What to Know After a Motorcycle Accident
Shared Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, motorcycle-related injuries have gone down even as vehicle numbers increased, but 88,000 is still a lot of hurt people. In most of those accidents, both the motorcyclist and other driver(s) had a hand in causing the problem. In shared liability accidents, complexities can multiply fast. Fortunately, the Morgan Law Firm knows the ropes and can untangle any Gordian knot.
What Do You Do First?
When you’re hurt in an accident, get the police on the scene! If driving-under-the-influence or driving without a license (both frequently happen in motorcycle accidents), it’s a criminal as well as civil matter. If not, it’s a strictly civil law matter but the police report is an official document and carries weight in court. Be aware that the police, unless they are also witnesses, aren’t reporting what happened; they’re reporting what those involved said happened. Also, be aware that when making a police report, you need to be careful what you say because it will be taken down and may be used against you in a court of law.
Both Idaho and Utah have laws specific to motorcycle-related accidents. Maybe the most important laws to consider are the statutes of limitations. Generally, Utah or Idaho cases must be filed within two years of the incident, though there are exceptions.
You also need to discuss the accident with your insurance company as quickly as possible. Do you have the right coverage? What are your limits? What are their settlement procedures? By the way, if they fail to settle your claim quickly or to your satisfaction, you may end up taking them to court.
Before going to court, the accident participants may try to get together for a private settlement or they may submit to arbitration. In either case, you need a lawyer on the assumption that the other person will have a lawyer. (And, your lawyer ought to be better than their lawyer!)
Don’t Ride Into Court Alone
In a shared responsibility case, there are no absolute answers, only value judgments — somebody will judge approximately how much fault each participant bore. That someone will be a judge or a jury or the participants themselves.
Regardless of who did what, or how it gets settled, you have legal rights that you must safeguard. You need a partner that knows all your rights and can defend them in the middle of all the details and complexities of your claim — or claims! Contact Nampa, Idaho’s, Morgan Law Firm — we know and we defend.