88,000 motorcyclist injuries occurred in a single year. If that is not bad enough, 5,286 people died after a motorcyclist crash; a 5.1% increase from the year before. While the road to recovery is ahead, it helps to know how to get there. By taking these motorcycle accident next steps, you can recover physically, psychologically, and financially from the accident. Otherwise, you might fail to receive the compensation you deserve.
Accidents can become costly. An injury or disability could cause you to lose work. There is no way to know how extensively an accident can alter your life.
Take the time to heal and recover. While you do, make sure to take these steps to ensure a full recovery.
Keep reading to discover what to do after a motorcycle accident to ensure your pain and suffering are covered.
Get Yourself to Safety
Immediately following your motorcycle accident, make sure to get yourself to safety. Move out of harm’s way. Make sure you are off the road and away from moving traffic.
You should also distance yourself from anything that could cause additional harm. This includes:
- Any vehicles leaking gasoline
- A vehicle that is on fire
- Damaged structures that are about to collapse
- A roadside cliff or drop-off
Next, you will want to check yourself and others for injuries. Motorcyclists are not likely to walk away from a wreck without some kind of injury. In some cases, however, you might not recognize you are hurt until after the accident.
The blunt-force impact to your midsection could cause organ damage or internal bleeding. Check for pain in the chest or abdomen, which could indicate a serious problem. While these injuries are less common than injuries to your extremities, they are also more serious.
Check for any bone fractures as well.
Do not rush to move right away. Instead, assess your injuries before getting on your feet. Moving too quickly could cause additional strain to your spine, which could lead to a more serious injury.
As you assess the situation, make sure to remain calm. Many of these motorcycle accident next steps require you to keep a level head. After all, you do not want to do or say anything that could make the situation worse.
- Assigning blame for the accident
- Arguing with the people involved in the accident
- Engaging others in a hostile, physical manner
- Inflicting additional damage
Keeping your head can help you avoid damaging your case.
A third of all fatal bike accidents happen because the driver was drinking. 75% are frontal collisions, while about 32% occur due to speeding.
Understanding what to do after a motorcycle accident is crucial. Otherwise, you might say or do something that could impact your case. Following the accident, do not apologize or admit fault.
Do not admit the accident was even partially your fault. This could jeopardize your right to compensation. Avoid apologizing or offering any information that is not necessary.
Do not indicate that you were to blame while the facts are still getting sorted out.
Do not lie about your role in the accident, either.
Instead, wait for the police to determine who was at fault themselves.
Report the Motorcycle Accident
While you are still at the scene, make sure to report the accident to law enforcement. Police will need to get involved to record details of the accident. They will also determine if legal action is necessary.
Do not leave the scene while you wait for the police to arrive. This could indicate fault.
Instead, use the time to exchange relevant information with the parties involved as well as law enforcement.
You will need to gather:
- Photos and written descriptions regarding property damage information
- Contact and insurance information from all parties involved
- Make, model, year and any other information about the vehicles involved
If your phone works properly, make sure to take photos of the scene. Try to get pictures of the damaged vehicles at more than one angle. However, you should not perform this step if taking pictures will put yourself or others at risk.
Take photos of your surroundings, such as street signs and nearby landmarks, as well.
While you are at the scene, speak with any witnesses who saw the accident happen. Try to get their name, contact information, and a written description of what they saw. After the accident, a witness’s account could help argue your case on your behalf.
Make sure you do not pressure the witness to say anything they do not want to.
Some witnesses will feel more comfortable making a statement to the police. At the very least, try to get their contact information. Your lawyer can speak with them later on.
Notify Your Insurance Company of Your Motorcycle Accident
You will need to inform your insurance company immediately after the accident.
Provide your agent with the same information you collected at the scene. This includes:
- Names of the parties involved
- Make, model, year of any vehicles involved
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- Contact information for the officers who arrived on the scene
Your insurance company will likely ask about your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.
Let your agent know that you will provide those details once your injuries are assessed by a doctor and after you have spoken with an attorney. You can provide them with information specific to your vehicle after it is assessed by a mechanic. Waiting to have this information will ensure you do not underestimate your compensation.
Visit a Doctor
Do not complete these motorcycle accident next steps without a visit to your doctor.
If you were injured during the motorcycle accident, make sure to receive medical care.
Your doctor will give you instructions and recommendations for rehabilitation.
It is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible. You might not recognize your pain until days after the accident. Delaying treatment could cause your issues to linger longer.
In order to heal from your injuries, it is important that you follow your doctor’s complete instructions.
Follow the instructions labeled on any prescribed medications. Your doctor might also suggest therapies or procedures, depending on your injuries.
Make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment.
As you visit your doctor, make sure to keep a record of all appointments, medications, and procedures. Keep copies of all your medical records, tests, and bills for your attorney. They can use this information to maximize your compensation.
Ask your doctor to conduct a thorough assessment of your injuries. Have them inform you of any potentially long-lasting issues. These health concerns will get factored into your claim.
Contact an Attorney
One of the most important steps in your guide to motorcycle accident recovery is to contact an attorney. Make sure to work with a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accident cases. They will have your legal and financial best interests in mind.
You will also want to seek legal advice if:
- You were wrongly accused of being at fault for the accident
- Your insurance claim was denied
- Your damages are not covered by your insurance
- You are suffering from severe physical injuries and expenses
Your damages for this type of case are usually divided into two types. The first is damages capable of exact calculation. These are often called special damages, which refer to past medical expenses, future medical needs, and past, present, and future lost earnings.
These damages include medical bills, employment benefits, and other financial losses.
Your compensation can extend beyond repairing your vehicle and your medical care. For example, if you are unable to work, you are losing wages. You can add these costs to your claim.
The second type of damages are damages that you cannot calculate, such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity to enjoy life, inconvenience and aggravation.
When trying to value a motorcycle injury claim, there are two types of valuations. Your case’s settlement value is what you hope to settle the case for. The trial value is what you expect to win at trial.
An experienced personal injury attorney will help you receive the maximum compensation during your accident recovery.
After it is settled and finalized, you cannot reopen a claim. It is important to get these claims right the first time. Hiring a professional attorney to assess your damages will ensure you make the most out of your claim.
Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than people in passenger cars. Since motorcyclists are not protected by a seatbelt and car’s strong exterior, your injuries will be more severe, too.
In order to avoid future accidents, make sure to wear protective gear. That includes a helmet, thick jacket, pants, and padded gloves. Minimizing your exposure will also help to minimize your injuries.
Next, make sure to never operate a vehicle while intoxicated.
Alcohol can cause reduced reaction times. It also impacts your balance and judgment. Plus, it is illegal.
Drive safely under poor weather. Make sure to reduce your speed as needed to improve your reaction times.
Ride defensively, avoid situations where you do not feel comfortable, and remain safe on the road.
Motorcycle Accident Next Steps: Your Road to Recovery
By taking these motorcycle accident next steps, you can head forward on the road to recovery! Do not wait to receive the compensation you deserve. Instead, hire a team of professional attorneys who can defend your rights.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.