5 things to do after a motorcycle accident. And the one thing you should not.
Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating. Unlike driving a car, the rider is out in nature enjoying the sunshine, the power of the engine, and the wind blowing across their face. Freedom beckons around the next curve. For some riders it is meditative and even therapeutic. Unfortunately, it is also dangerous.
And the danger takes many forms. Motorcycles are less visible to drivers of motor vehicles. As exciting as they are to ride, they are less stable than a car, and any wobble or overcorrection can yield disaster. And when a crash happens, by their nature motorcycles do not provide any protection, like that of a car or SUV. And those inevitable crashes can be deadly. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there have been 48,727 fatalities over the past ten years, which averages to 4,800 deaths per year. In 2018, 14% of all traffic deaths occurred to motorcyclists and is double the rate from 1997.
The Eberst Law Firm has five helpful tips on what to do when you get into a motorcycle accident and the one thing not do after the crash.
Check yourself and others for injury
Immediately after an accident, time can move slowly or incredibly quickly. Adrenaline may be coursing through your system. Try to slow your thought process. Take a few deep breaths. Check yourself for injury. If you have minor injuries such as a few scrapes, check others at the scene for their well-being. Check for other possible dangers. Is a car leaking gasoline or is a vehicle on fire? If so, vacate the immediate area.
Finally, call 911 whether someone is seriously injured or not. Some injuries are not immediately identifiable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, injuries to the chest and abdomen area can yield internal bleeding or organ damage, which may take time for symptoms to emerge. And, calling 911 will alert the police to respond to the accident scene.
Take photos of the accident scene
Today most people carry a cell phone. If it survived the crash, use the phone’s camera to take pictures of the accident scene. Get photos from a variety of angles. This information can helpful when speaking with the police, insurance company, or if need be, in a court case. And you may not be thinking as clearly as you believe you are, so photos can help preserve your memory of the accident scene.
Gather parties information
Once you have assessed yours and others injuries and documented the scene with a camera, it is critical to gather all involved parties’ personal and insurance information. Assuming you called 911, a police officer will be at the accident and will facilitate this step. Be careful what you say to police. Never admit fault. Make sure you speak with any witnesses, passengers, or other drivers to gather as much information as possible. Ensure you get:
•Make and model of the car(s) in the accident
•The police officer’s name
•The police report number
•Contact and insurance information for all parties
Finally, examine the weather and road conditions. All this information can help with the insurance company.
Start a File
Starting with the police report, you will receive an avalanche of documents and information. It is imperative you start a file to save all related information. Documents and receipts to save in the file include any records of damage to your motorcycle. Also save receipts for all medical bills and prescriptions related to the accident. Log travel to and from doctor’s offices and record any specialty doctor’s visits, such as a physical therapist.
If you suffered severe injuries and missed work, record all missing paychecks. If you had to hire a lawn person or needed childcare as a result of the accident, save these receipts too.
Stay off social media
Everyone seemingly is on some form of social media. According to Zephoria Digital Marketing, as of September 2019 there were 2.45 billion monthly active users on Facebook. 1.62 billion log onto Facebook daily and are considered daily users. And according to Hootsuite, one billion people use Instagram on a daily basis. This does not include other platforms like Twitter or Snapchat. So, chances are you are one of these billions of social media consumers and or producers.
Why stay off social media? First, insurance companies do monitor these sites. Any activity you share can be used against you, if you file a claim. Something as innocuous as sitting at a family barbeque can reveal information about your health. Next, if you make a comment about the accident on a social media site, it could be used against you. Frequent posts can rebuke the idea that you suffered emotional distress. And bad mouthing the insurance company or other party can ruin possible future negotiations. You may think your Facebook account is set of “Private,” but ANY post can become public.
Contact an experienced attorney
Contact an experienced attorney such as the Eberst Law Firm. Whether you are guilty or innocent, the proper attorney can help protect your rights. If you were injured in the motorcycle accident, it is even more important to connect with an experienced attorney. The attorney can help make sure an insurance company does not take advantage of you. And if the insurance payout is not enough to cover your damages, a lawyer can help file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Eberst Law Firm will pursue every available avenue of compensation you are entitled to so you can focus on your recovery.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm who have extensive experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida. This article was also extensively researched to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. If you want to know more about the author of this page, view our our attorney bios here.