What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
A motorcycle accident can be a traumatic, damaging experience. Even a low-speed collision can result in serious injuries and substantial economic damages. If you or a loved one own a motorcycle and ever experience an accident, it is crucial to know what to do following the crash. The steps you take immediately after an accident can have a significant impact on your ability to recover compensation for your losses.
Things to Do at the Scene of the Accident
Your priority after any motorcycle accident should be your personal safety and wellbeing. Check yourself for injuries. If you are in too much pain to move, stay where you are until emergency responders arrive. If you are able and no one has already done so, call the police. You will need to report the accident and request assistance. If you feel well enough to move, be careful in doing so; you may aggravate an injury, or you may be hurt worse than you feel at first. The adrenaline in your system dulls pain sensations. You may not start feeling your injuries until hours later or the next day.
When the police arrive, answer their questions honestly and concisely. Tell the police you are too rattled to answer questions at the moment and wait for them to allow you to leave if you feel too traumatized or disoriented to offer sound statements. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police allow you to do so. Leaving the scene when the law requires you to stay could constitute a hit-and-run violation, leading to substantial legal penalties.
Seek Medical Attention
Once the police address the accident and clear away the accident site, they will allow you to leave unless medical responders have already started transporting you to the hospital. If you feel well enough to leave the accident scene on your own, your motorcycle will likely be too damaged to ride away. Arrange for a ride to your doctor as soon as possible and seek prompt treatment, even if you think you only suffered minor cuts and scrapes. Many people experience vehicle accidents and walk away seemingly unscathed only to be unable to get out of bed the next day. Adrenaline and dull pain sensations for quite a long time, and your doctor will know what to look for following a motorcycle accident.
After receiving medical care your doctor should provide you with a report of your injuries, your prognosis, and the doctor’s treatment plan. This is an invaluable document if you need to file an insurance claim or take legal action against the at-fault driver. Again, seeking medical care as soon as possible is crucial; if you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit for injuries, any delay in seeking treatment will reflect negatively upon your case.
Speaking With Insurance Companies
Virtually every motorcycle accident will lead to some type of insurance claim. The insurance company will want to verify your claim’s legitimacy before they issue payment on your claim. Never accept an insurance company’s first offer without consulting an attorney first. In most cases, the insurance company will attempt to convince a claimant to accept a low-ball offer. Some claimants unwittingly accept these low offers in the face of mounting economic problems and losses following their accidents.
An experienced personal injury attorney can file a demand letter on your behalf and include strong supporting evidence to minimize the chances of the insurer pushing back against your claim. Your attorney can also coach you for speaking with insurance claims adjusters so you do not unknowingly compromise your position.
If an insurance claim is not enough to fully cover your damages, an attorney can help you explore additional recovery options such as filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver who caused your accident. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Sacramento, speak with our Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyers to explore your legal options.