8 Steps To Take After Being in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents, like any vehicle accident, require careful information gathering to properly determine fault, the extent of injuries and property damage, and the settlement amount to conclude the case. The process can be overwhelming, but here are eight key steps you can take after being involved in a motorcycle accident to make the process more successful.
Move to a Safe Spot
Move off the road to a safe location near the scene of the accident but away from oncoming traffic to avoid a secondary accident, especially if a lane is blocked. Don’t try to move your bike or any objects, as it’s too risky for you if you’re disoriented or in shock. It’s also vital to leave items where they are, as authorities and witnesses will need to gather evidence from the scene, including photos, for the accident investigation.
Keep Protective Gear on Your Body
Don’t remove protective gear, such as your helmet, boots, and gloves, because this could cause further injury. Shock can occur after a traumatic event, masking potentially severe symptoms that could be made worse by unnecessary movement. Once you’re in a safe location, it’s best to rest until help arrives.
Make sure to report the accident to the police and emergency responders. Police will gather information from those involved in the accident and any witnesses on the scene. If you can’t call 911, make sure a witness or bystander can contact emergency services for you. It’s a good idea to prepare for emergencies by installing a mobile application on your smartphone that can notify emergency contacts and emergency services and provide GPS information, medical information, and trip details. You can also keep an emergency contact card with medical and personal information in your wallet next to your driver’s license.
Report Injuries and How You’re Feeling
It’s essential to evaluate any injuries since adrenaline or shock can mask symptoms. Report any symptoms to the emergency personnel and have a trauma doctor check you out. Accurate documentation of injuries is a crucial part of building a case. It also ensures you receive prompt attention for any medical issues you have.
While police will gather evidence at the scene, it’s wise to collect details yourself, including the other driver’s name, address, license plate number, and insurance policy information. Take or obtain photos of the damage to vehicles, injuries, and the scene itself. Poor visibility due to obstructions, tire tracks showing skidding, and other details are essential when reconstructing an accident.
While collecting evidence and figuring out what happened, avoid disclosing the details on social media. Posts can be used against you by the other party’s attorney or insurance company, potentially reducing your claim or damaging your case.
Cooperate With Authorities
Provide the information that the police and others request at the accident scene. Don’t admit fault or offer unsolicited information. Tell your side of the story to the police officer who is compiling the accident report.
Avoid giving statements to an insurance claims adjuster or a lawyer for the auto insurance company. An attorney should handle this communication.
Let Your Insurance Company Know
Report any accident, regardless of fault, to your insurance company. Insurers require you to report any accidents within a specified period. Don’t admit fault or accept a quick buyout from the at-fault party or their insurance company. A fair settlement that compensates you for your losses will take time and careful fact-finding. If your losses, including medical bills and property damage, are beginning to add up, it’s wise to have an attorney evaluate the claim.
Consult an Attorney
Protect your right to a fair settlement that will compensate you for all your losses by consulting a lawyer, like one of our expert accident and injury attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group, especially if your case involves injuries or questions about who’s at fault.
Be sure to provide your attorney with as much information as possible, including the police report, photographs, video evidence, and other details. Attend all medical appointments, as skipping an appointment may give the appearance that you don’t have any injuries. Keep records and receipts for any accident-related expenses.
How Can an Attorney Help You?
A motorcycle accident lawyer is your best option to ensure your rights are protected, as they have experience obtaining the best possible results when dealing with complex and emotion-driven circumstances.
Your attorney will review and collect additional evidence, such as witness interviews and accident reconstruction reports. They’ll also use their skills, resources, and experience in building a solid case to challenge any misleading or false information or assumptions that police or insurance companies share.
Motorcycle accident lawyers will use accurate facts and the accident account to push for a fair settlement, so you won’t have to settle for a lesser amount. They’ll also establish your character and help you if you’re the accident victim.
Attorney representation means you can focus on getting better with less stress. An attorney will build your case from start to finish, taking the lead for several steps, including:
- Contacting witnesses.
- Documenting the case details and collecting evidence.
- Researching applicable laws.
- Deciding what information to disclose or not disclose.
- Communicating with the other party’s lawyers and insurance adjusters.
- Preparing and filing court documents.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Several factors can cause motorcycle crashes, including:
- Other motorists fail to see a motorcycle.
- Limited visibility because of glare, obstructions, or inattention. Accidents involving limited visibility are most common at intersections.
- Other vehicles attempt left turns without seeing a motorcycle, with the vehicle drivers usually at fault.
- Lane changes and abrupt stops.
- Road hazards include slippery surfaces, loose gravel, uneven pavement, or debris.
- Motorcycle lane splitting or driving between two lanes of cars.
- Navigating corners, especially those difficult to judge or with unexpected hazards.
- Reckless, aggressive, or fast driving, especially while under the influence.
Even the most careful motorcyclists are susceptible to more significant injuries than drivers of standard vehicles and face road hazards and the actions of other drivers. Our attorneys are well versed in providing fair representation for motorcyclists who need to file accident claims. Contact us for a consultation if you or a family member has been in a motorcycle accident.
Photo Credits: Jeep and Motorcycle Collision by Eli Christman is licensed with CC BY 2.0