You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if a negligent driver caused your motorcycle collision. However, as our San Diego motorcycle accident attorney explains, you may have to fight with their insurance company over their responsibility to pay you even if you believe liability is clear-cut.
The best way to ensure you receive the full value of your claim is to collect evidence proving your case.
Important Types of Evidence to Preserve in a California Motorcycle Accident
Strong evidence is the foundation of a claim for compensation, and you need to collect as much as possible. You should begin preserving it at the accident scene. Why is this important? Evidence can be lost or destroyed, or memories of what happened can fade if you do not act quickly. You do not want to be in the position of knowing that you could have received more money if you had more evidence to defeat the insurance adjuster’s arguments against you.
You must prove the other driver’s negligence in causing the crash, the injuries you suffered, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to under California law. Let's look at the types of evidence that can help you establish this.
You should contact the police at the scene of your motorcycle accident. A police officer will investigate the cause of your crash and write a report that can have beneficial information you can use to convince the insurance adjuster to pay you, such as the following:
- Date, time, and place of your collision
- Contact information for the other driver and their insurance company
- Statements of the negligent motorist, eyewitnesses, and you
- Officer’s conclusions as to how the wreck occurred and who was at fault in causing it
- Any traffic citations issued
Photos and Video
You should take photographs and videos using your cellphone camera right after the collision. You want to document the damage to the motor vehicle and your motorcycle, the crash scene, road and weather conditions, and your injuries. If you are too hurt to take this important step, ask someone to do this for you so you do not lose evidence that can help establish the other driver’s negligence.
You do not want to rely on the police to interview bystanders who saw how your motorcycle accident happened. Get their contact information and obtain their witness statements while their memories are fresh, and you can locate them. The statements of neutral eyewitnesses can be very helpful in convincing the insurance company that their insured was to blame for your injuries.
Your Clothes and Motorcycle
You should keep your clothes, helmet, and bike in the same condition after your accident. The damage to your motorcycle could help you prove the other driver’s negligence. Your bloodied and torn clothes and damaged helmet can be powerful evidence to show the jury if your case goes to trial.
Medical Records and Bills
Having good medical records and copies of your medical bills is essential. They will help you prove how serious your injuries are. They will also document the medical treatments you need and their cost.
Wage Loss Documents
You are entitled to be compensated for the income you lost from your job while you were off work recovering from your injuries. You will need your pay stubs and documentation from your employer regarding your wages and benefits to establish the number of wage losses you should receive in your settlement.
Depending on the disputes with the insurance company, you may need to hire an expert witness to help you build a stronger case. Helpful expert witnesses in motorcycle accident claims include:
- Accident reconstruction expert
- Medical experts
- Economic expert
- Engineer or road safety expert