Do you know what to do if you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident? Some things might not be that obvious. For example, if your accident was caused by an obscured road sign, it’s critical to take a photo of the scene because the city might prune the bushes or tree in an attempt to avoid responsibility.
Spear Greenfield published a comprehensive checklist of things to do after a motorcycle accident that’s worth checking out. The first item on the list is to call the police. This is essential for establishing a foundation for a lawsuit, should you choose to pursue one. Next on the list is that you shouldn’t apologize. Although it’s natural to want to apologize, doing so can be interpreted later on as admitting fault.
In addition to the above, here are ten more things you need to do after being involved in a motorcycle accident.
1. Call an attorney immediately
Don’t wait to contact a personal injury attorney if you’ve been hurt. The sooner you connect with an attorney, the sooner you’ll know if you have a case. You shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical bills out of pocket, and if you have to take time off work to heal, you shouldn’t have to suffer without an income. By filing a lawsuit, you have a chance at recovering compensation that will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
If you’re not sure you want to deal with a lawsuit, you don’t have to – your attorney will handle everything for you. Most attorneys provide a fee consultation so it won’t cost you anything to at least call and find out if you have a case.
2. Seek medical care
After calling the police, you’ll want to seek medical care as quickly as possible. Not just for your injuries, but to make sure it’s clear to the insurance companies that you did, in fact, seek care.
Insurance companies are for-profit corporations and are always looking for reasons to deny claims. Injured parties who don’t seek medical care are highly suspect, and because of that, may claims get denied.
Even if your injuries seem superficial, get checked out in the ER or make an appointment with your physician to cover all your bases.
3. Follow your doctor’s advice
Another circumstance that makes insurance companies deny claims is when an injured party doesn’t follow their doctor’s advice. If you don’t follow through with treatment, it makes it seem as if you aren’t injured. Also, you have a legal duty to mitigate your damages, and treating your injuries is part of that obligation.
Always follow your doctor’s advice after being injured in a motorcycle accident. If you don’t agree with the prescribed treatment, ask for alternatives. If you don’t like any of your options, find another doctor who can help you with the type of treatment that works for you.
4. Take time to heal and rest
It’s important to take time to rest and heal after your injury. Healing takes time and the only way you’re going to recover is if you allow your body to get the rest it needs.
It’s understandable if you need to get back to work quickly, but don’t rush if you don’t have to. Take your time and rest before jumping back into work.
5. Document the accident scene with video and photos
Photo and video documentation are essential. Even when scenes are reconstructed, it’s sometimes hard for other people to see what you saw. If you can, document everything, including where the accident took place from your point of view.
Be sure to capture both photos and video. Although you can take stills from a video, actual photos are often better because you can frame the shots better.
6. Gather witness contact information
While you’re still at the scene, gather contact information from witnesses and document their license plate numbers, too. If you lose their phone number or digits were transposed, having a license plate can help you locate them for your lawsuit.
7. Record witness statements on the scene if possible
It’s important to get witness statements recorded on video as soon as possible, preferably right after the accident. You’ll get the most accurate statements this way since memory tends to degrade as time goes on.
8. Document license plates of vehicles involved
Don’t let any vehicles leave the scene without getting their license plate number. Even if a car wasn’t directly involved in the physical crash, they may have played a role in the accident. If anyone was stopped at a stop sign, was driving in a roundabout, or was otherwise on the scene when the accident happened, document a description of the car and their license plate number. You may find a witness who saw someone cause your accident who wasn’t involved in the physical crass.
9. Get driver’s license numbers directly from the license
Never trust someone else to write down their name and driver’s license number for you. Always request to see their license directly so you can copy down the information. If someone knows they were responsible for the accident, they might give you a fake name and a false driver’s license number.
10. Report unsafe conditions if they led to your accident
If there were any unsafe conditions that contributed to your accident, report those conditions to the city immediately. Things like giant potholes, slick roads, oil spills, and road signs hidden behind trees and bushes are critical to report to prevent future accidents.
Reporting the conditions to the city can also help you with your lawsuit by establishing that there was, in fact, a problem with the road conditions.
Drive safely and defensively
Of course, after an accident, you’ll be on high alert and you may even be too traumatized to start riding your motorcycle again. If you do start driving right away, drive safely and remember to take extra precautions.
You can’t control other drivers on the road, so the best you can do is be prepared and drive defensively.