These tips apply whether you were riding your motorcycle or operating the other vehicle involved in the crash. Follow these recommendations even if you are uninjured or suffered only minor, incidental injuries that may not require medical attention.
1. Ensure you are safe
Ensure you are safe after performing a self-check for injuries, however minor. Your safety is the top priority. Check yourself out for any areas of pain first.
2. Remain calm
Remain calm by suppressing your emotions and adrenaline pumping through your veins. Emotions run high after an accident.
Stay calm and try to stay relaxed. The chemical, adrenaline, automatically pumps to keep you alert and functioning at high levels. It’s difficult to remain calm in the face of all that’s happening, but you must do it. Resist any yelling at the involved motorist or causing a major “scene” at the site of the crash can only result in negative items later.
3. Check for injuries
Check the motor vehicle driver and any pedestrians for injuries. Check the other participant and pedestrians to learn if they’re injured. Confirm the apparent condition, whether they are injured or not.
4. Call emergency medical responders
Call emergency medical responders if needed, or the appropriate authorities, typically local police
If you or others are injured, dial 9-1-1 to get first responder help. If all are uninjured, contact the local police to advise them of the accident.
5. Talk with bystanders to learn what they saw
Bystanders, if any, qualify as witnesses. Talk to them to learn what they did or did not see. Do not exert any “pressure” on them to state things that mirror your preferences. Be sure to record their responses on your smartphone or on paper.
6. Exchange pertinent information with the other participant
Pertinent information includes the following, at a minimum:* Name* Address (including city and state, if the other driver was from out-of-state).
- Phone number
- Insurance company name and policy number
- License plate number
7. Capture photos of the accident scene
Capture photos of the accident scene with your smartphone or camera—or make copious notes.
Do not depend on your memory to remember all the details of the accident. Photos of the accident scene or your detailed notes of what happened are much more valuable to maximizing your claim settlement award. Photos of the results of the crash will carry more weight with your insurance company or a jury than your notes, but either option has validity.
8. File a health insurance claim if you’re injured
If you are injured, contact your health insurance company and file a claim. If you can, try to find out exactly what your coverage is before you get into an accident.
Being on the record by filing a claim the same day should protect you for subsequent medical expenses resulting from the accident. If you have high deductible health care coverage, file the claim anyway since you probably have little idea what future medical treatment may cost.
9. Contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accident cases
Taking on a mega insurance company lawyer by yourself could prove costly to you.
You are smarter retaining an attorney that has an outstanding “track record” in receiving maximum settlements or favorable jury decisions in motorcycle accident cases. This step is very important, since if you’re injured the medical bills could keep pouring in long after the accident date.
10. Ask your attorney if you should file a personal injury lawsuit
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will advise you if it’s wise to file a personal injury lawsuit or concentrate on achieving a maximum settlement on your insurance claim.
Sometimes either option is viable, but your legal expert will know which is your best option depending on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries.
Now You’re Prepared, Stay Safe!
These tips apply to any motor vehicle or motorcycle accident, whether or not injuries are involved. Following these steps will better ensure a successful settlement from your insurance company. Of course, this is all dependent on retaining the best legal expert you can find.
Choosing the right lawyer to represent your interests is a must after you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. The right legal counsel makes all the difference in just getting your medical bills paid and receiving a monetary award for your medical fees and your “pain and suffering.”
In most cases, having a “battle-tested” legal veteran will make a significant difference it what the insurance company is hoping to pay—and what they actually pay.
Featured photo credit: shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com