What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Maine
What you do after getting into a motorcycle accident can have a big impact on your ability to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. The first thing to remember is that you should stay at the scene and exchange information with any other individuals involved. You should contact the police and ask for medical help. If you are able to move around and you believe the other person was at fault, you should document the scene of the accident with a high-resolution camera if possible. However, you should not talk about what happened to the other individuals involved, nor get into a fight with them, nor offer any apologies. It is very important to contact an experienced Maine motorcycle accident attorney as soon as practicable after a crash. You do not want any evidence relevant to your case to be lost.Dealing With Insurance Companies
After an accident, the insurer for the other driver may contact you to ask you questions, and may even offer you a quick deal. However, your statements to the insurer can be used against you, and any deal the other side’s insurer offers will rarely be the full sum to which you may be entitled. The insurer for the other driver owes you nothing; the insurer owes his or her insured a duty, but has no special relationship with you. You may have suffered more serious damages than you think you have did at the time of the accident. It can take up to a year for the full extent of your injuries to be known, particularly in cases involving soft tissue injuries. Therefore, it is important to consult with an attorney who is on your side before speaking to an insurer for the other party.Admissions of Fault
Determining who is at fault is a critical aspect of a personal injury lawsuit. Many of us are raised to be kind to other people, but even a simple "I'm sorry" that is intended to be an expression merely of sympathy may later be used against you to show that you believed yourself at fault in an accident. Similarly, giving a statement to an insurer can prove to be a mistake. An insurer may ask you leading questions or present you with inaccurate information to manipulate you into admitting that you don't know what caused an accident or to take some type of responsibility for the accident. Because Maine follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine, these admissions can be extremely damaging.
To prove another party’s liability for negligence under Maine law, an injured victim must show that (1) the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, (2) the defendant breached that duty, (3) the breach caused the victim’s injuries, and (4) the victim suffered actual damages as a result of the defendant’s breach. Under the comparative negligence rule in Maine, a plaintiff's recovery may be reduced by the percentage to which he or she was at fault. Therefore, an apology or an innocent remark to an insurer or the other driver can and will be used to reduce or deny you compensation for your injuries. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault, your recovery in a personal injury lawsuit will be entirely barred in Maine.Contact Us for Help
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you should contact a trustworthy Maine motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Our office works with an excellent former law enforcement investigator who can go to the scene of the accident, examine the police report, and evaluate any photographs in order to figure out what caused the collision and who to hold responsible. We can negotiate with insurers who play hardball and take your case to trial if necessary. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form to schedule your free consultation today.