Were you in a motorcycle accident in Tampa Bay recently? If you are healing from injuries, you will want to make your health a priority. Many crashes end in fatalities. In fact, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than a car passenger. After a crash, you might feel frazzled and unsure of what to do next. Do not wait to take action. Instead, follow this guide to discover the important steps you need to take following an accident. With this guide, you can focus on healing and not on your medical bills. The right steps can help you gather the evidence necessary to build your case. Then, you can work with a lawyer to receive the compensation you deserve. Get started with this guide today!
1. Move to Safety
Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you need to prioritize your safety and well-being. Are you able to move? If so, get off the road and away from oncoming traffic.
Take the time to assess your surroundings. Do you notice any other potential dangers? Am I in the way of traffic? Could another vehicle cause additional damages or injuries?
For example, you might notice a roadside cliff. Move away from the cliff to avoid a potential slip and fall.
Are any of the vehicles leaking gasoline? There is a chance they could catch on fire. If you are concerned, stay away from the vehicles involved in the crash.
If you notice any of these risk factors, get yourself to a safe area right away. Once you get to safety, survey the area again. Does anyone need help?
During this step, you might feel the need to move your motorcycle or help the other drivers move their vehicles. It is important not to rush that step unless it is absolutely necessary. Instead, call law enforcement right away.
The police will assess the crash before directing you to move your vehicle.
You will also want to take photos of the crash scene before moving your motorcycle.
Do not move on your own if you are in severe pain. Call for help right away. If you sustained a spinal injury, moving could do more harm than good.
Instead, wait for a medical professional to help you move to safety.
Do Not Point Fingers
If you are in a crash, try to take a breath and remain calm. It is important to avoid assigning or accepting blame for the motorcycle accident. Even if the crash was not your fault, avoid apologizing.
Either scenario could impact your case. You might fail to receive the maximum compensation for your lawsuit, even if you only accept partial blame.
Make sure to avoid hostile interactions. In some cases, it helps to say nothing at all.
Instead of pointing fingers, focus on the next few steps. Focusing on building your case can help you work through the situation proactively.
2. Report the Crash
It is crucial that you report the motorcycle accident as soon as possible. In many states, you are legally obligated to call the police to report a crash. Stay on the scene while you wait.
It is vital that you do not leave the scene of the crime. If you or the other driver leaves, someone could get charged with a hit and run.
When the police arrive, they will fill out a police report. You will need an official police report to build your case. Your insurance company and motorcycle injury attorney will need to access this report.
When speaking with the officers, make sure to remain calm. Cooperate and answer their questions. Make sure to avoid fabricating any details.
Stick to the facts of your case and walk them through what happened.
Remember, anything you say at the scene could impact your case. Do not admit fault. Try to keep your statement brief.
Only include facts that are necessary for the police report.
Once the police complete their report, ask if they can provide you with a copy.
3. Assess the Damage
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, take the time to access the damages. Were you injured? Most motorcyclists do not walk away from an accident unscathed.
Take photos of your injuries while you are on the scene. You can also take pictures of the crash and your surrounding area.
Make sure to capture photos of nearby buildings, street signs, and the vehicles involved in the crash. Your motorcycle injury lawyer will need these photos to build your case. Your insurance agent will also need these photos for your claim.
You might start to forget details in the days following your crash. It helps to write down what happened while you are still at the scene. If details become hazy later on, you can refer to your notes.
4. Gather Evidence
Before leaving the scene of the motorcycle accident, make sure to get the other driver’s contact information. That includes their name, address, and phone number. You can also take down their insurance and driver’s license information.
Did anyone witness the crash? If you see anyone while at the scene, ask if you can have their contact information.
Your motorcycle injury attorney might want to contact them later to build your case.
Otherwise, take photos of your motorcycle and helmet. These photos can help prove the severity of the crash.
5. Call Your Insurance Company
Make sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible, although you can, and may want, to wait until after you have spoken with an attorney.
You might want to call them while you are still at the scene of the crash. The adjuster might have you follow a specific list of steps while you are at the scene.
Even if you only sustained minor injuries, it can be helpful to contact the insurance company. Otherwise, you could fail to receive full compensation if the other driver was at fault.
Certain factors that occur after your motorcycle accident in Tampa Bay could impact your claim. For example, did you sustain a serious, long-term injury? Are you missing work as a result of the motorcycle accident?
You cannot reopen the settlement once everything is final. Completing a thorough assessment of your damages and losses is essential from the start of the process.
6. Visit a Doctor
Do not forget to visit a doctor following your motorcycle accident. They will assess your injuries and help you start treatment or rehabilitation right away. Their official report will play a part in your insurance claim as well.
Make sure to stick to your doctor’s orders following the accident. You will need to follow their treatment plan in order to speed up your recovery. Their medical advice can also minimize lasting effects the crash might have on your health.
Keep a detailed record of your doctor’s prescriptions, surgical plans, and other treatment advice. Hold onto all of your medical expenses. You will need to make copies for your insurance agent and attorney.
Your medical records will indicate the losses you suffered as a result of the crash.
Did you visit a specialist, such as a physical therapist? Did your doctor have you get X-rays? Keep these as part of your file, too.
Let your doctor know if you sustain any severe injuries or develop symptoms, including:
- Whiplash injuries
- Broken bones
- Abdominal pain
- Internal bleeding
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Back pain
Anywhere from 20 to 50 million people sustain injuries as a result of a motorcycle crash. These injuries could impact your mobility and ability to work.
You might not realize your condition is serious until weeks after the crash. Sometimes, adrenaline can mask the pain.
As many as 65 million Americans report back problems. In fact, back problems are the sixth-most costly condition in the country. Your motorcycle accident could cause your spine to move out of alignment, which could cause your back pain.
If you sustain back pain, whiplash, neck, or shoulder pain, you might need to visit a chiropractor. Keep track of their treatment plan as well to continue building your case.
7. Find a Qualified Motorcycle Accident Attorney
There are over 135,221 personal injury lawyers in the country. Personal injury attorneys cover a range of cases, including motorcycle accidents. When looking for a qualified lawyer to take your case, make sure they specialize in motorcycle accident cases.
When interviewing attorneys, take the time to discuss the specifics of your case. Was it a fatal motorcycle accident? Did you lose a loved one?
In that case, look for someone who has experience with wrongful death cases.
As you look at different attorneys, do not forget to check your local bar association website. Make sure their license is up to date.
Otherwise, review their track record. Ask about their recent cases. How much was the settlement for each case?
Choose an experienced lawyer who can win your case and maximize your claim.
The Road to Compensation: 7 Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in Tampa Bay
If you were in a motorcycle accident in Tampa Bay, the situation might feel stressful at first. By following these seven steps, you can build your case. With a lawyer’s help, you can receive the compensation you need to cover your losses.
Do not wait. Instead, start building your case with a motorcycle injury attorney you can trust.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We are here to help.