Practice Areas / Accidents
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Omaha
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What to do After Being Injured in A Motorcycle Accident in Omaha
Motorcyclists are at a disadvantage regarding the potential for injury in a crash. Protective gear like gloves, a helmet, and leather clothing only protects a rider to a certain extent.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to act right away. First, seek medical help and then call a motorcycle accident attorney. The road to recovering from a motorcycle accident is long and often comes with unexpected expenses. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Omaha will help you navigate the uncertain terrain of insurance companies, settlement offers, and legalities so you can focus on your recovery.
Motorcycle injuries are often devastating
Motorcycle accidents can cause years of pain and suffering, including injuries you may not notice immediately. A motorcycle accident sends a shockwave of trauma through the body, which causes the body to go into shock. Shock keeps you from feeling deep pain for a period of time. After a motorcycle accident, you could be unaware of the extent of your injuries, so it’s important to get medical help fast.
When you seek treatment immediately, you have a greater chance at recovering from injuries that might otherwise turn into a permanent disability. In the absence of severe pain to indicate damage, healthcare professionals have other ways to look for potentially debilitating injuries. The sooner you get to the doctor, the faster you can get checked out and take steps to recover.
If you don’t think you hit your head, or you were wearing a helmet and don’t think the hit was hard, seek medical attention immediately. Don’t wait even an hour. Get to the emergency room immediately and let them know you might have a head injury. It doesn’t take much of an impact to cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and you can still experience a TBI while wearing a helmet.
Head injuries are the number one cause of death for motorcyclists
Most states have laws requiring drivers and passengers to wear a helmet when riding any type of street legal cycle. Unfortunately, ignoring this law has devastating consequences in a crash. Motorcycle riders have a 40% greater chance of dying from a head injury when not wearing a helmet.
Some of the most common motorcycle injuries include:
- Head injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
Motorcycle riders are highly vulnerable on the road
Motorcycles are involved in 11% of all traffic accidents in the United States. Even with the right gear, motorcyclists have less protection than passenger vehicles, making them highly vulnerable to severe injuries and fatalities. On impact, riders are frequently thrown from their bike and tossed into traffic, further increasing the chance of being killed.
According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NHTSA), 4,669 motorcyclists were killed and 88,000 were injured on the road in the U.S. in 2013. Those numbers represent 14% of all 2013 traffic fatalities and 4% of all injuries. Of all motorcyclists killed, 94% were drivers.
In 2016, over 20% of fatal crashes in Nebraska were caused by drunk drivers. Many of those crashes involved motorcycles. A driver under the influence of alcohol has impaired judgment and won’t necessarily see a motorcycle driving close by. A drunk driver’s tendency to weave in and out of their lane makes them even more likely to crash into a motorcycle they don’t see coming, even when the motorcycle driver is obeying all traffic laws. In 2016, 2,433 traffic accidents were caused by a vehicle operating in an erratic manner. These crashes resulted in 30 fatalities and 1,098 injuries.
Riding any kind of motorized bike on the road is dangerous because cars can’t always see you coming. Some riders survive the initial crash, but are struck and either killed or severely injured by another vehicle.
The severity of your injuries is difficult to deal with on your own. The healing process will be long and painful. The last thing you should be doing is dealing with insurance companies.
You need help with the recovery process
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in Omaha, be grateful that you survived. You’ve likely got a long road to recovery ahead. The recovery process, including filing insurance claims, isn’t something you should do alone, especially when you’re in a vulnerable position. An experienced motorcycle attorney can help.
After being injured in a motorcycle accident, there are several things you need to do to establish support your case. First, file a police report. Hopefully you or someone else called police to the scene of the accident, and you may have been advised to file a police report. If not, you need to file a report immediately.
You might not file a police report for a bump in the parking lot, but an accident that causes damage, injuries, or fatalities must be reported to the police.
If you haven’t filed a police report, you should do so immediately. Waiting to file a police report might hinder your case. If you sue the driver responsible for your injuries, but waited a week or more to file a police report, your case might appear a bit less credible to the court. Your second step after a motorcycle accident is to contact an attorney.
A police report will serve as official documentation regarding the circumstances of your accident. The report will contain a narrative of details and causes, diagrams, and document the point(s) of impact. These details are crucial for filing insurance claims and play a significant role in how a claims adjuster determines fault and therefore awards compensation. The details found in a police report also guide the claims adjuster in assessing and negotiating your claim.
A police report serves as the same type of official documentation when you hire a lawyer. However, in a lawyer’s hands, the information contained in the police report could help you get more compensation than an insurance claims adjuster is willing to pay out.
Document the incident as soon as possible
Memory fades over time. While it’s fresh in your mind, sit down and document everything about your accident in as much detail as possible. Document the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as where you were going when the accident occurred. Document how many cars were involved and describe them if you can. Describe the clothes you were wearing, too. You may not need to reference all of those details, but bringing the small details to mind might help you recall other important details.
Also write down any dialogue that occurred between anyone involved in the accident, especially if they admitted fault. If there was another rider on your bike during the accident, be sure to document everything you remember hearing them say or do.
Go to all your medical and/or physical therapy appointments
Keep a daily log of your pain, injuries, and medical status. Be sure to go to all of your medical appointments and document any time or date changes to prove you went to the appointment. Not going to your medical appointments makes it harder to prove your injuries are severe enough to warrant compensation.
Never skip physical therapy. It’s difficult to admit you need physical therapy after an accident, but not going to your appointments could hurt your case and prolong your suffering. If the court thinks you don’t need physical therapy, you won’t be awarded compensation to cover treatment. If you actually do need treatment, you’ll end up either paying out of pocket or your injuries could turn into a permanent disability.
See a psychologist or therapist
Don’t underestimate the need to talk to a counselor after a serious accident. If you are expected to lose, or have lost your mobility, an arm, a leg, or sustained an injury that will limit your ability to function day-to-day, you need to talk to someone. The sudden loss of abilities can be emotionally devastating. Don’t try to handle it yourself.
Contact an Omaha motorcycle accident attorney right awayIf you’ve suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits may not cover the full extent of your injuries. A motorcycle accident attorney in Omaha might be your only chance at getting the compensation you deserve.