What NOT to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents are some of the most serious motor vehicle accidents, resulting in devastating, sometimes fatal consequences. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently found that while 20% of passenger vehicle accidents result in injury or death, a shocking 80% of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death.
With virtually no protection, even the most experienced and careful motorcycle riders are at risk of being seriously injured in a crash. That is why if you ride, it is crucial to know what to do after an accident - and just as importantly - what NOT to do after an accident. Here are some of the most important dos and don’ts of motorcycle crashes.
Things to Avoid After a Motorcycle Crash
Do Not Talk to the Other Party’s Insurance Company
Insurance companies will quickly contact you to get a recorded statement of what happened as well as the details of your injuries and property loss. We strongly encourage speaking with an attorney before talking to the other party’s insurance company. The insurance might try to use your statements against you during the claims process. In an effort to minimize a payout or avoid one altogether, insurance companies often try to find inconsistencies or statements that work in their favor.
Don’t Admit Fault
Surprisingly, it is not uncommon for accident victims to apologize - even when they aren’t at fault for the crash. It is always best to avoid saying you are sorry whether or not you believe you played a role in the accident. An apology can be used against you by the other party and considered an admission of guilt.
Stay off of Social Media
Motorcycle accident victims frequently post photos and details of their accidents on their social media accounts. However, the other party’s insurance company will likely be looking at your social media accounts for anything they can use to help them avoid liability or minimize the payout you receive. Therefore, we recommend staying off social media until your motorcycle accident claim is settled.
Don’t Accept an Offer from the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Many accident victims are inclined to accept an initial offer from the other party’s insurance company - often wanting to avoid the hassle of the process or any delay in receiving compensation. Accepting the initial settlement offer will likely rob you of the compensation you are entitled to. In fact, simply letting the insurance company know you are working with a personal injury attorney generally gets the insurance company to offer you a higher initial offer.
What to Do After an Accident
Be sure to call the police immediately after the crash. When the officer arrives, make sure you give a detailed and accurate account of what happened. Also, get a copy of the police report, which provides information about the other drivers, the officer’s account of what happened, whether any citations were given, and a diagram of the accident scene. The 911 dispatcher will also send emergency medical technicians to the scene if needed to help treat your injuries.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you received preliminary medical treatment at the scene, it is always best to go to the doctor or emergency hospital to have a full medical assessment. This will ensure all of your injuries are identified and treated accordingly. Prompt medical treatment will give you the best chance at a full recovery. Additionally, having medical records detailing the full extent of your injuries will help you secure compensation should you file a motorcycle accident claim.
Document What Happened
If you can, take pictures and video of the accident scene, including your motorcycle, the vehicles involved, and any skid marks or debris. It will also help your case if you write down everything that happened before, during, and after the crash soon after it occurs to ensure no key pieces of information are forgotten over time.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
To protect your rights and best interests, speaking to a motorcycle accident attorney immediately is best. They will give you tips on what to do, determine whether you have a valid claim, and if so, help you seek compensation from the responsible party. Your personal injury lawyer will also communicate with the insurers and any third parties on your behalf and handle all aspects of the legal process, giving you the opportunity to focus on your recovery.
If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, you should know that you have the right to be compensated by the person or entity responsible for the accident. Ideally, your safety as a motorcyclist would depend on your ability to act responsibly and obey the rules of the road. However, that is often not the case. If you are an experienced rider, you likely know that accidents can happen even when you are doing everything by the book. Serious motorcycle crashes are too frequently caused by situations completely out of your control, such as distracted motorists, drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, and unsafe road conditions.
To learn more about filing a claim for damages and what to do and not to do after a crash, we recommend consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
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