After a motorcycle accident takes place, you may be in shock. Nobody expects to be involved in such a serious accident that causes handfuls of serious injuries and fatalities each and every year. This is why it is important to know what to do if you are a motorcycle rider so that you can be prepared.
Adrenaline will be cursing through your body so remember these few important and immediate things.
- Safety first. If you are able to, remove yourself from harms way. Get off the road and out of traffic.
- Call 911.
- Do not remove your helmet or gear! Your neck and spine need to stay protected, wait for paramedics.
- Seek medical attention even if you think you are okay. Serious injuries are not always readily identifiable. Motorcycle crashes tend to be more serious due to the potential for organ damage or internal bleeding from the blunt force of the crash and impact to your midsection.
- Stay Calm. Do not do anything that will put you or others at risk of injury or cause further property damage.
So, let’s assume that a motorcycle accident just took place – what do you do? Who do you call? The first thing you want to do before you do anything else is call 9-1-1. Assess the scene around you, because this will always work out to your advantage.
Are you or anyone else injured? Are there any fatalities? If nobody needs immediate medical attention*, you should always collect information such as insurance from passengers, motorists, or pedestrians who were involved. If you have a camera or camera phone on you, be sure to take pictures of important elements like the make and models of the vehicles involved, license plate numbers, the scene around you, and anything more. Taking pictures is the most accurate way to document exactly what happened in your accident.
*I am a strong believer that you should always seek medical attention, beginning with the paramedics. As a fellow motorcyclists and lawyer, I’ve seen it happen, you don’t readily feel your injuries all of the time. Seek medical attention always!
You never want to leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive. You want to have your side of the story documented. Note, you could face criminal charges if you leave the accident too soon. Fault and liability must be determined because it will come in handy if you go to court
What if I Wake Up in the Hospital?
You have to be very cautious about what your health insurance will pay for and what it won’t. Whether the provider is out of network and whether the services are emergency services or not; find out how they are classified.
Getting in touch with a health insurance claims representative as soon as possible or having a family member do this for you is imperative so you’re not surprised when you get a several thousand-dollar bill, and the insurance carrier is telling you that it is not obligated to pay certain amounts.
Also, it is good to talk to a hospital social worker for any benefits available, such as emergency MediCal.
After you have gotten home and are settled in after the accident, you may be contacted with an adjuster from the other side’s insurance company. However, it is important that you do not answer their questions, as they are trained to take what you say and use it against you to your disadvantage. This means that, in the end, they will have to pay out less for the injuries that you have incurred. You should also refrain from making repairs to your motorcycle until the damages have been successfully documented.
Every case is different, and sometimes things go pretty well. This means that, in a lot of accidents, you may walk away from it without paying more than a couple hundred dollars depending on the circumstances. You should always keep a detailed record of damages so that you can use this information later. However, if there were extremely serious injuries or any other complications relating to the case, it may be in your best interest to speak to an experienced attorney.
Speaking to an Attorney
If you are unable to speak to an attorney right off the bat, just remember that it is of utmost importance that you refrain from admitting fault or signing anything until you do. You do not want to be pinned for the accident before you can get to the bottom of things. However, after you are able to speak to an attorney, you can talk about the evidence collected at the scene and so much more to determine who was at fault and what you can receive in damages. We will be able to speak to you about the complex laws and what you can expect from your case. Give us a call today for more information on how to get started.