Motorcycle accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Before you know what happened, you can find yourself lying on the ground, disoriented and confused.
When the realization of what took place sets in, it can be hard to know how to respond. You might have the urge to “shake it off,” or, if your injuries are serious enough, you might not be able to move. It can be a terrifying, traumatic experience.
Nevertheless, while accidents and injuries vary significantly in severity, there are some specific steps you should try to take when you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident. Following these steps is not only important for your health and well-being – they are also important for your potential legal claim.
Here, we’re going to take a closer look at what you should do after a motorcycle accident. If you believe the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver on the road, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Patrick Daniel Law can help.
After an accident, the adrenaline and the disorientation can make it difficult to truly understand the severity of your injuries. You should take a close look at your body to check for visible issues such as bleeding, broken bones, etc.
Some injuries may not be visible, and they can lead to serious complications if they are not treated. In other words, you shouldn’t assume you are fine just because you don’t notice any apparent signs of trauma.
If an accident results in any injuries, you must call 911. The driver may try to convince you not to, offering to cover your damages out-of-pocket. However, for the sake of your health and your potential claim, you should never accept.
Regardless of your financial situation or whether or not you have insurance, you should always get the medical attention you need after an accident. Again, this is not only the best thing to do for your health, but it also establishes a record of your injuries and a diagnosis.
If you fail to seek medical attention right away, the driver’s insurance company may argue that your injuries are less serious than you claim. Some injuries – such as a traumatic brain injury – may not seem serious at first, but become worse after the passing of a few days. If you wait to seek medical care, you may be at risk for a wide range of complications. You might also face greater difficulty pursuing fair compensation for your injuries.
You need to make sure you can identify the driver and be able to file a claim with his or her insurance company after the accident. To do this, you will need to obtain the driver’s:
Accident scenes need to be cleaned up quickly, but having photos and video of the scene can be extremely helpful for showing the severity of the accident. It may also help explain how the accident took place, pointing to the negligence of the driver as a cause.
If you can, take photos of the scene with your phone. Make sure to get pictures of your motorcycle, the other vehicle, and any damage done to signs or other structures along the road.
Beyond photographic evidence, obtaining statements from witnesses can also help support your claim that the negligence of the other driver caused the accident. Obtain the contact information for each witness you speak to, as your attorney may need to follow up with them at a later date.
Whether at the scene or when you are at the hospital, a police officer will ask you for a statement concerning the accident. Stay calm and answer the officer’s questions factually.
Never apologize or admit any degree of fault for the accident. It often takes an objective eye and an investigation to truly understand what happened. If you take any or all the blame for the accident, it may be difficult to recover compensation.
No matter who is at fault, you are required to notify your insurance carrier of the accident as soon as possible. Check your insurance policy to make sure you are within the deadline to report.
Reporting an accident is not the same thing as filing a claim. You may choose to file a claim with your own insurance company for coverage of certain losses (especially if the driver doesn’t have insurance), but it is important not to lose sight of your option to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries that require extensive treatment and recovery. You need to be able to focus on getting better, which is part of why receiving legal support for your claim can be so valuable.
Accident claims are often complex. Beyond gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and investigating the accident, you also need to negotiate with highly trained insurance adjusters and lawyers who will try to make it difficult to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
If they refuse to offer a fair settlement, you may need to take your claim to court to argue your case in front of a judge and jury. For all of these reasons, it is in your best interest to contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash.
At Patrick Daniel Law, we believe those responsible for causing accidents should also be held accountable for the damages caused by those accidents. We aggressively stand up to insurance companies and build strategic cases based on meticulous investigations.
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a motorcycle accident and you are trying to figure out what to do next, we encourage you to reach out to our attorneys for a free case evaluation. Our motorcycle accident attorneys serve clients in Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide. Please call us today at (713) 999-6666.