Motorcycles are more often involved in serious accidents. Although motorcycles only make up 3% of the nation’s registered vehicles, motorcyclists suffer 14% of the traffic fatalities in the U.S. The injury rate for motorcyclists is four times the injury rate for vehicle occupants.
What you do after a motorcycle accident can have a significant impact on your injury claim. Making the wrong move or saying the wrong thing could give an insurer an excuse to deny or reduce your insurance payment.
Here are some steps you should take after a motorcycle accident.
What to Do at the Accident Scene
At the accident scene, you have three tasks:
Cooperate with Accident Investigators
Under New York law, you must report all accidents that cause injury or death. The police will investigate your accident and produce an accident report. This report will:
- Identify everyone involved in the accident
- Describe what happened
- Explain any charges or citations issued
- List any accident witnesses
This report can help support your injury case. You should make sure you give your side of the story to the police. This will help them assign fault for the accident.
Request Medical Assistance
If the motorcycle accident injured you, ask for help and call 911, even if you are unsure of the extent of your injuries. “Toughing it out” could worsen your injuries. You can undercut a potential injury claim by implicitly denying you suffered an injury.
Since you may still be in shock from your accident, it is best to obtain transportation to a hospital’s emergency room, preferably by ambulance so that you receive immediate care from EMTs. Alternatively, you should get a ride from a friend or family member.
Document the Accident Scene
If your injuries allow it, document the accident scene. Some helpful information you can collect includes:
- Photos and video of the accident scene, vehicles involved, and your injuries
- Witness names and contact information
- Insurance information for the other drivers
If you cannot document the accident scene, Kohan Law Group might still be able to get photos and video from the police or other witnesses.
What to Do After the Accident
If you sustained an injury in the accident, your actions in the days, weeks, and months after the accident could make or break your injury claim. After the accident, you should:
Seek Medical Attention
Insurers can deny an injury claim by questioning the cause or severity of your injury. Failing to seek medical attention immediately after your accident can imply that you suffered no injuries.
To avoid this problem, you should visit the emergency room immediately from the accident scene. Medical professionals will examine your injuries and look for hidden injuries that you may not immediately see or feel, like a concussion or internal “soft tissue” injuries.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Your doctor may prescribe consistent treatment for your injuries, including:
- Rest or time off from work
- Physical therapy
You should follow your doctor’s instructions.
If you ignore your doctor or inconsistently treat, your injuries could worsen. If your injuries worsen due to your actions, you might share some of the blame for your injuries. This could result in a reduction or denial of your injury claim.
You might have financial concerns about missing work or getting expensive treatment or therapy. You can include these economic losses in your damages. If you settle or win your case, Kohan Law Group will seek to recover out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages.
Keep Good Records
You will need records of your losses to prove your economic losses. You should keep copies of your:
- Medical bills
- Treatment and transportation receipts
- Pay records
Combined with your medical records, these documents will also help you prove your non-economic losses like pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inability to perform your daily activities.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case
Kohan Law Group offers free consultations to prospective personal injury clients, whether in-person, via video conference, over the phone, or even at your home or workplace. We’ll help you explore your legal options and fight to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. We will be there for you throughout the course of your treatment and handle all related legal matters on your behalf to ensure you get the settlement or verdict you deserve. Contact our office today to learn more.