In order to recover financial compensation after a motorcycle accident, you need evidence that proves who is to blame for your injuries. In order to collect this evidence, it is necessary to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation as soon as possible.
But, conducting a thorough investigation is easier said than done. You need forensic investigators who are experts in evaluating and collecting evidence at accident scenes, and you need an attorney who can issue subpoenas and use other legal means to obtain evidence from other sources. All of this needs to be done quickly before evidence starts to disappear, and before any avoidable delays impede your ability to recover just compensation.
7 Steps Involved in Investigating a Motorcycle Accident Case in Bakersfield, CA
The following is an overview of the general steps involved in investigating a motorcycle accident. While these are all common investigative tools and techniques, the specific steps required in order to prove your claim will depend on the particular facts and circumstances involved:
1. Conducting an On-Scene Investigation
Promptly conducting an on-scene investigation can be crucial to proving your claim for damages as an injured motorcycle rider. The on-scene investigation will examine all aspects of the accident and all possible factors involved in the crash, from skid marks and damage to road signs to the local road conditions and traffic patterns.
While the police officer who responded to the accident may have taken some notes in his or her accident report, your lawyer will need to investigate the crash site as well. Experienced accident firms often have dedicated investigators on staff who can assess the scene with your claim for financial compensation in mind.
2. Inspecting Your Motorcycle and the Other Vehicle(s) Involved in the Crash
In addition to examining the crash site, it will also be important to inspect your motorcycle and any other vehicles that were involved in the accident. The location of the damage to each vehicle can provide direct evidence of how the accident occurred, and the extent of the damage can help show how fast each vehicle was traveling at the time of the collision.
Thoroughly inspecting your motorcycle and the other vehicle(s) will also allow your attorney to determine if a motorcycle or vehicle defect may have played a role in causing the crash.
3. Talking to Witnesses
Anyone who saw the accident happen is a potential witness, and witness testimony can be strong evidence in support of a claim for motorcycle accident compensation. Particularly if the amount of physical and documentary evidence is limited, having witnesses testify that the other driver was speeding, distracted, following too closely, or otherwise negligent can be critical to establishing your claim for damages.
4. Obtaining a Copy of the Police Report
The police report from your accident can be an important component of the investigation as well, but it is important not to rely too heavily on this document alone. While the accident report records the responding officer’s interpretation of what happened, it is not dispositive when it comes to establishing liability in an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
If you did not receive a copy of the police report before contacting a motorcycle lawyer, your attorney will obtain a copy during the investigative process.
5. Obtaining Video Footage of the Collision
While police reports can be of limited probative value, video footage of a motorcycle accident can be enough virtually on its own to establish a negligent driver’s liability. If your accident was captured by a traffic camera, security camera, dash cam, or cell phone, your attorney will absolutely want to obtain a copy of the footage to use in your case.
Depending on the entity or individual that owns the recording, this could be a fairly straightforward process. Alternatively, your lawyer may need to employ formal legal procedures to obtain the footage in question.
6. Obtaining Phone Records, Employment Records, and Other Documentary Evidence
Phone records, employment records, and other documentary evidence can also be obtained through formal legal means during a motorcycle accident investigation. If you were hit by a distracted driver, the driver’s phone records will help prove that he or she was talking or texting at the time of the crash. If the driver who hit you was on the clock, then his or her employer may be liable for your injuries.
Truck drivers’ log books, delivery drivers’ “black box” data, and other sources of documentary evidence can also point to liability on the part of negligent drivers and various other third parties.
7. Reviewing Your Medical and Employment Records to Determine the Costs of Your Injuries
Finally, when investigating a motorcycle accident case, it is important not to overlook the importance of proving the costs of your injuries. In addition to proving who is liable, you also need to prove how much they are liable to pay.
Your attorney will need to review your medical and employment records to calculate your damages. He or she may also need to obtain reports, testimony, and other evidence from your doctors and other experts as well.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Bakersfield, CA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Mickey Fine
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Bakersfield, we encourage you to contact The Law Offices of Mickey Fine promptly so we can conduct a thorough investigation. To speak with motorcycle accident lawyer Mickey Fine about your case in confidence, call (661) 333-3333 or complete our online form. We handle all cases on contingency, so you pay nothing unless we win.