If you've been injured in a crash between an automobile and a motorcycle in East Nebraska, you should first receive immediate medical attention. Your next move should be to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Omaha.
After all, motorcycles are amazing machines. The wind in your hair, the ground rushing underneath your feet, regardless of your choice of bike, they remind us how thrilling it is to be alive.
But when you ride on the machine instead of inside it, protective gear like helmets, jackets, and gloves can only provide so much protection. Sadly, the accidents riders suffer usually come with significant injuries, even at slow speed. Asphalt and metal can be unforgiving.
Below, our Omaha bike accident attorney discusses everything you need to know about motorcycle crashes, from what to expect, to how to hire the right attorney, and much more.
What to Expect When You Have a Motorcycle Accident
If you’ve been injured on your motorcycle in Omaha because of the negligence or carelessness of another driver, it's important to act quickly. First, seek medical attention, and then contact a motorcycle accident lawyer. Getting back on your bike and returning to good health after a bad accident can be tough. There are medical bills, insurance companies to deal with, and a motorcycle to repair or replace – not to mention the pain and suffering from your injuries and probable physical therapy. You’ll want to focus on your family and health, while the legal team you choose will take over everything else. The following information provides a typical timeline of injuries and treatment you can expect and steps you’ll want to take following your crash.
Motorcycle Injuries Happen Suddenly and Are Usually Severe. Here's What You Should Do After a Bike Crash
- When you have fallen off your bike in traffic or elsewhere, move to the side of the road where you can safely inspect yourself, your gear and helmet to ensure you haven’t broken bones or suffered a concussion or other injury.
- Then call for medical attention. While on the subject, it’s also smart to place a card in your jacket that lists your blood type, health insurance info, any allergies to medications and emergency contacts.
- When more serious accidents happen, it’s vital to seek medical care immediately. Many riders worry about the cost of emergency transport, a hospital stay, or surgery, and try to avoid medical care altogether by toughing it out. But this is no time to be tough, and delaying medical care can make your injuries worse, may in fact lead to permanent disability, and never helps your legal case against the other driver. The quicker you are seen and helped by medical professionals, the faster you can get back to riding on two wheels.
- Memorialize the accident. Gather evidence, take photos of the scene and get the names and contact information for any witnesses. Write notes about what you remember. What time of day was it, how was the weather? Was the traffic light or heavy? How did you get hit, where and why? What the other driver on his phone, or was she otherwise distracted? These details may or might not get picked up accurately by the office on scene, but they are always important – so make sure you understand as much as possible about what caused your accident.
- Make sure a police report was filed. This step cannot be understated. The police will take pictures, gather information about the driver and witnesses, and issue a citation if necessary. Later, when your lawyer sends a demand to the negligent driver’s insurance company, the police report will be an important piece of evidence to prove liability and responsibility. Without it, obtaining compensation for you will be more difficult.
- Contact a proven motorcycle crash lawyer to consult about your case. The sooner the better, so that you can focus on the road to recovery and your attorney can take care of the rest.
Bonus step - Document your injuries. Below, our Omaha motorcycle accident attorney explains why:
Head Injuries are Common and Should Never Be Ignored
We’ve all banged our head at one time or another. But falling off your motorcycle and striking your head on the pavement or other surface is always serious. Even if you’re wearing a helmet, which you should always do (ATGATT – Right?), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) frequently result. Whether mild, moderate, or severe, TBIs should always be treated immediately. The trouble is that you may not know you hit your head. Look for signs like helmet dents, scarring, or other marring on the outer surface. Are you slurring your words, or having trouble remembering the accident or other details? If so, you may have hit your head harder than you thought and need to seek professional attention immediately.
Motorcycle Riding Comes with Risk in Omaha
Omaha is a big city with over a million people living in the metro area. We have freeways, downtown districts, and plenty of suburbs too. This means that there are some great places to ride and have fun, but unfortunately, riding in Omaha comes with great risk – motorcycle accidents happen frequently and are often serious.
In 2020 alone, more riders died on their motorcycle in Nebraska than any of the past twenty years (NDOT Motorcycle Safety Study 2021). Nearly 400 riders crashed on their motorcycles and suffered injuries in Nebraska during the same year, and although that number isn’t high, it’s still way too many. From the same study, it’s reported that the average motorcycle injury crash in Nebraska costs approximately $60,000 in property damage and medical bills. So regardless of what you ride, becoming injured on your motorcycle from a crash is more than a remote possibility and is usually expensive and painful.
Falling off your motorcycle and suffering injury because of another person’s actions is bad enough but holding the other person responsible and forcing their insurance company to compensate you fully for what you’ve lost on your own can be nearly impossible. You should be able to focus all your energy and time on your recovery and health.
Complete All of Your Treatment and Therapy.
If you have never been seriously injured prior to this, be prepared for a long road to recovery. Severe injuries sometimes require dozens of physical therapy sessions for your bones, muscles, and other parts of your physiology to heal. These sessions can be painful, but it is crucial to attend and complete them to reach your maximum medical improvement. Be honest with your therapy providers and doctors and let them know when your pain increases or subsides. While soreness is normal after physical therapy sessions, you should not exert yourself so hard that you reinjure yourself.
Once your medical treatment plan is complete and you have fully recovered, your attorneys will then be able to review all your medical bills and expenses to properly determine both the extent of your injuries, medical care, and possible future needs to better establish the full value of your injury case.
[Related: Do's and Don'ts for Injury Cases in Nebraska]
Hire the Right Law Motorcycle Crash Firm, Early On
Advancing a legal claim against the responsible person may be the furthest thing from your mind but delaying finding the right law firm to represent you would be a mistake. A competent legal team with the experience necessary to understand your accident will want to be involved as early as possible. If the lawyer you’re talking to wants you to “call us back when you’re healed,” you’re absolutely talking to the wrong person.
The right Omaha injury team will begin immediately gathering evidence and helping you with your medical plan, treatment, and expenses. The right legal team will ensure you have obtained an accident report, that the other party’s insurance is put on notice not to contact you to seek a recorded statement without their approval, and certainly will begin building your case. They may conduct an asset check to determine the responsible person’s ability to compensate you, and will no doubt want to visit the accident scene to better understand how the accident was caused.
When you’ve recovered and all the evidence is gathered, your legal team should prepare a demand to the insurance company of the responsible party to seek compensation for your injuries, property damage, wages lost, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and possibly other recoverable amounts of damages.
Once the insurance company receives your demand, negotiations will continue until a fair settlement is reached or a lawsuit becomes inevitable. The bottom line here is that your legal team should have your back from beginning to end, from the moment you call until well after the settlement money hits your account.
How to Find the Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Omaha
There are many ways you can go about finding the right Omaha motorcycle accident attorney for your case. However, there are some important steps you should definitely not miss.
- Ask family and friends. There is no one you trust more than your closest friends and family members, so why not start there. Ask around and find out if they have any recommendations.
- Read past client reviews. If an attorney doesn't have reviews on their website or on Google, you should likely move on and not waste your time. Seeing how an attorney worked with past clients should be an important factor in your research.
- Awards and accolades. If an attorney has won awards or been named to "top" lists, that's a major plus.
- Schedule a consultation(s). Almost all bike accident attorneys will offer a free consultation. A) If they don't, move on. B) You don't have to settle. Schedule multiple consultations with multiple lawyers and find one that you feel the most comfortable with.
Why Steffens Law Offices in Omaha is Your Best Choice for Legal Representation after a Bike Accident
Steffens Law Offices in Omaha have actual motorcycle riding attorneys on staff. We haven’t just ridden a bike once in college but have owned motorcycles our whole lives: American and Metric, large and small, off road and on, we know the difference between an Aprilia and a Road King, and what it means to ride with full patch leathers or summer mesh gear. We understand what you’re going through, and the nature of motorcycle injuries. We have obtained significant settlements for our clients from every major insurance carrier many, many times over, whether the accident occurred in Douglas or Sarpy County, on asphalt or dirt, in the city or the ‘Burbs.
We will always take your phone call and be ready to listen to you and to learn about your situation. We can’t take every case, but we will always provide useful information that will leave you feeling better and more informed than before the call. When working together, we’ll come to you, wherever you are in Omaha or elsewhere in Nebraska. And we will always treat you like family regardless of who you are or where you come from. We’ll do whatever it takes to see you ride again.
Steffens Law Offices in Omaha Will Help You Get Back on the Road and Ride - 308-872-8327