When a rider was hit by two drunk drivers, MotoJustice helped him both immediately following the motorcycle accident and then later in the legal system. It turns out the two drivers were drinking buddies, and one was following the other to the next watering hole. The first driver was not paying attention and braked late behind the biker. His friend slammed into him, and the both of them ran into the back of the bike.
The scary part of the story is that both drunks got out of their vehicles and attempted to goad the injured rider into a fight. They knew they were in trouble so they wanted to divert attention from their mistakes by putting the innocent rider in the wrong. They even spat on him in their attempts to incite him!
Thankfully, our client kept his cool, he called us at MotoJustice, and over the phone we talked him through what needed to be done. When the officer arrived, the motorcycle rider insisted that he prepare a report and issue an item number. Both drunks were arrested and eventually prosecuted. Meanwhile, the rider was treated for his injuries and got his bike repair costs covered.
This case and others like it compel us to give you the information you need to protect yourself after a motorcycle accident. If you live anywhere in Louisiana and you find yourself in trouble, do the following things:
Call the Police and Wait
You know the number — 911. Use it. No one wants to wait around on the side of the road, but an official record dramatically raises the chances of a successful legal outcome. If the police officer asks if you “really want a report,” your answer is a definite “Yes.” Most officers don’t want to spend extra time after their shift typing up a lengthy accident report, so politely ask the officer to do his job. At minimum, before allowing the officer to leave the scene, get an item or incident number from the officer. The lawyers at MotoJustice can then track down any reports, statements or witnesses after the event.
If at all possible, don’t leave the scene until the police arrive. If your safety is at risk, then do what is required to ensure personal safety. But understand that the case will typically become nothing more than your word against the other person’s, and the legal system may not consider your version of events any more believable than theirs.
Keep Your Cool
Don’t let yourself be provoked or intimidated. Don’t get into a fight or do anything questionable that could hurt your case in the legal system. Criminal charges against you will not work in your favor, regardless if the motorcycle accident was someone else’s fault.
We can give you advice about your specific situation right then and there. What’s more, if the accident happens in the New Orleans area, we will come and sit with you while you’re waiting for the police. It won’t cost you anything, so there’s no reason not to call.
We answer the phone at all hours, even late at night. We’re almost always available, but just in case we’re not available at a particular moment, leave a message. It will be transcribed and sent to the lawyers at MotoJustice via text and email. You’ll promptly get a call back.
Put MotoJustice’s toll-free number in your phone now: 1-888-666-1983.
Document Everything and Look for Witnesses
Take photos with your smartphone. Open the voice memo app, and tell yourself what happened while the events are all still fresh in your memory. Record any altercations that may occur between you and the other driver. Details could be important later on, so paint a picture of the scene. Is it a rainy evening? Is the lighting dim? Is the road bumpy or well paved? And so on…
Look around. Are there any traffic cameras or businesses with security cameras that could be of assistance later on? Are there any witnesses waiting for a bus? If so, ask them what they saw and record their comments with your phone. Be sure to also ask for their names and contact information and ask politely for their help. We have seen promises made on scene to injured parties honored years later when cases proceeded to trial.
Even if the person who was in an accident with you seems nice and reasonable, still document everything you can. The lies come later, and rarely on scene.
Likewise, we’ve said that you shouldn’t let yourself be bullied by others who were in the accident, but if you fear for your safety, go to a safe area. Try and get the police to join you there.
Care for Your Bike
If your bike was damaged in the accident, you certainly don’t want to leave it on the side of the road. Anyone with a pick-up truck and a few buddies could throw it into the truck bed and drive off with it. We can help with transportation anywhere in the New Orleans area. In many cases, we can help statewide by making a few calls to associates in other cities.
In addition, at MotoJustice we fight for property damage reimbursements along with personal injury claims. Most lawyers don’t like to mess with the property damage component of a motorcycle accident case, but we see our work as doing whatever it takes to help riders get back in the saddle.
In addition to arranging to pick-up your bike through our friends at The Transportation Revolution, their mechanics will assess damages and share the information with you and with us. We’ll soon work to get a claim going on those property damages.
Tend to Any Injuries and Stay Safe
As already mentioned, you should stick around for the police, but if you need immediate medical attention, take care of yourself first. Call an ambulance or get yourself to an emergency room or an urgent care center. If you don’t have a primary care physician, we can help with that too! We have doctors that can treat you with little or no out-of-pocket expenses. If you are hurt, we want to help you heal. That is the only way to get you back on a bike and riding again.
Keep this number handy: 1-888-666-1983. You’ll never know when you’ll need it.
Image credit: Corepics VOF, Shutterstock.com