While riding a motorcycle down the highway can be a fun experience for even the most seasoned rider, the fact is thousands of motorcyclists are injured or killed each year while enjoying their favorite pastime. Unfortunately, the majority of these accidents are not the fault of the motorcyclist, but rather other drivers on the road who are negligent or careless in regard to following common-sense safety practices while behind the wheel. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important you take a variety of steps immediately to ensure you are not only taken care of medically but also legally. To learn more, here is what you should do in the event you are involved in a motorcycle accident.
Get Medical Attention
When an accident occurs, make sure you get medical attention immediately. Even if you believe you have only suffered minor injuries, always allow yourself to be checked out by medical personnel at the scene, and if possible allow yourself to be transported to a hospital for further examination. Since most motorcycle accidents produce significant injuries, having medical documentation immediately after the accident can be helpful should you contact a motorcycle injury lawyer regarding a possible lawsuit.
Along with rescue personnel, always make sure you call the police to the scene of your accident. By doing so, the officer will be required to file a report, which will be needed by your motorcycle personal injury attorney should you pursue legal action. Along with this, the officer will likely give a preliminary assessment of who was at fault for the accident, which can also be useful to your motorcycle accident attorney.
Gather Contact Information
If possible, gather as much contact information as possible from other drivers involved in the accident. This should include such things as names, addresses, phone numbers, license numbers, and insurance information. Along with this, always get a description of the vehicles involved in your accident, their license plate numbers, and their make and model.
Take Photos and Videos
If you are able to do so, use your smartphone to take photos and videos of the accident scene. Along with pictures of your motorcycle and the damage it sustained, take pictures of other vehicles and their damage as well. In addition, take pictures of such things as skid marks, nearby traffic signs or signals, intersections, other property damaged due to the accident, and anything else that may seem relevant, such as road conditions that may have contributed to the crash.
Speak with Witnesses
In these types of accident cases, witness testimony can be crucial to helping you prove your case. Because of this, always attempt to speak with anyone who witnessed the accident. If you can, take notes or use your smartphone to make a video of the conversation, since you will need to have as many details as possible about your conversation. By gathering this information, you will make it much easier for your West Coast Trial Lawyers to prove your case. Since witnesses will often have trouble remembering key facts perhaps just days after an accident occurs, it is crucial you obtain this information for your motorcycle injury lawyer.
Do Not Admit Fault
While it may seem the polite thing to do to say “I’m sorry” immediately after your accident, from a legal standpoint this is the worst thing you can do should you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. If you say anything to other drivers, police, or witnesses that indicate in any way the accident may have been your fault, you can be sure it will be used against you by the defendant’s lawyers and their insurance company. In addition to this, never agree with someone’s version of events, since this may also be used against you. To play it safe, try to say as little as possible at the scene, then seek out the advice of an experienced motorcycle personal injury attorney.
Beware of Insurance Companies
While you should always report your accident and its details to your insurance company, be very wary if you are contacted by the defendant’s insurance company. If this happens, it is likely the person you speak with will be looking for something they can use against you. In many cases, an adjuster will try to confuse you into admitting the accident was your fault, which if you do will significantly impact your ability to file a successful personal injury lawsuit. Also, the insurance company may attempt to convince you to accept a very low settlement offer immediately. If an offer such as this is made, never accept it, since it probably will not approach the amount of compensation you will need or deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages. Therefore, if you are contacted by a defendant’s insurance company, refer this and all future communication to your motorcycle accident attorney.
Avoid Social Media
If you are a regular presence on social media, it may be a good idea to limit your online presence until your case is settled. For many accident victims, going on Facebook or Twitter and posting pictures of themselves or giving details of the accident almost always works against them. More than likely, the defendant, their attorney, and their insurance company are all watching your social media accounts to see if you do or say anything that can be incriminating. Unfortunately, many personal injury cases have been derailed by overzealous accident victims eager to share details of their situation online.
Contact an Attorney
As soon as you can do so, contact an experienced and knowledgeable motorcycle injury lawyer. By doing so, you will not only have an attorney working for you who specializes in these cases, but also an advocate who will do everything possible to protect your legal rights from start to finish. By relying on your West Coast Trial Lawyers, you will be able to gain the full and fair financial compensation you deserve.