What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
In the event of an accident, motorcyclists are far more likely to suffer catastrophic and life-altering injuries than drivers and passengers in cars or trucks. When the carelessness of another driver has threatened your life, health, financial security, and ability to support your family, a skilled motorcycle accident attorney can help. The Montgomery lawyers at Serious Injury Law Group fight for motorcycle accident victims, pursuing the full and fair compensation that they deserve.
Although serious motorcycle accident injuries can shift the course of your life, taking these crucial steps after a crash will help protect your rights and legal standing if you choose to pursue a personal injury claim:
- Call Law Enforcement After a motorcycle accident, if anyone is hurt or if there is property damage valued at over $500, it is required that you report the accident to local law enforcement. The responding officer will collect information about the crash and fill out an accident report. This report is crucial to your case and could later be referenced when determining whether you are owed compensation.
Incident reports contain information such as the names and contact information of the involved parties, insurance information, witness statements, descriptions of property damage, weather and road conditions, statements from the involved parties, and a potential fault determination.
- Get Medical Attention Motorcyclists do not have the same physical protection and safety restraints that the occupants of other vehicles have. Even if you were wearing a helmet and protective clothing, an accident on a motorcycle can still cause severe head trauma, neck and spine injuries, internal injuries, broken bones, road rash, and other injuries.
Even if you don’t think that you have suffered significant injuries, it is still critical that you seek medical attention right away. In some cases, injuries may intensify in the days after the accident. A doctor will assess your condition and begin treating you to prevent further serious complications.
If you need to pursue an injury claim, you will need medical records confirming your condition. For this reason, failure to visit a doctor can ultimately hurt your case and give the at-fault party’s insurance company more room to discredit your claim.
- Take Photos and Notes at the SceneRecording information about the scene can help your case later on. Even minor accidents can be traumatic, both physically and emotionally. For this reason, your memory of what happened is not always reliable. If you are able, record exactly what happened, take photographs of road conditions, property damage, the positioning of vehicles, and your physical injuries.
Get vehicle information such as make, year, and model, as well as VIN and license plate numbers. Also get the name and badge number of the responding officer and the accident report number. All of this will be extremely helpful to your case if you choose to take legal action.
- Get Names and Contact Information for Witnesses and the Other DriverIn addition to recording initial accident details, make sure that you have a way to contact and identify the other people involved. This is especially important if you did not call an officer to the scene of the accident. You will need the name, phone number, insurance information, and driver’s license number of the other driver involved.
If eyewitnesses saw the accident, get a statement from them, collect their names, phone numbers, and email addresses, and let them know that they may be contacted in the near future regarding the incident.
- Be Careful When Dealing with Insurance CompaniesReport your accident to your insurance company as soon as you can. Many insurance companies make this process accessible by allowing you to report online and through a mobile application. However, do not attempt to offer any information about the extent of your injuries or the potential value of property damage until you have taken your motorcycle to the shop and been evaluated by a doctor. Undervaluing your expenses could hurt the amount that you are able to recover.
Avoid giving a recorded statement to any insurance company representatives until you’ve hired an attorney to represent you. The insurance companies are looking to protect their profits and will do everything they can to pay you as little as possible for your claim. Don’t jeopardize your claim by giving them any information that they could use against you, and instead refer them to your attorney.
- Stay Off Social MediaIf you are in the process of filing an injury claim, understand that the information that you provide on your social media accounts can impact the outcome of your case. While it may be a habit to post about big events in your life to social media to inform others or receive emotional support, anything that you or your family post could be used against you, even if it seems innocuous or is misconstrued.
Remember that the other party’s insurance representatives will be scouring your social media profiles and the profiles of those close to you to find evidence that you are not as hurt as you say you are, or that you are not suffering emotionally the way you might be claiming. Don’t let social media harm your injury claim. Refrain from posting (and liking other people’s posts or comments about your accident) until your case has been resolved.
- Keep a Journal of How Your Injuries Are Affecting YouThroughout your recovery process, make sure to document your injuries, how they are healing, and how the injuries have impacted your life. As accident victims often find, the recovery process is not always as linear as they’d initially hoped. Journal entries should regularly document how you are progressing, your limitations, your setbacks, your expenses, and activities you are not able to participate in. These are crucial pieces of information for your lawyer to use when building your case and could ultimately increase the amount that you recover.
Contact Our Montgomery Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Serious Injury Law Group help motorcycle accident victims push through difficult times. We know how serious motorcycle injuries are, so we fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible for those who have been hurt.
To speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable Montgomery motorcycle accident lawyer about your case, contact us at (205) 315-9974. An initial consultation is free, and we won’t charge you anything unless we win compensation for you.