What To Do If You’ve Been In A Motorcycle Accident
The same unrestricted perspective that allows a motorcyclist to enjoy beautiful scenery from a unique viewpoint also makes them vulnerable to serious injury.
In minor collisions involving two automobiles, it is not uncommon for everyone involved to walk away without injury. Motorcyclists, however, are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries, even when wearing a helmet. In fact, motorcyclists suffer injuries in more than 95% of all motorcycle accidents.
In general, motorcycle accidents are caused by the same things that cause automobile accidents:
- Inattentive drivers
- Bad road conditions
- Drunk drivers
- Drivers running red lights
What’s more, a University of South California study concluded that 3/4 of motorcycle accidents involved another passenger vehicle. In 2/3 of those, the automobile driver was at fault.
A poor decision made by an automobile driver can lead to severe injuries to a motorcyclist, including:
- Traumatic Brain injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, in 2015, 88000 people were injured while riding a motorcycle and 4976 lost their lives.
What To Do After Motorcycle Accident
Regardless of the cause of your motorcycle accident and how severe your injuries are, what you do after the accident can have a huge impact on your ability to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage. That being said, here is what you should do immediately after being injured in a motorcycle accident:
See a doctor!
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people call their attorneys from home, writhing in pain and wondering what to do. Your first and foremost concern after a motorcycle accident should be your health. Your pursuit of a claim against the person or persons who caused the accident is less important than seeking the medical care necessary to prevent further, long-term, health problems.
Always have a doctor look at you after the accident, even if you feel fine. Some injuries don’t have immediate symptoms and are difficult to fully assess early on. So, see a doctor after an accident, regardless of how you feel. If you or anyone else involved in the accident is severely injured or can’t make to the hospital on their own, call 911 immediately.
2. Call the Police
Contact the police so that an accident report can be taken, even for a minor accident.
For legal purposes, the police report is the official record of the accident and will provide the insurance companies with the details they need to decide how your claim should be processed. In addition, a detailed and accurate police report can prevent you from being held responsible for any claims that fall outside of what has been detailed in the police report.
3. Collect Information
Sometimes, the police won’t come to the scene of an accident if no one was injured. But, whether they come or not, be sure to obtain the names, addresses, license plate numbers, telephone numbers, and insurance information of each and every person involved in the accident. The involved in the accident are required by law to provide you with this information. If they refuse, call the police!
4. Find Witnesses
Get the contact information of anyone who may have been a witness to the accident. Whether they be pedestrians or other motorists, ask them for their names, phone numbers, and addresses. If they are unwilling to provide you with all of these, collect from them as much contact information as you can. Having an impartial witness to the accident who can attest to the truth may work in your favor when liability for the accident is being disputed.
5. Take Photos
The placement of the vehicles and the pattern of scattered debris immediately following the accident can be crucial to determining who was at fault.
If you are not injured and physically capable of doing so, take photographs of the vehicles involved, any scattered debris, road signs, lane markings, skid marks, and nearby landmarks. Do this before the vehicles are moved.
Also, take close up pictures of any damage that your motorcycle has sustained. If you are injured and unable to take the photographs yourself, ask someone else to do it for you.
6. Contact The Insurance Companies
Let all insurance companies involved know that you’ve been involved in an accident so that they can open a case for you. You will be assigned a claims adjuster to help you through the claims process, but don’t give any recorded statement to any adjuster until you have discussed the matter with an experienced car accident attorney.
7. Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for:
- Pain & Suffering
- Mental Anguish
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of mobility
- Property damage
- And more
But, a motorcycle accident claim can be complicated and handling it by yourself can seriously jeopardize your claim.
Furthermore, those responsible for causing motorcycle accidents are often reluctant to compensate injured riders with all that they are entitled to recover for the damages they have suffered.
Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you may be the only way to guarantee that you are compensated fully for your injuries and losses.
How an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, there are many ways in which an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you with your claim, most importantly:
- The attorney’s skill, experience, and knowledge can increase the value of your claim. Studies have shown that, on average, individuals who are represented by an attorney receive as much as three times the reward won by those who are unrepresented. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will discover every legal and medical fact that will strengthen your case and present them in a way that will maximize the value of your claim.
- Your attorney can handle all of the paperwork, legal meetings, telephone calls, negotiations, court appearances, medical liens, etc. that are necessary to resolve your case. Furthermore, he or she will do this in a manner that will avoid the numerous pitfalls that can stall the process. This will save you a lot of time and hassle and, most of all, allow you the space to focus on recovering from your injuries.
- A good motorcycle accident attorney will work closely with you as your case moves towards resolution. They will listen carefully to you and to your loved ones to learn the many ways an injury has affected the various aspects of your life and aggressively pursue just compensation for both you and your family.
For more information regarding what you should do after a motorcycle accident and/or how our motorcycle accident attorneys can help you with your motorcycle accident claim, call our office or contact us online to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.