What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Palm Desert
Motorcycles are popular vehicles throughout the Palm Desert area, but they are inherently more dangerous than enclosed passenger cars. While a typical passenger vehicle can cushion the force of vehicle collision for those inside, a motorcycle offers virtually no protection at all. Additionally, motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than other passenger vehicles. These factors combine and cause serious accidents, most of which result in injury to the rider.
If you are wondering what to do after a motorcycle accident in Palm Desert, we can help. It’s natural to have many questions about liability for your damages and what to expect from a future insurance claim or legal action.
What Should I Check After a Motorcycle Accident?
Your first priority after an accident is your health and safety. Some motorcycle accidents only involve motorcycles, while others involve one or more additional vehicles. If you are injured, wait for medical responders to arrive, otherwise seek medical attention as soon as you are able to do so after your accident. It’s not uncommon for riders to sustain serious injuries without realizing it because of the numbing effect of adrenaline. Be cautious if you feel well enough to move after a collision.
Once you have assessed your medical needs and the extent of your personal injuries, you should evaluate your economic losses from the accident, including damage to your vehicle. Most people who experience motorcycle accidents due to the actions of negligent drivers will likely have grounds for substantial personal injury claims that enable them to recover economic and noneconomic damages.
How Do I Know If My Motorcycle Has Frame Damage?
Motorcycles are not exactly sturdy vehicles when accidents occur. Most motorcycles involved in collisions require extensive and expensive repairs, if not complete replacement. One of the most common mechanical issues that can lead to a bike being totaled is frame damage. Impact forces can cause frame components to warp, bend, and break. These forces can also weaken a motorcycle’s frame in hard-to-see places, leaving the frame more vulnerable to subsequent damage in the future.
One of the telltale signs of a bent motorcycle frame is a wobble or shift when gripping the handlebars and resting with the back wheel aligned. You should also check the frame around areas where body panels have been bent or crushed. The frame components below have likely been damaged as well. An experienced motorcycle mechanic can inspect your damaged vehicle and report the estimated value of your repair or replacement costs.
What Is the Number One Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
Another important first step after any motorcycle accident is determining how the accident occurred and who is responsible for it. One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is lack of visibility, especially in left-turn situations on US roads. For example, a driver turning left may not see a motorcycle in their path, or a motorcycle turning left may not come into view for a driver coming the opposite direction until it is too late. In most of these cases, accidents are preventable.
Consult with a local personal injury attorney if you believe another party bears liability for your damages after a motorcycle accident. California state law requires all drivers to contact 911to report accidents that result in injury or significant property damage, so there is likely a police report on file for your motorcycle accident. A good attorney will review this report, gather additional evidence, and examine your losses to help you begin building a case.
What Is the Most Common Motorcycle Injury?
Motorcyclists often suffer serious injuries from accidents with other drivers, including:
- Broken bones, some of which may require surgical treatment to heal. Some broken bones may lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of mobility.
- Soft tissue damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body.
- Traumatic brain injuries. It is not uncommon for motorcycle accidents to result in both open and closed head injuries. Wearing a Department of Transportation-approved motorcycle helmet is one of the best ways to limit the risk of fatal head injury in a motorcycle accident. However, helmets aren’t foolproof protection in a serious accident.
- Spinal injuries. The spinal cord cannot repair itself after an injury like the rest of the body, so any damage is permanent and may result in partial or complete paralysis.
- Organ damage. The body’s soft internal organs may suffer injury from impact forces or penetrating injuries, disrupting the body’s natural processes.
Any of these injuries could carry life-changing effects, including diminished mobility, cognitive impairment, paralysis, and loss of the ability to live independently.
How Do I Maximize My Recovery From a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Many people who survive motorcycle accidents sustain catastrophic injuries that not only lead to immediate and future medical expenses but also intense pain, inability to work, and uncertainty about the future. If you want to ensure you receive the most compensation possible after a motorcycle accident in Palm Desert, it’s essential to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will evaluate your situation and determine your best available legal options for recovery.
Some motorcycle accidents can be resolved with insurance claims. California follows a fault rule for car accidents, so every licensed driver in the state must carry auto insurance. An injured driver may recover their losses by filing a claim for coverage against an at-fault driver’s insurance policy. However, motorcycle accidents often result in very expensive damages. An insurance policy may not offer enough to fully compensate for a motorcycle accident victim’s losses.
If you are wondering what to do after a motorcycle accident in Palm Desert, speak with an experienced personal injury as soon as you have addressed your medical needs. A good attorney can help file an insurance claim and explore additional legal measures to ensure you receive the most compensation possible for your damages. If you need to discuss your options for legal recourse after a motorcycle accident in the Palm Desert area, contact the Law Offices of Susan Handel. Learn how our legal team can assist you with a motorcycle accident claim.