Being in a motorcycle accident is much different from a car accident. Motorcycle accidents often result in more significant injuries because motorcycles offer less protection than other vehicles. For this reason, motorcycle accidents can cause devastating results. The resulting injuries may lead to substantial medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent injuries. Taking the following steps immediately following a motorcycle accident may help protect your rights.
Call the Police and Get the Accident Report
Call law enforcement and emergency services to the scene of your accident. Emergency personnel provides vital medical treatment to any injured parties. When law enforcement report to the scene of an accident, they create an accident report. Accident reports created by law enforcement include valuable details regarding the crash that may be useful in any potential personal injury lawsuit.
Following your accident, be sure to retrieve a copy of your police accident report as soon as possible. Accident reports are usually available from the agency that responded to the accident within a few days. If you are unsure where to get a copy, your personal injury lawyer can help. A police accident report contains information regarding the parties involved, their contact information, and in some cases, a diagram of the accident. Additionally, these reports may also provide the reporting police officer’s unbiased opinion about liability for the accident.
Don’t rely on just the accident report for information. If you are able, collect information from all involved parties. When everyone at the scene is out of harm’s way, gather the following information:
- Phone numbers,
- Insurance information,
- Vehicle information,
- Driver license numbers.
Reporting police also collect this information. However, there may be situations when parties attempt to leave the scene before police arrive. Therefore, try to get this information for your own records.
Along with those involved in the actual motorcycle crash, eyewitnesses to the accident may also provide valuable information for your accident claim. Try to get the names and contact information of these individuals. Once they leave, it’s very hard to track witnesses down. Your personal injury attorney follows up with these parties to provide valuable testimony in a potential trial for your accident claim.
Document the Scene
If you are physically able, document the motorcycle crash scene as thoroughly as possible. Documenting the scene includes taking photographs of all vehicles involved and the surrounding area. Be sure to take pictures of any additional details that may be relevant, including:
- Weather conditions,
- Traffic control markers,
- Road signs or markings,
- Skid marks on the roadway,
- Driving hazards.
These photographs help your lawyer create a complete picture of the accident scene.
Seek Medical Treatment
Motorcycle accidents tend to be more serious than other car accidents. Since motorcycles lack the protective metal shell of other vehicles, motorcycle riders are subjected to direct impact in collisions. In most cases, the need for medical care will be obvious.
But even if you believe you escaped a motorcycle crash without injuries, still seek medical attention. Symptoms of concussions, soft tissue injuries, and internal injuries may arise in the hours, days, or weeks following an accident. Additionally, those suffering shock in the immediate aftermath of an accident may be unable to feel or understand the severity of their injuries.
Follow all medical advice received by your doctor. Failure to follow through with prescribed medical treatment could result in less compensation than what you deserve. Additionally, when you fail to seek immediate medical attention, you risk insurance companies arguing that your injuries have no connection to the accident. Also, be sure to keep track of all the paperwork the medical providers give you.
Contact an Attorney
Speak to a personal injury attorney promptly following a motorcycle accident. Insurance companies may try to persuade you to accept an initial settlement offer. However, don’t accept any offers without consulting a qualified personal injury lawyer. Your attorney works to compile all the necessary evidence and information to build a strong claim on your behalf. With a lawyer’s support, you’ll be in the best place to negotiate a favorable settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses. If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney uses this information to prepare and present your case in court.
The legal team at Silva Injury Law treats all clients like family. We understand the hardships you face following a devastating motorcycle accident and are here to help. You may wonder how to pay for an attorney. You may be facing mounting medical bills and missed work. At Silva Injury Law, we never charge injured victims any money upfront to handle their cases. Since our fee is a percentage of what we collect, we fight hard for all of our cases. Contact us today for a free in-person or remote consultation to learn how we can assist you.