Motorcycle accidents can be terrifying. The aftermath is daunting to those who survive them. Yet people often make mistakes after the accident that hurt their case or eligibility for reimbursement for their property damage and medical bills. These could end up diminishing your claim or cheat you of compensation altogether. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should and should not do when dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.
Don’t delay seeking medical care for yourself or others, no matter the severity of your injury. You never know how they could develop later. If you aren’t sure whether or not there is a problem, the doctor’s assessment will either ensure that the injuries are properly addressed or start the documentation you need to press your claim.
Don’t worry about insurance. Don’t worry about responsibility for the accident, either. You will not be held responsible for the accident because you called for help. If first responders are called to the accident, don’t refuse medical attention. You may have missed injuries that may not become apparent for hours or days later.
If you have the means and it is safe to do so, take pictures. Take pictures of the motorcycle, other vehicles involved, and the surrounding environment. Take pictures of your injuries and those of other people if possible. Document the weather conditions, road conditions, and any property damage that has occurred.
Get the contact information of any and all witnesses. Your attorney will contact them later if it is necessary. Get the names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers of the other drivers, their passengers, and any witnesses. Do this while you are getting the other person’s insurance information. Record vehicle information like make and models of the vehicles and write down their license plate numbers.
Don’t delay in hiring an attorney after your accident. Furthermore, you should hire a lawyer that specializes in motorcycle accidents (check here). They have the expertise needed to properly investigate the accident and guide you through the process. For example, an attorney will prevent you from giving a recorded interview without representation that can hurt you later on.
Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than your attorney. Don’t apologize to the other person involved. This could lead to you inadvertently admitting fault, and these statements will be used against you by their defense attorney or insurance adjuster. And you don’t want to make the mistake of admitting fault when it isn’t your fault; one study found that other motorists were to blame in 60 percent of motorcycle accidents.
While you are obligated to answer the questions asked by the investigating officer, give short, factual answers and nothing else. Don’t speculate about speed, distances or other factors that may have contributed to the accident. Do contact your insurance company about the accident, but don’t give them a recorded or written statement without consulting with an attorney. Get the contact information of the officer who writes up the police report, too. You want their name, badge number, and the police report number.
Have the damage to your motorcycle assessed by a mechanic. Don’t tell your insurance company about the scope of the damage until it has been assessed by a mechanic, just as you should wait until you’ve seen a doctor to tell them the seriousness of your medical injuries. If you underestimate the damages, it limits your ability to get proper compensation.
Motorcyclists need to take care to do the right thing to minimize their liability and long-term harm from accidents. Avoid making critical mistakes so that you can get properly compensated for your losses.