Did you know motorcyclists are 29% more likely than passenger car occupants to die in an accident? In a motorcycle crash, bikers are often blamed for the accident. However, other motorists are typically at fault.
If you can prove the other driver was at fault, you could be eligible for compensation. However, you must follow a list of key steps to avoid hurting your personal injury claim. Here are six steps to follow after an auto accident. Make your case. Discover the steps you need to follow after a motorcycle accident with this guide.
1. Find a Safe Area Nearby
First, make sure to prioritize your safety. If you remain in the way of oncoming traffic, it could cause another crash. Don’t rush. Instead, move slowly. Try to determine if you’re able to move without experiencing serious pain. It’s normal to feel disoriented. Therefore, try to take a deep breath and collect your thoughts before moving.
If you feel capable enough, make your way from the street or freeway onto the side of the road. Then, move your vehicle out of the way, as well. Also, try to remain near where the accident occurred. Do not leave, as this will be considered a “hit-and-run.”
Was anyone else involved in the crash? Make sure the other driver who was involved is nearby, too. Assess their health and make sure they’re safe. However, avoid touching them, as this could worsen their injuries. In addition, the other party may file a claim against you, arguing you aggravated the injuries.
Don’t risk moving your vehicle if fluids are leaking from it. If you notice dripping gasoline, clear the area immediately. You don’t want to linger nearby if a fire strikes. If you’re unsure about moving your vehicle, wait until the police arrive. They’ll help you determine if it’s safe.
2. Call the Police
Make sure to call the police right away if you’re in a motorcycle crash. In some states, you’re legally required to file a police report after an accident. If you’re unsure about the laws in your area, call anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Calling the police will cover your bases. In addition, you will also need the official police report to build your case. This document is the best piece of evidence you can use after a motorcycle crash. When speaking with the police who arrive at the scene, make sure to avoid embellishing your story. Instead, stick to the facts as you know them. In addition, avoid placing blame.
Instead, let the police officer know what you were doing immediately before the crash and how the other party came in contact. Let them know about any injuries you sustained. Make sure they list the property damages that occurred, too.
If there were any fatalities, that will be added to the report. Essentially, the officer will summarize everything that occurred. Therefore, make sure to get their name and badge number. Your motorcycle accident lawyer might want to contact them in the future.
3. Assess Your Injuries
Use your time wisely while you wait for the police to arrive. First, take stock of your injuries. If you’re severely injured, request medical attention right away. Otherwise, make sure to visit a doctor after the police officer indicates you can leave.
It’s normal for adrenaline to mask the severity of your symptoms immediately after the crash. You might not recognize you’re injured until days or even weeks later. Don’t risk your health. Instead, visit your doctor. They can determine if you sustained any serious injuries. In addition, they can put you in contact with specialists for specialized treatment. This will prevent your injuries from worsening.
Follow-up with your doctor, too. Otherwise, the insurance company might argue there was a gap in your treatment. They might argue your injuries weren’t that serious. Keep track of your medical bills, treatments, and medications. Note any specialists you visit, too. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will need this information to prove your losses and damages.
4. Be Careful of What You Say
While you’re at the scene of the crash, try to avoid small-talk as much as possible. This includes talking with all parties involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. Ideally, only your personal injury lawyer will be discussing your case.
You may be disoriented from the collision, and you may not be in the right state of mind. Anything you say could be held against you later. In fact, even apologizing is interpreted as a sign of admission of guilt.
Even if you are partially to blame for the accident, do not admit this. You may not know it, but the other party could have actually been mostly liable. Until an investigation is done, you cannot be completely certain that you were responsible for the collision.
Furthermore, tensions could be high after the accident, and you want to prevent an altercation with the other motorist. When communicating with anyone at the scene of the accident, the only discussion should be to share insurance and contact information. The same goes for insurance companies. Avoid communicating with them until you have consulted with an attorney for advice first.
5. Take Notes
While you wait for the police to arrive, take notes about what happened. It’s normal to forget certain details after a crash. Taking notes will ensure you keep the details fresh. Nearly a third of all fatal bike crashes occur after someone was drinking. Also, in about 42% of all fatal car accidents, the other vehicle was turning left while the biker was heading straight or passing.
What do these stats indicate?
If you think you know what caused the crash, make a note of it on your phone or in a journal. Your lawyer can look into it further to prove fault. Most importantly, gather photo and video evidence. Hard evidence can prove your side of the story. Pictures of vehicle damage, your injuries, and street conditions are great to document.
Occasionally, the city can be held accountable for the crash if it neglected to keep the roadways safe. For example, if a traffic light was not working properly, resulting in a motorcycle crash, the city where the accident occurred is liable. If witnesses saw the accident, be sure to collect their contact information, as well. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will want to contact them and collect a statement for evidence.
6. Find a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Make sure to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer regarding your case right away. You have a limited amount of time to file an accident claim. An experienced lawyer will help by proving fault. They can prove the other driver’s negligence caused the motorcycle accident. Then, you can fight for the compensation you need to cover your losses.
Look for a personal injury lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents. Determine their client satisfaction rating, as well as their winning record. You’ll have peace of mind knowing a knowledgeable, experienced lawyer is at your side. In addition, working with an attorney maximizes your compensation amount.
After following these tips, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. At Alpha Accident Lawyers, we’ll help you prove the other driver was at fault. We will fight for the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and property damages.
Talk to a top-rated lawyer about your motorcycle accident today. We offer a free case evaluation and are available to assist 24 hours a day, seven days a week.