The thrill of driving a motorcycle comes with many risks. Motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die from an accident than those driving a car. Due to the lack of protection offered by the motorcycle, motorcyclists often are more severely injured in accidents—even if the accidents appear to be rather minor. If you intend on filing a motorcycle-accident claim and getting full compensation for your losses, you need to build a strong case. While having your motorcycle handy to use as evidence in court can be beneficial, you might not have the luxury of waiting that long. If you absolutely must bring your motorcycle in for repairs, here are three things you should do first.
Getting the Accident Reconstructed
Understanding how the accident happened can really give your motorcycle-accident attorney the evidence needed to build a strong case and to negotiate a reasonable settlement. If you don't have a credible witness to testify on your behalf, let your motorcycle do the job. The damages sustained by the motorcycle can be very telling and will allow a professional to reconstruct the accident as it happened.
The accident-reconstruction professional will take a look at the severity of the damage to determine the speed of impact. They can also take a look at the angle of the damages to determine where the vehicles were positioned during the accident. This can be sufficient in determining fault. If your attorney plans on hiring an accident-reconstruction professional to recreate the circumstances surrounding the accident, you must give the other party access to your bike as well, as they have a right to hire their own professionals to examine the damages.
Taking Photographs and Videos of the Bike
One of the main reasons why most attorneys recommend against repairing the motorcycle is because the motorcycle can give the court insight as to the extent and severity of the accident. This can be beneficial in establishing the extent and severity of the mental trauma and pain you've suffered. Before getting the motorcycle repaired, make sure you take photographs and videos of the bike in different angles and in different lighting.
Use a professional camera or even get a professional to take the photographs for you. Videos or photographs in different angles can provide a better picture of the damages your motorcycle has sustained.
Keeping Irreparable Parts
Depending on the type of damages that your motorcycle has sustained, not all of the damaged parts may be repairable. Some parts may need to be replaced. If possible, avoid discarding irreparable parts until after a reasonable settlement has been reached and the case has been finalized. The damaged parts can be presented as physical evidence in court to show how severe the damages were. For example, if some of the exterior parts are damaged to the point where they are barely recognizable, your attorney can establish the degree of impact.
If the internal parts of the motorcycle were damaged, this will show just how severe the accident truly was. This can give your case a better leg to stand on.
If it's possible, try to repair your motorcycle only after the claim has been finalized. The damaged motorcycle can prove to be an excellent piece of physical evidence in court should the claim go to trial. It'll also encourage the opposing party to settle with you, and will give your motorcycle-accident attorney a better leg to stand on when making requests. If you can't wait and have to get your motorcycle repaired, you should highly consider doing the things mentioned above. They will help you strengthen your case when your main piece of evidence is no longer available.