Motorcycle accident lawsuits often boil down to an issue of damages. Drivers and other parties who cause motorcycle accidents are usually represented by lawyers provided to them by their car insurance companies. Car insurance companies use the same tactics when defending a car, truck or motorcycle accident case – downplay the damages.
Motorcycle riders often suffer serious injuries, such as shoulder and hip fractures or head and brain injuries. Severe road rash, disfigurement and scarring are very common.
Motorcycle accident lawyers should carefully document the extent of the injuries when prosecuting a motorcycle accident case. Regardless of whether the case ends up in front of a jury, judge or arbitrator, pictures, videos, and witness testimony are powerful tools which make a difference in showing just how devastating a motorcycle accident is for the rider and his or her family.
During the litigation process, motorcycle accident lawyers in Pennsylvania should consider the following:
1. Extent of the injuries, temporary or permanent
Of course, the natural inclination is to document permanent versus temporary injuries. However, some temporary injuries are so severe, that not documenting them is a mistake. For example, in serious motorcycle accident cases, the rider may be in a coma for days, weeks or even months after the injury. For the rider’s family, this time period is incredibly stressful. It is important to document this process as best as possible, whether through pictures, video, diary entries, etc.
2. Future medical expenses
Documenting past medical expenses is a necessity and relatively self-explanatory. By adding up all the past medical bills and looking at the medical lien, if any, a motorcycle accident lawyer can obtain the exact amounts paid to date. However, projecting future medical expenses takes expertise and knowledge in using the right kind of expert to identify the nature and extent of any future treatment and then having the projections done appropriately.
3. Strategic use of medical records
In some cases, medical records should be blown up and used as exhibits. Triage reports, initial assessments in the ER and diagnostic test results make excellent exhibits, both at trial and arbitration.
4. Pre-existing or aggravated conditions
Dealing with pre-existing conditions is not always easy, especially if there are no pre and post-accident diagnostic tests to compare. However, using witnesses like employers, friends and family members is an excellent way to combat pre-existing conditions. Such witnesses can offer excellent testimony as to the plaintiff’s pre-accident physical ability. For example, in a case where the plaintiff had a pre-accident shoulder injury, it would be ideal to have a witness from a sports league testify that prior to the accident, plaintiff had no problem playing the sport, but after the motorcycle accident, the plaintiff was unable to play.
Documenting the extent of the injuries requires a certain amount of pre-trial preparation. Witnesses, pictures, documents, etc. must be located and developed. Even insurance company adjusters can be moved by the details of recovery, hardship, and injury caused by the accident.
For more information, contact a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyer.
More Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Articles:
- What to Expect in a Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
- Three Common Motorcycle Accident Scenarios
- Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Law – Who Pays for Medical Bills?
Schwartz & Blackman handles motorcycle accident cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:
- PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
- NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Published: August 21, 2012