Motorcycle riders may make up roughly 5% of the overall drivers in America, but they are nearly thirty times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. Many more motorcyclists suffer severe and debilitating injuries as a result of collisions.
It is important to understand what to do in the case of a motorcycle accident so that you can start healing faster and put the trauma behind you and your family.
What Should I Do Immediately After Getting into a Motorcycle Accident?
After getting into a motorcycle accident, the first thing to do is to take care of your physical health and safety.
Below are important steps you can take to mitigate your injuries from a crash:
- Seek Safety: Get out of the road. To the best of your ability make sure that you are not blocking the roadway and obstructing traffic. If you can, move your bike out of the way of traffic. However, be careful not to overexert yourself.
- Keep Your Protective Gear On: You may want to take off safety equipment like your helmet, but you shouldn’t. It is not uncommon for a motorcyclist to believe she has escaped severe injuries, only to remove some piece of protective gear and realize it was keeping them together. Removing protective gear can exacerbate injuries.
- Call 911: Once you are out of harm’s way, call 911 and report the accident. This should be done after every accident anyway, but it is extremely important that you follow proper procedures if you’re going to be going to court for any reason relating to the accident.
- Get Medical Attention: Finally, you must seek out immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity of the accident, paramedics might come out once you make your 911 call. If not, then you will need to seek medical attention yourself by either going to the hospital or calling for an ambulance. It costs less to go to the hospital yourself but make sure you have a friend or family member drive you rather than driving back yourself. Until you are looked after, you won’t understand the severity of your injuries or how they might affect your ability to drive.
What Should I Do After I Seek Medical Attention for my Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Once you have determined that you are okay, or once you have had medical attention for any injuries you might have sustained, now is a good time to start focusing on gathering evidence. Some of these points you may have already tackled before leaving the scene of the accident but your first priority should be for your own health and safety so we’ll assume that you left to get medical treatment before worrying about the insurance or who’s at fault for the accident.
Important ways of gathering evidence include:
- Take Photos of the Bike: Take photos of your bike to document the damage present. If possible, it can be a good idea to get some photos of the bike at the scene of the accident. But make sure you aren’t interrupting traffic and endangering yourself or other drivers.
- Write a Detailed Report of the Events: As soon as possible after the crash, write down everything that happened to the best of your recollection. Include as many details as possible, even those that might seem irrelevant. You never know what details will become critical if you end up in a dispute regarding the crash.
- Obtain a Copy of the Police Report: Ask the police for a copy of your police report and read it over to get a sense of how law enforcement characterized the accident. If you believe there are inaccuracies in the police report, write those down as soon as possible so you can share them with your attorney in the future.
- Swap Insurance and Contact Information with Other Drivers Involved: If you haven’t already swapped insurance or contact information with the other drivers involved in the accident then now is a good time to try to seek them out. If you have no way of contacting them, the police might help put you in touch with them if you let them know it is for insurance purposes.
When Should I Speak to a Lawyer or Insurance Company About My Accident?
As is noted above, taking care of your health should always be your first priority. However, you should also strongly consider reaching out to an attorney as soon as possible. Any attorney can help you gather evidence, can take over working with your and the other driver’s insurance company, and can help you navigate other issues that arise following a bad crash.
If you choose not to hire an attorney, be very careful in dealing with the opposing insurance company. The insurance adjuster may be pleasant, but he or she is not your friend. Their job is to maximize the profitability of her employer, which means paying you the smallest amount possible.
You should also keep in mind that, if you make statements to the opposing insurance adjuster about the details of the accident, those statements could be used against you at a later time. Finally, remember to carefully read any documents any insurance company asks you to sign, so you can understand what rights you are signing away. If you have questions, speak to an attorney.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney for My Case?
The good news is that almost all personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation. Take advantage of the consultation to ask tough questions. How long have you been doing these types of cases? Do you have experience trying cases? What is your strategy for making sure I get the best result possible? If you don’t like the attorney’s answers to these questions, try another attorney. There’s nothing wrong with interviewing multiple lawyers before signing up with one.
At Gideon Asen, we believe that we are the best personal injury lawyers in the state, including motorcycle accident cases. We have a proven track record of getting outstanding results for our clients. Give us a call at (207) 766-7761 to see how we can help you get over this accident so that you can get your life moving forward again.