What to Do After a Motorcycle AccidentMotorcycle Accident
While motorcycles are an incredible way to take in the scenery and enjoy the fresh air, those who use this mode of transportation are more likely to be injured or killed than other vehicle occupant types. Each year, more than 80,000 people are injured in motorcycle accidents, and around 5,000 more died.
If you are in a motorcycle accident, read on for more information about what you should do at the scene. For more specific information about your legal options, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at The Hughey Law Firm.
Get to Safety and Get Help
In the chaos of an accident scene, it is not unusual for those involved to be wandering around, unsure of what to do first. The first thing you should do, if your injuries allow you, is to move yourself and your bike off the roadway and out of the path of oncoming traffic. If the motorist who was involved in the accident with you has remained on the scene, or if passersby have stopped to help, see if they have flares available to warn drivers to slow down and be cautious when traveling past the scene.
If your phone is available and was not broken in the accident, you should call 911 to report the accident scene and summon medical help for yourself and anyone else who needs it. It is very important to seek medical help even if you do not “feel” seriously injured. After an accident, the body experiences a rush of the fight-or-flight hormone, adrenaline, that can mask the symptoms of serious injury. Additionally, some traumatic brain injuries, damaged internal organs, and other injuries can present delayed symptoms.
Report the Accident and Gather Evidence
There are certain pieces of information that those involved in motor vehicle accidents must exchange with the operators of other vehicles involved in the accident.
This information includes:
- The driver/rider’s name and contact information.
- The name of the driver/rider’s insurance carrier, and policy number.
- The make and model of the driver/rider’s vehicle and license plate number.
- The name and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident.
The police will also obtain this information when they show up to take a report of the accident, but you need the information as well. If the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident leaves the scene, be sure to report as much of a description of the vehicle as you are able, and be sure that any witnesses to the accident also provide the information they were able to get about the vehicle to the police.
While at the scene, regardless of what caused the motorcycle accident, preserve as much evidence as you can. This includes taking photos of the time of day and weather conditions at the scene, photos of the damage to your motorcycle and other vehicles involved in the accident, and any visible injuries you have. It is important to photograph all of the vehicles involved from all angles, as a lot can be determined about how a crash occurred by the damage to the vehicles involved.
Remember that the other motorist involved in the accident is likely gathering evidence too. Avoid apologizing for the accident or making any statements to the other party indicating that you were responsible for the crash. Also avoid making statements of blame toward the other driver. Emotions are often high at accident scenes, and placing blame can escalate an already chaotic situation.
When the police arrive, answer their questions as honestly and as accurately as possible. Be sure to find out how to get a copy of the police report for your records. Remember that you must also report the accident to your insurance provider, even if you are not planning to file a claim. Most insurance policies require prompt notification of all accidents involving an insured vehicle, and failing to report the accident could result in the insurance company canceling your policy.
Talk to an Attorney
Approximately 30 percent of all non-fatal motorcycle injuries involve the lower legs and feet, while 22 percent involve the head and neck. The most common broken bones to be suffered in a motorcycle accident include the thin bones of the lower leg, known as the tibia and fibula. In the upper body, the most commonly fractured bones are in the wrist.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was at least partially caused by the careless or reckless actions of another roadway user, you could recover damages related to the expenses and impacts of your injuries through a motorcycle accident lawsuit. This is a legal claim filed in civil court that seeks to demonstrate the at-fault party’s liability for your accident and to prove compensable expenses, such as medical bills, damage to your motorcycle, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
An experienced car accident attorney could provide you with these important services:
- Guidance as to your legal options.
- Determination of all at-fault parties and all sources of insurance that can be used to compensate you.
- Establishment of a value to your case based on the injury-related expenses you have incurred or will likely incur in the future and the impacts that the injuries have had on your day-to-day life.
- The timely filing of all court-required paperwork in the proper jurisdiction.
- The collection and organization of evidence and witness testimony that could help prove your claim.
- Attendance and representation of your case at all pre-trial conferences and hearings.
- Skilled negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster in an attempt to garner a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
- Knowledgeable input on the pros and cons of any settlement offer you receive.
- In lieu of a settlement, litigation. Services offered during litigation include the delivery of opening and closing statements, the presentation of evidence, and the examination of witnesses.
- Assistance in collecting your settlement or award.
If someone hurt you, let a motorcycle accident attorney help you make sense of your legal options, starting with a free case evaluation.
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