If you drive a motorcycle in Arkansas, it is crucial that you understand your legal rights in the event of a motorcycle accident that involves injuries. Research conducted by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation revealed that drivers in other vehicles are at fault 60% of the time when they collide with motorcycles. These statistics convey the need for an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Arkansas who can represent you after a crash. You can strengthen your case by learning how to become your own best advocate by following the steps listed below.
React to the Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should remain calm, put safety first, and document what exactly happened in the incident. You should:
- Assess any immediately obvious injuries.
- Move to a safe area.
- Contact the local authorities.
- Exchange insurance information.
- Document the scene of the accident.
- Seek medical attention.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Even if you are not sure whether you suffered an injury after your motorcycle accident, you should still visit a doctor. You never know which injuries can appear later. For example, whiplash may cause a serious neck injury, but it can take a few days to show up. Your injuries may also be internal and require immediate medical attention to avoid serious complications.
Determine Who Is at Fault
After you have received medical attention and thoroughly documented the incident, you should determine who is at fault. This is the first step toward legal action that will hold the responsible party accountable. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand which of the following parties may be liable:
- Other Motorists: This is the most obvious party to sue, but you should take time to understand how the accident was caused and which driver, or drivers, are liable before your lawyer files a suit.
- Government agencies: If the condition of the road caused your motorcycle accident, you might have a possible lawsuit against the government agency that is responsible for its maintenance.
- Manufacturers or dealerships: If faulty equipment on your bike caused the accident, you might be able to sue the manufacturer or motorcycle dealership that sold it over the defect. In these situations, your lawyer will examine your unique circumstances and cite relevant Arkansas laws that determine whether the manufacturer or dealership would be at fault.
Understand the Types of Damages
If another party is at fault for your motorcycle accident and injuries, your compensation amount will depend on a variety of factors. The damages your motorcycle accident lawyer may note in your case can include:
- Punitive damages are pursued when a defendant is being punished for outrageous misconduct, such as when a motorist intentionally caused an accident. For instance, a case in which someone purposefully drove into an oncoming lane to intimidate a biker and subsequently caused an accident would likely qualify for punitive damages.
- General damagesare paid for the pain, suffering, embarrassment, and anguish that can occur after an accident. When calculating general damages, the court will consider the accident, any injuries, and their impact on your quality of life. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you summarize your general damages and ensure you receive what you are owed.
- Compensatory damages are relatively straightforward, as they account for costs associated with medical expenses, repairs, and any lost wages due to being unable to work. These damages are typically calculated by adding up invoices and receipts.
If you are looking for a motorcycle accident lawyer after being injured in a crash, contact Nolan Caddell Reynolds at 866-242-0452 to start the investigation for your case and work toward a fair settlement.