Motorcycle Accident Do’s and Don’ts
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be a confusing time. The shock, immediate rush of adrenaline, and pain from injuries can make it difficult to think about what to do next. However, it is critical for accident victims to take specific steps in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks after their crash to protect themselves and their right to compensation.
DO: Call the Police Right After the Crash
Immediately following your motorcycle crash, you or someone else should call 911 or local law enforcement. An officer will arrive at the scene to investigate and prepare an accident report. This report often serves as one of the most critical pieces of evidence in any motor vehicle accident case. So be sure to get a copy of the report, or your attorney can follow up and get a copy for you.
DON’T: Apologize or Admit Fault
After a serious accident, it can seem natural to want to say sorry ─ even when you did nothing wrong. However, any offer of apology (even if you are simply trying to be polite or friendly) may be used against you later as proof of your culpability for the accident. If a police officer asks for your account of the accident, just recount the facts as you remember them. (But don’t hesitate to say “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember” if you don’t recall a particular detail.)
DO: Get Medical Help Immediately
If you’ve suffered visible injuries in your accident, you should get checked out by paramedics at the scene. If you refuse medical attention at the scene, go to the emergency room or schedule an exam with your physician as soon as possible. Pain and other symptoms of injury can be masked by a rush of adrenaline for hours or even days after an accident. Prompt diagnosis of injuries not only allows you to get prompt treatment and improve your prognosis, but also ensures your injuries are documented from the beginning. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance company might argue that your injuries were caused by something else.
DON’T: Leave Without Exchanging Insurance Information
The law requires motorists involved in an accident to stay on the scene until, at the very least, they have exchanged insurance information with the other motorists involved. Be sure to get insurance policy information from the other drivers so you know who to contact if you need to make a claim for compensation.
DO: Gather Evidence at the Scene
Try to take photos or video of the accident scene. This includes the positions of the vehicles after the accident (if they haven’t been moved), damage to the vehicles, debris on the ground, any skid marks on the road, the traffic controls, and the weather, lighting, road, and traffic conditions at the time of the accident. Also take pictures of any visible injuries you suffered. If you notice eyewitnesses, get their contact information.
DON’T: Talk to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
You may be contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance company soon after the accident. In some cases, the insurance company may send an adjuster to the scene of your accident. Remember that the insurance company is looking to pay you as little money as possible. Do not give a statement to the adjuster. The insurance company’s lawyers will parse your statement for anything they can use as evidence that you caused your accident and thus aren’t entitled to the monetary compensation you claim.
DO: Avoid Posting on Social Media
You may be tempted to talk to family and friends about your accident on social media. However, if you make a post about your accident on social media that contradicts an official statement you give, your post can be used to argue against your credibility. Similarly, if you claim to have suffered injuries but post photos or video of yourself playing sports or travelling recreationally, those can be used to undercut your claim.
DON’T: Assume Your Claim Can Be Handled on Your Own
The insurance companies have armies of lawyers who are highly experienced in defending against claims for compensation. They have vast resources to fight you and pressure you to accept less than fair compensation. Having experienced legal representation on your side can level the playing field and show the insurance company that you are taking your claim seriously.
DO: Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
You should speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney from Serious Injury Law Group as soon as possible. We can help you understand your legal right to compensation for any injuries and damages you suffered. We can advise you on what steps to take to protect your rights and what mistakes to avoid. We will work quickly to conduct an investigation into your accident, identify the at-fault parties and available insurance coverages, and file claims for full compensation. We will negotiate aggressively for a fair settlement and be ready to take your case to trial if necessary.
An initial consultation with our team is 100% free and confidential. If you choose us to represent you, you won’t pay us anything unless we recover compensation for you. Contact us to schedule your case evaluation now.