The actions you take immediately following a motorcycle accident can greatly affect your physical and emotional recovery, as well as your chances for financial recovery. The very first thing you should do after a motorcycle accident is get medical attention.
The shock of being in an accident can give you a rush of adrenaline and mask any pain you may have from injuries you suffered as a result. It could take hours or even days before you realize you are hurt and even more time to receive a diagnosis from a healthcare provider.
Also, the longer you wait to seek medical treatment, an insurance adjuster can argue you were obviously not that injured following your accident, especially if you are seeking compensation for your injuries and losses down the road.
Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident
The injuries you suffer in a motorcycle accident can range from mild to severe in nature, and some may not present themselves for days or weeks after the crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 80% of these accidents resulted in injuries and deaths.
These injuries may include but are not limited to:
- Head injuries or TBI (Traumatic brain injuries)
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis)
- Neck and back injuries or sprains
- Broken bones and fractures
- Road rash
- Soft tissue injuries (whiplash)
Unlike the other injuries mentioned, soft tissue injuries may not present with symptoms immediately after the accident. Soft tissue injuries can cause damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments, according to Medline Plus.
They may result in pain, swelling, and stiffness days or weeks following your accident. This is why getting proper medical treatment as soon as you can is critical for your health and potential injury claim.
It is also important to keep all of your medical records following the motorcycle crash in a safe place. If you choose to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you in your case, he or she will need access to all of your medical documents to calculate your damages.
Another vital step to take after a motorcycle accident is to gather as much evidence as possible from the crash scene. You or someone at the scene may have taken pictures and video of the aftermath, including the injuries and property damage that may have ensued.
There may even be surveillance video that exists of the accident scene from a traffic camera at an intersection or nearby building. This type of visual evidence can help your attorney build a case for compensation against the insurance company or at trial if necessary.
If you can get the names and contact information from people who witnessed the accident or aftermath that will also be helpful if you are seeking legal recourse with the help of a motorcycle accident attorney. In addition, you will want to notify law enforcement so a police report will be available, which your lawyer will use later when building your case.
Notifying the Insurance Companies
You will also want to notify your insurance company about the crash. But it is critically important you do not discuss the accident with the other driver or their insurance carrier. What you say can be used against you if you decide to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. You have the right to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer before you speak to the insurance company.
What an Attorney Can Do for You
We cannot underestimate the physical, emotional, and financial pain you or your loved one is suffering following a motorcycle accident. While it seems like the weight of the world is upon your shoulders, dealing with the insurance adjuster as well as making sure to file all of the proper documents in time, can be too much for any accident victim.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can alleviate that stress while you focus on healing and your family’s recovery. Your attorney can handle all aspects of your case, including:
- Gather evidence (police reports, photographs and video of the accident scene, eyewitness testimony, your medical records)
- File all documents in a timely manner before the statute of limitations runs out
- Negotiate with the insurance companies
- Keep you updated on your case
- Be prepared to take your case to trial, if necessary
Keep in mind, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you after the accident and offer you a quick settlement. If you accept the offer or sign a release, you will waive your right to pursue compensation if your injuries worsen in the future. Consider working with an attorney before you sign anything from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident that was the other driver’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for damages.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-959-1444 for a free case evaluation. We do not shy away from difficult cases, and our team will fight to protect the rights of motorcycle accident victims.