Are you wondering what you should do after a motorcycle accident? If so, check out this guide for some more information.
Although motorcycles can provide an amazing amount of fun, they can also be dangerous. Motorcycles only account for 3% of registered vehicles and 0.6% of miles traveled in the United States. Despite that, they make up a full 14% of traffic accident fatalities.
On top of that, many more people are involved in a nonfatal motorcycle accident. In such situations, it can be difficult to know what to do. Many people make mistakes after motorcycle accidents that end up harming their long-term interests.
That is why it is vital to know in advance how to handle yourself if you end up in a motorcycle accident. So what do you need to focus on in the short-term and long-term after being involved in a bad accident?
Read on to learn all about the most important things to do as you navigate the aftermath of a motorcycle accident!
Focus on Safety After a Motorcycle Crash
After a motorcycle accident, safety should be your first concern. Depending on the severity of your injuries, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe right after a motorcycle crash.
If possible, you will want to move yourself and your vehicle away from the road. If you are unlucky, surprised drivers might end up hitting you or your motorcycle if you are still in the middle of the road.
It can also help to turn on your motorcycle lights to make sure that people have as much visibility of you as possible. That goes double if you are involved in a motorcycle accident at night. If you have anything else that can create light or a perimeter around you or your motorcycle, you should put it up to provide further protection after an accident.
On the other hand, if your injuries are severe, it might be important for you to remain still and wait for help. If you notice any signs of paralysis in your body, stay still and do not let anyone else move you until medical professionals show up.
However, this means you need to be prepared to instruct people who might want to help you to leave you where you are. You may need to speak quickly and firmly to make sure that people understand that your medical health depends on waiting until professional medical help arrives.
Call Emergency Services Right Away
As soon as possible after a motorcycle crash, you should call up emergency services. This provides a number of advantages.
First, the sooner you call emergency services, the sooner medical help will arrive for you or anyone else who needs medical attention. After a bad crash, even a difference of a few minutes can sometimes have a huge impact on medical outcomes for significant injuries.
Second, calling up emergency services as soon as possible will help the police arrive sooner to assess the situation.
Third, calling emergency services after your accident will create a permanent record. Depending on the nature of your motorcycle accident, you might end up in court later on. If that happens, it can be helpful to have an official record that proves that you called the authorities as soon as possible after an accident.
At the time of an accident, it can seem obvious and beyond dispute what has happened. That can make it seem unnecessary to do anything to create a record of what happened.
However, months later, it will be much easier for people to dispute what happened. That is when you will want to have as much evidence as possible of the truth.
Gather Evidence After an Accident
If your injuries allow it, your next priority should be to gather evidence of the scene of the accident. One of the best ways to do this is to take pictures or record a video.
Make sure to capture all involved vehicles and any damage done to them. You will also want to take a picture or record a video of any marks left on the road by the accident. You should also look at the environment nearby for any other signs of the accident.
In some cases, it is even more important for you to gather evidence regarding any injuries caused by the accident. Your injuries will look much different as they start healing. Having evidence of how they looked at the time of the accident can sometimes be crucial in court later on.
If possible, you will also want to capture any injuries done to the other driver or any occupants in their vehicle.
On top of that, it can be helpful to record audio or video of you discussing what happened with the other driver. At the time of the accident, people are more likely to be honest and apologetic about what happened.
In many cases, you and the other driver will be able to agree on what happened and begin to move toward an amicable resolution. In other cases, the other driver might later decide to dispute your story. If they were negligent and caused the accident, they may owe you compensation to help you recover from the damages you have suffered.
Having a record of the two of you discussing the accident can go a long way to establishing the truth if that becomes necessary later on.
See a Doctor as Soon as Possible
Some people walk away from an accident feeling like they did not receive any injuries at all. However, hours or even days later, they might start to notice some pains or other symptoms starting to manifest.
In that case, it can be easy to remain convinced that you did not receive any injuries from the accident and attribute these symptoms to something unrelated. However, it is actually common for vehicle accident symptoms to manifest after a delay.
In such cases, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to make sure that nothing serious is wrong with you. That goes double if you notice signs of injuries at the time of the accident.
That is true even if your injuries seem mild. After a vehicle crash, injuries that appear mild can sometimes cloak more serious damage done to the body.
Visiting the doctor as soon as possible after an accident will also be helpful if you end up in court at a later point. It will act as proof that you felt it was necessary to receive medical attention, indicating that you may have incurred serious damage from the accident.
Collect Your Medical Records
However much or little medical care you receive for your accident, you should make sure to collect and hold on to all records relevant to it. That applies both to the physical medical treatment you receive as well as any psychological treatment you receive. Many people suffer from PTSD or other kinds of mental health issues after a bad accident.
Get Legal Help With Your Insurance Company
After a motorcycle accident, you will want to get in touch with your insurance company so that they can help you. If you are lucky, everything will go smoothly and you will receive the help your insurance company is obligated to provide for you.
On the other hand, you might find that your insurance company wants to avoid paying for your damages. Insurance companies know that most of their customers do not know the ins and outs of their legal agreement. That can make it difficult for them to dispute what the insurance company says.
As a result, your insurance company might hope you will give up and go away if they tell you that they cannot pay for your damages and there is nothing they can do about it.
In such cases, you will want to hire an attorney to speak with your insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney will understand the precise nature of your insurance agreement and will make sure that you receive everything that you should. When an insurance company sees that you have a lawyer helping you, there is a good chance that it will stop disputing your claim.
You might even want to get legal help with your insurance company just to help you file your claim. The claim filing process can be complicated, and many people make mistakes during it. Having a lawyer help you will make sure that your claim is filed correctly so that you will get as much help from your insurance company as possible.
Decide if You Will Sue for Damages
If you believe that the other driver was responsible for your accident, then you might want to consider suing them for compensation. Of course, this may be unnecessary if they admit fault and tell you that they are willing to help cover the damages that they have caused to you and your motorcycle.
However, if the other driver is at fault and does not want to take care of your damages, you will need to sue them for compensation if you want to receive the help they are obligated to provide.
Many people are unsure whether or not they would win if they sue the responsible driver for damages. That can keep them from speaking to a lawyer at all. However, if you don't know if you could win your case or not, you should speak with an attorney so that you can find out if you have a strong case on your hands.
If you don't, then you will be able to put aside the possibility of suing the other driver and focus on navigating your difficult situation. If you do have a viable case on your hands, then going to court might be the best way to get the help you need to recover.
Keep in mind that you don't have to hire the first attorney who helps you understand if you have a viable case or not. You may want to consider other legal options if you decide that you need someone to represent you in court.
Find the Right Legal Services to Help You
If you decide to take your case to court, you will want to find a lawyer who can maximize your chance of winning. There are a number of things you can look for to help you make the right choice.
For one thing, you should try to find a lawyer who has a lot of experience handling motorcycle cases. To do this, keep in mind that many lawyers work in several areas of the law at the same time. For example, a motorcycle accident lawyer might also act as a family lawyer or a tax lawyer.
If a lawyer has spent 90% of their career on tax law, they might not be the best option for you even if they have spent some of the rest of their career on motorcycle accident cases. Try to find a local injury lawyer who has made motorcycle accident cases a special focus of their legal career.
It can also be helpful to look at reviews for your motorcycle accident lawyer options online. If a lawyer has a lot of past customers singing their praises, there is a better chance that they will be able to do a great job for you in court.
Know What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
A lot of people are rattled after being involved in a serious motorcycle accident. That can make it difficult to make savvy choices that will protect your interests in the long run. We hope that the tips in this article will help you know in advance what to do if you find yourself in this difficult situation.