Traffic collisions are one of the risks posed by motorbike riding. These kinds of situations are sometimes inevitable even with the precautions we take, especially in cases where another party is liable for the collision. In this setting, what we want to do is to claim compensation for property damages and medical fees.
Before we proceed to know more about motorbike traffic collisions, we must first know the difference between an accident and a collision. Legal and financial matters can be discredited when the liable person gains sympathy by claiming it was just an accident instead of acknowledging his/her wrongful conduct. Lawyers prefer using the terms collision, crash, and wreck to imply that someone was at fault and had been negligent.
As a guide, here are some Motorcycle traffic collision FAQ:
What should I do if I have been in a motorbike traffic collision?
Like in many other danger-related experiences, do not panic. What you need to do is assess your body for injuries and seek medical help if needed. Gather all the information you need starting with the contact details of all involved parties and the details of the event (what you were doing, where you were going, and how the collision happened). Record all the facts and take pictures if you can. Simply, document everything, together with the effects of the injury in your daily life after the collision. Report the motorbike collision to the police immediately and alert your insurance company. Take note that insurance companies may try to minimize compensation, so you must have all the details of the event for later evaluation. Also, witnesses are essential to validate your claims. Contact a motorbike expert and a personal injury lawyer for assessment and when the situation calls for it. Moreover, do not apologize immediately after the collision so the other party does not assume you were at fault.
How do I know if I should hire a lawyer?
The situation must be assessed, if possible, by a motorbike expert, a medical expert, and a lawyer. However, when it is apparent that the collision only gained minor damages and injuries, and you only want to claim compensation for property damages, you may not need to hire a lawyer. It is when the collision results in serious injuries, and you are sure that another party’s negligence had caused it, that you need a personal injury lawyer.
How can you determine whether you or someone else is at fault?
Whose fault it is can be easily determined by the answer in the question: “Among the involved parties, who was more careless than the other/s?” This is what you call comparative negligence — determining who had contributed more to the injuries. Even in a small wrong move, once negligence is proven from that action, he/she is held responsible for the collision. This is also what personal injury lawyers may need to find in the case and what they need to prove in verdicts and settlements.
Are collision victims still held responsible for the collision?
This can vary for different locations with different laws in place. In some areas, pure comparative negligence is followed. Whether you are a victim or not, it is on the percentage of your contribution to the collision that you are held accountable for, but this does not mean that you are not entitled to compensation. If 40% can be proven as your fault, you are still expected to receive 60% of compensation. On the other hand, some locations may have laws where it establishes that the one who has more contribution to the motorbike collision is solely held accountable. Both these situations do not regard whether one is a victim or not.
Is a car making a left turn always at fault?
Motorbike accidents in intersections have commonly resulted from drivers failing to see a motorbike and driving at an inappropriate speed while turning left. It is often the driver of the car who is held accountable since cars making left turns have been addressed in traffic laws worldwide, thus becoming a violation of the law. However, speeding or even just being close to the speed limit and being found as capable to have avoided the collision knowing the car would turn left would still put you at risk of the jury finding you at fault.
Does the litigation process in motorbike accidents take a long time?
This depends upon the severity of your injuries and damages, and if no further investigation upon who will be held responsible is needed. The usual timeframe would be 5 to 8 months. If the motorbike collision has been drastic and the claim has to be taken into court for a trial, it would take more months and even years, considering the investigation can already take up a considerable amount of time.
What determines the amount of compensation I will receive from the motorbike collision?
The case must be evaluated first as the factors would be: severity and effects of the acquired injuries, cost of property damages, and how much wage was lost after being away from work due to the injuries. The amount of money one will get differs for every case depending on these considerations.
What if I was not wearing a helmet, can I still pursue my claim?
There are two considerations to this question: whose fault it is and the existence of helmet laws in your area. If given that there is an established cause of injury and that whether you are wearing a helmet or not does not contribute to the collision, your claim would still be valid. Furthermore, it is in having helmet laws present in your area and having them violated that affects your claim.
What do I do when the collision I was involved in was a hit-and-run?
What you can do since it would be difficult to claim compensation from an unidentified person is to contact your insurance company and work in recovering medical and property damage compensation through your insurance. However, one must still take note of all the details of the event and look for witnesses for the possibility of still finding the person accountable.
Remember that taking precautionary measures is important to avoid motorcycle collisions. It is better to equip yourself with knowledge on how to be safe during your rides and what you should do during situations of getting involved in collisions. If you have a child that you often take with you, you might want to equip yourself with knowledge on child safety for motorcycle rides.