Motorcycle accidents can be debilitating, if not fatal. However, if you are lucky enough to walk away with only broken bones or road rash, or no injuries, there is still much work to do before getting back on your bike again.
Here are some things to keep in mind after surviving a motorcycle accident.
Find a Safe Place
After an accident, the first thing to do is make sure nobody is hurt. If there are injuries involved, seek medical attention immediately. Although this may seem like common sense, people often rush away from accidents without getting a good look at the other driver or vehicle. This makes it more difficult for insurance companies and law enforcement to determine who was at fault in the crash – which means you could end up paying for damages out of your pocket!
Call the Police
The immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident is not the time to be shy about calling 911 for help. If you have been in a collision, it is important to call emergency services and let them know that you need their assistance immediately. The people answering the phone will take down important information and then contact a medical professional to come to assist the motorcyclist, either at the scene or going back to a nearby medical facility where they have an office. In many states, law enforcement officers must document any accident involving injuries, even if they are minor, so there is likely already paperwork on file by the time they arrive.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel like nothing has happened at the time of an accident, it is best to seek medical attention just in case. If you are not seriously hurt but still concerned about what could happen down the road, it is possible that you can go to a free clinic or hospital for observation. These may be open 24 hours a day, so you will have access to medical professionals no matter when your accident occurred. It would be best if you never assumed that nothing was wrong. It is better to err on caution and allow doctors to examine you for potential injuries.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Even if your damages are minimal, especially if they are minimal, you need to file an official claim with your auto insurance company after an accident involving damage or injury. Even if you are not planning on filing a major claim, you will want to file an incident report with your auto insurance group so that if someone else decides to take action against you, your insurance will have the documentation needed to defend your case. If you do not know how much damage was done or whether there were any injuries, it is best to err on the side of caution and file a report because this situation can come back to haunt you later on.
Do Not Admit Guilt
Many people are tempted to explain that they feel responsible for an accident even if they are unsure. This is why it is very important for people who are seriously hurt in accidents never to admit fault verbally or in writing after an accident. It is understandable to feel guilty, especially if someone is seriously hurt, but it is important not to make any statements. Let your insurance company do the talking for you.
Take Pictures of Everything
You should always document an accident in high detail with photos and video. This is why you should have a camera on you when riding your motorcycle, just in case something happens that could be worth capturing on film.
Getting pictures of the accident scene while it still exists helps establish what went wrong and serves as valuable documentation for insurance purposes later on. It is a good idea to take photos from multiple angles since different views might provide important information about how an accident unfolded, which could be helpful in the future if there is a court battle over who was at fault.
Report the Accident to the Police Department
Even though this may seem redundant after reporting your accident to your insurance company, it is very different because there are legal implications involved in accidents involving automobiles or personal injuries. Many insurance companies will ask for police reports, which may speed up the claim process if you do not have hard documentation.
Seek Legal Help- Free Consultation
Even though it may seem like an accident was just an accident, it is always better to err on caution when dealing with legal matters involving accidents, injuries, and motorcycles. It might be best to consult personal injury attorneys who have experience in these types of cases so that they can walk you through all of your options while also ensuring that you are protected during this difficult time. Legal experts such as an ATV accident attorney know how insurance companies work and their policies, so it would be wise to let them handle all official claims forms, phone calls, and other tasks on your behalf.
Keep Your Receipts
This will be especially helpful if you were in an accident and had to seek medical attention due to lower back pain or any other injuries resulting from the accident. It would be best to record the expenses related to your accident because it will affect how much compensation you receive from your insurance company when filing a claim. In most cases, even if you do not plan on seeking a major claim against someone else for collision repair or any other damages resulting from the accident, you will still need proof that others can validate if anything happens in the future.
You should try to keep track of everything that happened leading up to, during, and immediately following your motorcycle accident because this information can prove invaluable later on when dealing with insurance companies or other legal matters related to motorcycles and accidents. In other words, try to keep track of the following: Date, time, and location of the accident, type of accident, hit by car vs. fell while riding, and any injuries.
Whether any other vehicles or people were involved in or witnessed the accident, If you or anyone else was hurt, note how long it took for them to recover before returning to work/riding again. It may be helpful to get a second medical opinion whenever possible to prove that your injuries were caused by this accident instead of something else because many insurance companies will deny claims if they believe an injury happened elsewhere. This information can also help you fight for more compensation later on when filing a major claim because it can prove that your injuries are serious enough to keep you from working.
When things like doctors’ visits or medical bills start appearing, be sure to save copies of them because this information can also be very valuable later on when dealing with insurance companies. Document everything! Whenever possible, send items via certified mail so that you have proof the other party received this documentation. Suppose you do not have any evidence of certain aspects of the accident. In that case, it may seem less legitimate to an insurance company, so being able to produce receipts, photos, and police reports can help give your claim more weight.
Get the Names and Phone Numbers of All Witnesses to the Accident
Do not assume that a full police report will contain witness information because chances are. It will not. Even if you obtain a copy of an official police report, it is unlikely to have complete contact information for all other witnesses. It is best to get this information from each person involved in the accident because everyone has their agenda when speaking to insurance adjusters or responding to subpoenas from a motorcycle accident lawyer representing motorcycle riders involved in accidents. You want as many eyewitnesses, people who saw what happened, as possible available should you need them at a later date.
Gather Personal Information From Each Person Involved
Obtain medical histories and make sure emergency room doctors give you copies of all X-rays, lab reports, and other medical records. Copies should be obtained directly from hospital personnel rather than relying upon the doctor to send copies because the doctor may either lose or forget to provide them promptly. You want up-to-date information to present accurately during negotiations with insurance adjusters on a rider’s behalf.
Don’t Assume Any Injuries Will Heal by Themselves
Slight bruises may disappear in days, broken bones can take several weeks, and deep lacerations may require surgery to repair major damage beneath the skin’s surface. Treatment cannot be properly started until all your symptoms are recorded so that doctors can correctly diagnose the injury. The types of treatment you receive might impact your future medical care depending upon whether you choose to sue other parties involved in the accident or not. Since this information will be needed after an accident, it is best to gather it while memories are fresh and injury records are still available for examination.
Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
If you hold a motorcycle permit or license, make sure you contact the DMV as soon as possible after an accident. The DMV requires accident reports to maintain accurate records on all licensed drivers. The report must be submitted within ten days if someone was injured and property damage exceeded $800.
Review Any Existing Insurance Coverage
Find out which party involved in the accident is insured because this information will affect how much money can be recovered from those for your injuries. Do not rely on information that someone else gives you about who is insured because you will be solely responsible for the accuracy of the facts when filing a claim. Make sure you get your own insurance company to provide accurate coverage information either in writing or verbal confirmation.
Obtain an Official Police Report
Photographs of the accident scene must be taken by law. The presence of police officers in a drunk driving accident or any other accident will ensure that proper care has been taken so that accurate reports and detailed photographs will be compiled. Make sure you ask for a copy of the report since this document may prove invaluable if discrepancies arise later on from conflicting eyewitness accounts from other people involved in the accident.
Do Not Discuss the Accident With Anyone Except for Medical Personnel
Talking to anyone about what happened during an accident that involved injuries or death can compromise one’s case, even if it seems like a harmless conversation. The best thing to do is avoid talking about it with friends, family members, witnesses, police officers, and anyone else except for emergency responders and medical personnel treating the victim at the scene. Talking could create doubt in someone’s mind about their version of events or what happened, which may be beneficial in criminal proceedings but detrimental when filing insurance claims. It is also important not to make any statements on social media platforms because doing so can cause problems for establishing credibility later on, should legal action be taken over the incident.
Find a Good Personal Injury Lawyer if You’re Considering Filing a Lawsuit
Most motorcycle accidents do not result in lawsuits because they are unexpected or extremely rare occurrences that do not leave anyone seriously hurt by the time they are over. However, suppose someone plans to file a lawsuit stemming from a motor vehicle collision. In that case, they should hire a qualified motorcycle accident attorney as soon as practicable to help them prepare for court. An accident attorney such as a DUI lawyer can also help with any medical bills and other costs which might arise from the incident in question. It is important to reach out if problems need to be taken care of immediately. If you are seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you might want to speak with an attorney about your options for compensation.
Motorcycle accidents can cause serious injuries and may require long-term medical care if not fatal repercussions, so it is best to contact someone experienced in personal injury cases right away. An attorney will help you maneuver through the complicated compensation laws, such as the drunk driving law.
Motorcycle accidents and injuries can be a very serious and complicated issue. However, there are some things that you should take care of right away after the accident to ensure that your case is handled correctly and you get the settlement or judgment that you deserve.