What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Being involved in a motorcycle accident is much different than a standard car crash. Due to the lack of many safety features present in cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are at higher risk and account for 14% of traffic-related deaths.
Immediately following a motorcycle crash, you may feel overwhelmed. You may have suffered injuries you are not yet aware of. However, it is important to remain calm and diligent about what you should do following a motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle accident lawyer William Mattar provides the following steps for what to do after a motorcycle accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, there is a chance that emergency personnel will show up to the scene of the accident and transport you to receive immediate medical attention. However, even if you are lucky enough to walk away from your accident, it is still imperative to seek medical care. Here’s why:
First, you may not feel your motorcycle accident-related injuries because of adrenaline. According to the Hormone Health Network, adrenaline is a hormone released by the body during stressful situations that decreases a person’s ability to feel pain. Adrenaline also gives a person additional energy that may lead to dizziness and feeling light-headed or restless after a motorcycle accident. Since a motorcycle crash is a stressful situation, your body will likely receive an adrenaline rush that may cause you to not even know you are injured.
Some internal injuries may not initially show symptoms. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one example of an internal injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a TBI is caused by a blow to the head that disrupts how your brain normally functions.
Not all blows to the head cause a traumatic brain injury, but when they do, it may have long-term effects on both physical and emotional functions. Even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet, there is still a chance that a motorcycle accident can cause a TBI.
Other examples of internal injuries caused by motorcycle accidents include internal bleeding, organ damage, and broken ribs.
Having medical records is important if you choose to seek compensation following a motorcycle accident. You will need to be able to prove to the insurance company that your injuries were sustained during your motorcycle accident and were not preexisting. By seeking medical care quickly after your accident, it becomes easier for your motorcycle accident attorney to prove that your injuries were related to the crash.
An important step to take after a motorcycle crash is collecting information from the involved parties. After everyone is out of harm’s way, try to gather as much information as possible, including names, phone numbers, insurance information, vehicle information (make and model), and license plate numbers.
Even though the police will also gather information when they arrive to the scene of the accident, it does not hurt to collect information for yourself in case anything is missed. Additionally, people may attempt to leave the scene of the motorcycle accident before police arrive if they know they are at fault or have a criminal record.
Along with those involved in the accident, talk to anyone who may have witnessed the motorcycle accident. Make sure to record any conversation you have with a witness (given their consent) in writing or audio. Additionally, collect contact information from any eyewitness you talk to so that your motorcycle crash lawyer can follow-up with them if needed. Speaking with eyewitnesses of a motorcycle accident is important as it may help to strengthen your case down the road.
If possible, take pictures of the motorcycle accident. Having detailed and descriptive photos of the scene may help investigators determine how the accident occurred. Take photos of the vehicles involved in the accident, the scene of the crash, the road conditions, visible injuries, and any extra photographs you think may help down the road.
Try to take pictures of the accident soon after everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. It may be helpful to take pictures before vehicles are moved and the accident scene is still preserved. Police officers may also take pictures, but it does not hurt to have your own collection. If you are unable to take your own pictures, it may be helpful to have someone else take pictures and send them to you later.
Calling emergency personnel to the scene of a motorcycle crash is an important step. Emergency medical services will tend to anyone that has an injury or needs medical attention. When police arrive to the accident scene, they will gather the contact information for everyone involved and record details regarding the crash.
If you do not need immediate medical attention, the police officers responding may interview you. When talking to the police, do not apologize or admit fault for the accident. State only known facts, as you do not want to say anything that could hurt your insurance claim in the future.
Following your motorcycle accident, obtain a copy of the police report as soon as possible. The police report will contain information regarding the different parties involved, crash information, and possibly a diagram of the accident. A motorcycle accident lawyer will help you obtain a police report if you choose to have representation. Otherwise, you can order your police report online through the New York State DMV.
Contact Your Motorcycle Insurance Agent
After your accident, you will need to contact your motorcycle insurance company in order to file a claim. When speaking with your insurance company, answer the questions they ask, but do not provide any unnecessary information that may harm your case. You may also provide the insurance company with pictures and/or eyewitness testimonials you gathered at the crash scene.
Unfortunately, the insurance company is not always your friend. At the end of the day, an insurance company’s goal is to make a profit by offering the lowest compensation they can. Never admit fault when speaking to your motorcycle insurance agent, and do not apologize for the accident. If you accidentally say too much to your insurance agent, you may be harming the amount of compensation you could receive.
Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at William Mattar
Have you been injured and left wondering what to do after a motorcycle accident? William Mattar and his team of motorcycle accident lawyers are experienced in motorcycle accident injury law and ready to discuss your case. Call (844) 444-4444 or visit our contact page for a free consultation with the injury lawyers at William Mattar today.