Motorcycle accidents are similar to a car accident but the potential is so much worse… A motorcycle accident can leave you dazed, confused, bleeding, often with broken bones or the very least, unable to protect yourself from further injury. You will be quite upset, scared, and feeling extremely vulnerable. You must be your own advocate when it comes to situations involving accidents of any kind, especially motorcycle accidents, until you can contact a qualified personal injury attorney.
If you can, lock down the facts of the scene; take photos showing the position of the other vehicle(s), the position of the motorcycle in the roadway, and of course, photos of the injuries that you sustained as a result of the crash.
Look after yourself by agreeing to receive treatment at the scene so you can survive the incident. Don’t worry about the cost, as your life is the most important factor in this situation. After photos, gather all of the information relating to witnesses, including names and contact information. If you are unable to write down the information ask anyone who stops to give you aid to write their contact information down and also ask them to jot down some notes as they recall what they saw and who they believe was at fault for the accident. (They could turn out to be your very supporting witness down the road when the other party’s insurance company tries to blame you for the accident).
The next step you should take after collecting everything at the scene of the accident, you should learn and understand your legal rights, by hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
Use Your Own Resources
At the time of the accident, although you may be in a state of shock, if you managed to take any pictures (even with just a smartphone) of your motorcycle or the other party involved, this could prove to be very beneficial for you. Try to forward the photos to an email account in case the emergency personnel or someone else breaks or misplaces your phone. At least the photos will be preserved.
Pictures of the actual accident scene can be a huge help to avoid the old “he said, she said” type of scenario when your lawyer is dealing with the other party’s insurance carrier. Any pictures or anything you may have written down, such as license plates number and make and model of the other vehicle involved, should be all put into a folder to take to your motorcycle accident attorney.
What you should and should not do:
- At the scene, if you are able, get the other party to admit fault.
- Do not be aggressive and use inappropriate language towards the other party. After all, you are the victim and you are looking for explanations as to what happened.
- Do speak with the investigating police officer. Statements made at the scene are generally considered more truthful than someone changing their mind later and attempting to change the story and blame the other guy.
- Don’t exaggerate; keep the story simple, direct, and very factual. If you don’t remember certain facts, do not make them up. It’s ok to say, “I don’t remember”, especially if you had a head injury.
While you are trying to recover from your injuries and get back to pre-accident status, you need to know that you are more than likely in a vulnerable state whether you realize it or not. Remember that it is your right to refuse to speak to another party’s insurance company if they contact you. Usually they come across as wanting to be your friend but remember, they are working for a multi-million dollar company who wants to reduce the amount of money they spend on claims and the caller’s job is to somehow limit or deny your monetary recovery.
Usually it is better to get photos of your motorcycle before the damage is repaired. Once repaired, it no longer shows what you may have suffered as a result of the impact. (Either from another vehicle, fence or wall, or the ground) Try not to immediately bring your motorcycle to get repaired and all polished up. You should wait for the other party’s insurance to write an estimate and take photos of the damage, which will help you in receiving proper compensation for the damage done to your bike. If you have collision coverage on your bike, you can go through your insurance to cover the loss.
Learn more about what to do after a car or motorcycle accident.
The Right Connections
To have an attorney for this type of accident is of utmost importance. Whenever you are dealing with any type of injury motorcycle accident, you want to create a strong professional team. In San Bernardino County and Riverside County, there are many attorneys ready to help you in a court of law. It is important that you do not speak to or answer questions from the other party involved in the accident if they should approach you without your lawyer present.
Gather and organize as much documentation as possible from the accident, including photos. Try to obtain a copy of the traffic accident police report. You will receive estimates of the property damage as well as medical bills and records. You should also provide your attorney with a copy of your own insurance policy, including the “declarations” page showing your coverages. (the law requires that you only operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway or highway while carrying an appropriate amount of “Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage.”
Other than to the police, emergency medical personnel, your doctor, and your lawyer, it is usually best not to give any written or oral statements to anyone else regarding the accident.
All of the above items should be collected and saved. Remember, you have rights. Don’t go through this alone. Contact a San Bernardino County or Riverside County Personal injury Attorney who has motorcycle accident experience and do so promptly. You will be doing yourself the favor of making your unfortunate experience just a little bit brighter.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motorcycle accident, and it was not their fault contact theLaw Offices, Stefan Robert Pancer, P.C. today. We stand up to the insurance industry, on your behalf, making sure you are compensated for your damages and injuries in your motorcycle accident case.