Never Do These Things If You’re in a Motorcycle Accident
Getting into a motorcycle accident is a jarring experience. Though all riders hope that it never happens to them or their loved ones, the unfortunate reality is that motorcycle accidents happen all the time. As with any collision, the health and safety of all involved are likely at the forefront of your mind. As the dust begins to settle and you take a toll of physical harm, it’s normal for your mind to start racing as you think about the damage to your bike, the damage to the car, the insurance claims process, and the involvement of law enforcement. In times of stress, it’s natural to panic and make mistakes that can cost you later. However, if you are prepared, you may avoid simple errors and ensure that you receive the medical coverage and insurance money that you need to rebuild your life after an accident. In the event of a motorcycle collision, these are some tips for how to act and behavior to avoid.
It might be easier said than done, but try to remain calm. The process will go much more quickly if you can keep your wits about you and not panic. This is also good for any damage done to your body. Stress and panic can exacerbate injuries and make them worse. Try to remain calm and call the authorities.
You may feel frightened and want to ride home and hide. While this is a normal instinct, you must stay at the collision scene until authorities arrive and you are cleared to go. The police will need your complete account of what happened, and you may need to be examined by a medical professional if you have injuries. Any information taken by authorities may be beneficial to you when dealing with insurance, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. No matter the situation, definitely don’t leave until you are told that it is acceptable to do so.
Don’t Speak to the Other Driver
You may have to exchange names and insurance information with the other driver, but try to say as little as possible in your interaction with them. Instead, take pictures of their insurance card and driver’s license and then wait quietly for the police to arrive. They may try to twist anything you say into an admission of guilt, which could cost you the case. Instead, speak only with the police about your account of what happened. The police will compile an idea of what happened that can then be used in your favor by your attorney.
Don’t Ignore Witnesses
Witnesses to the event are a great asset to collision cases. Though you may feel embarrassed or dislike being the center of attention, don’t shy away from talking to those who saw what happened. Take down their names, phone numbers, and accounts of the crash. This information can be used in your favor later on when insurance companies are battling over who should pay.
Don’t Admit Guilt
It’s natural to want to apologize when you’ve done something wrong. However, this is not the right thing to do in the case of an accident, especially if it is your fault. Admission of guilt means that you are waiving a significant amount of your rights, especially when it comes to insurance companies and payouts. Whatever you do, don’t say that the collision was your fault or that you are sorry. Say as little as possible until you contact your lawyer.
Don’t Forget Your Phone
Your phone may be one of your most significant assets in the event of a motorcycle crash. Be sure to take pictures and video of the scene of the crash, and any damage to your bike, injuries, and the other person’s vehicle. Take as many photos as possible, and try not to leave anything out. The more proof you have, the more airtight your case will be.
Don’t Wait to Get Examined
Try to have a physical examination done by a medical professional as soon as you can after your accident, especially if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms. Insurance companies often try to claim that injuries you have are the result of something else and were not caused by the accident. To combat this argument, it’s best to be seen right away. A doctor can document any new injuries, and it will be harder for insurance companies to avoid paying. This also ensures that any damage done to your body is identified and cared for as soon as possible. You have less of a chance of suffering significant injuries if they are treated right away.
Don’t Speak to the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Alone
When the other person is at fault for the accident, the insurance company will do everything it can to avoid paying for the damage done to you and your motorcycle. Companies often have people start calling you immediately, harassing you for statements and asking intrusive questions. Don’t field these calls without your attorney present. The insurance company is likely trying to entrap you in a lie or get you to waive your rights, and your attorney can make sure that the tactic fails.
Don’t Settle Without Your Attorney
As we’ve mentioned, insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying for medical bills. In some cases, this means they will get victims to sign settlements or agreements that may seem adequate, but in reality, are extremely watered-down versions of what you deserve. It may seem simpler to sign a settlement and get the process over with, but by doing so, you are cheating yourself out of the money you deserve. Never sign anything or settle a case without your attorney present.
It can be tempting to procrastinate about starting the insurance claims process because the system can seem complicated and intimidating. However, it’s not advisable to wait to begin the process. The longer you wait, the more opportunities the insurance companies have to discredit your account or your experience.
Don’t Forgo Legal Representation
Many people think that they can and should go through the motorcycle collision process by themselves, but it isn’t a good idea. Those who approach the process without a licensed attorney often get smaller settlements and are cheated out of what they deserve by insurance companies looking to save money. Attorneys are a great resource to have on your side during the motorcycle accident process. They can help you maximize your payout and ensure that you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Don’t Call Anyone Except Susan Handel
Not all lawyers are created equal. Though personal injury lawyers often have extensive experience in auto accidents, few understand the intricacies of motorcycle accident law like Susan Handel. With over 20 years of experience in the San Diego area, Susan Handel approaches your motorcycle collision case with the knowledge, specificity, and care it deserves. She understands the passion that many people have for riding motorcycles and is here to preserve your ability to continue to do that in the future. If you or a loved one have been in an auto accident, don’t wait. Contact the law offices of Susan Handel today.