Were you injured by a “box” driver who wasn’t paying attention while you were riding your motorcycle in Rock, Hill, SC? You might be wondering what to expect and what you should do. Read on for some helpful advice.
Let me use an example: Let’s say you are riding your HD Road Glide, and you are on your way to Fountain Park at 300 E. Main St. Suddenly, a “box” driver sending text messages blows through their red light right in front of you. They realize what they have done and stop like a squirrel in the road. You don’t have time or distance to get around them. You slam on brakes, the front end dips, and contact is made. The bike stops buried in the side of the car. Fortunately, you clear the handlebars and windshield and begin your catapult up over the car’s front and onto the very hard and rough pavement on the other side.
Ambulance to hospital, you are alive, thank God. Now what? You will be out of work for a while. You have medical bills now, rent’s due, and your transportation is a pile of bent metal left in the side of the car.
Well, you should start by hiring a skilled injury lawyer. The first issue is liability and ensuring that all evidence supports that the other driver ran the red light, not you. Never assume that because the police investigated the wreck, they have all the relevant evidence or will correctly conclude who was at fault. What if you were knocked unconscious, there were no independent witnesses, and the other driver said you ran the red light? Or they said they did, but later they tell their insurance company you ran the red light? Just because they said something different to the officer does not mean you will win. The officer will likely later say he does not remember, he must rely on his report, and they MAY have misunderstood or written it down incorrectly. You have some outstanding police on the Rock, but they didn’t witness the wreck, and they are human. So, canvassing businesses and homes in the area and placing signs for regular travelers on the road may be necessary. Vehicle black box data and cellphone information may all be helpful and may require discovery conducted during litigation.
Obviously, searching for coverage and assets of the other driver is crucial, so you have a resource to recover financially for your losses. Considering other potential defendants is also essential. Is there an issue with the lights, the road, your bike, or the defendant’s car that may have been a contributing cause for the collision?
Ensuring all of your medical care is accounted for, and bills are negotiated is also essential and varies between the different providers and what, if any, health insurance is involved. Some health plans are self-funded by the employer and fall under federal law. Some are state plans (like teachers and police), and some are private plans with state law applying to them. All of these have different aspects to consider when negotiating.
Your totaled bike, with your custom improvements, all need to be addressed as well as the loss of use. It is damaged and not drivable, so you’re not able to ride it. This is true regardless of the fact you cannot drive due to your injuries, you still have a “loss of use” claim.
You are going to get a call, likely, from an insurance adjuster. They are not your friend. Their job is to adjust your claim, meaning to resolve it as cheaply as possible. They don’t represent you, and they have no incentive to be fair. When you talk to them, your statements are an admission that can be used against you. They do this for a living, and you do not. An old saying goes, “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” If a lawyer is foolish to represent themselves, imagine the nonlawyer?
When the adjuster calls, my best advice is to say, “I am sorry, I am in too much pain to talk.” and contact an experienced injury lawyer. Our team of experienced motorcycle accident lawyers, investigators, and case managers are ready to serve you at our Rock Hill, SC office.