation is free, and we handle all personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis so you won’t pay attorney’s fees unless we get you a settlement or win your case in court.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2015, May). Traffic safety facts. Washington, D.C.: NHTSA National Center for Statistics and Analysis. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812148
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.