Galt Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles have become a common mode of transportation for everyday use as well as for weekend travel. That is certainly true in California. Highway 99 spans the state from north to south, cutting through Galt, uniting smaller communities with the state capital. With higher motorcycle traffic, the rate of accidents increases. Without structural vehicle protection, such accidents are often serious. Suddenly, the injured individual is thrown into a nightmare of hospital and doctor bills and the inability to work.Dealing With the Aftermath of a Motorcycle Accident
Coping with the pain and financial hardships that exist after a motorcycle accident is never easy if you are trying to go it alone. The help of a Galt motorcycle accident attorney is invaluable when dealing with insurance adjusters and legal representatives of other people involved in the accident. At a vulnerable time in your life, you may be unaware of the steps that need to be taken and may say something that could be used to deny compensation. Be assured that the insurance company retains or has an in-house legal department that is well versed in the law as it pertains to motorcycle accidents. Without counsel, you may be forfeiting your rights.What to Do Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident
What happens in the moments and hours after a motorcycle crash depends on the severity of your injuries. With more serious injuries, the most important thing is to be transported to an emergency center for treatment. Other injuries such as fractures may make it impossible to gather evidence at the accident site. However, for those who can, here is a list of steps that should be taken:
- Gather names, phone numbers, license, and insurance policy information from others involved in the accident.
- Talk to witnesses, obtaining their contact information and possibly a statement of what they saw. You can use your phone to record their statements if they are able to do that.
- Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene. Focus on the placement of the vehicle and roadway marks if any exist.
- Go to the emergency room or a private doctor’s office as soon as possible. Symptom onset varies and it makes good sense to be checked out.
- Call the police. If the accident happens on a highway, call the California Highway Patrol (CHP). On a local road in Galt, call the Galt Police. If a law enforcement officer comes to the accident site and makes a report, be sure to ask for a copy.
- Call your insurance company. Provide your name, policy number and where the accident happened. Other information can be provided by you or your attorney.
After the accident, the insurance company will request information about your injuries. An adjuster will be assigned to your case and may visit the accident site. In addition, the adjuster may ask for a release to obtain your medical records. This does not mean all your medical records. It does mean the medical records pertaining to the accident. It is a good idea to request the records from the emergency room, hospital and/or doctor and rehabilitation center yourself. You can forward the records to the insurer. Your Galt motorcycle accident attorney can also secure the records, review them and send them to the insurance agency. Providing all your medical records may initiate the insurance company to blame your accident injury on something else that happened in the past. For instance, if your knee was hurt in the accident and you had a previous injury to that knee, the insurance company may say that some of the pain is due to the prior injury.Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
Overall, about 80 percent of injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash can be devastating. Head and neck injuries are the most common. This depends largely on whether or not the biker was wearing a helmet when the crash occurred. Serious traumatic brain injury can rob a person of their identity, their job and their ability to function in everyday life. Other injuries to the head, such as concussion, can take months or years for the symptoms to resolve. Spinal cord injury is another game-changer. Depending on the location of the injury, the individual may be paralyzed. The higher the injury occurs on the spinal column, the greater the likelihood the person will be paralyzed in all four extremities.
Watch the video below to learn some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
- Fractures: When a biker is thrown from his or her bike, chances are good a broken bone may result. Fractures can require surgery or, at the least, placement of a cast for a period of time. Getting to work or being able to work at all, depending on the type of work, could be a problem.
- Loss of limbs: Serious injury to a limb may require amputation.
- Dislocations: Shoulder dislocations often happen when a biker is thrown off his or her bike.
- Road rash: While generally a minor injury, road rash can be painful and can cause infection.
Without a Galt motorcycle accident attorney by your side, the responsibility of negotiating with your insurance company and having your motorcycle repaired is squarely on your shoulders. The stress caused right after an accident is not needed. A motorcycle accident lawyer will:
- Provide free and friendly advice. If you don't have transportation, we can provide an Uber.
- Talk to insurance companies for you.
- Make sure your claim is filed in the appropriate time, beyond which it may not be heard by the court.
- Obtain medical records and accident reports. If needed, an accident reconstruction expert will be consulted to help.
- Use all info to structure a demand letter after your treatment is finished.
- Negotiate with the insurance company to have your bike repaired or, if it is totaled, make sure you receive a fair amount to replace it.
- Take the case to court if a settlement can not be reached.
- Never charge you a fee until your case is resolved in your favor. This is called working on a contingency basis.
I'm Ed Smith, a Galt motorcycle accident attorney. Motorcycles are great fun and a cheap way to get around, but sometimes accidents can cause significant injury and death. If this happened to you or a member of your family, call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 anytime. You can also reach me online. Either way, you’ll get my free and friendly advice.
Photo by Mateusz Dach from Pexels
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.20.19]