The Top Six Things You Should Do If You’re in a Motorcycle Accident
Getting into an accident of any kind is frightening. Your mind is very likely racing in the moments and minutes after the collision, and it can be hard to know what to do first. Usually, instinct and adrenaline kick in and allow you to behave appropriately. However, it’s important to have an action plan in mind in case of an accident. This can help you ensure that you maximize safety for everyone involved and hopefully make it out relatively unscathed. This is especially true for motorcyclists. Because motorcycles are not covered as cars are, the damage and injuries to a rider are usually much more severe in an accident. Whether you ride a motorcycle yourself, know someone who does, or simply want to be a safe road ally to motorcyclists, follow these top six steps in case of an accident.
- Remain Where You Are, and Call the Authorities
Even if you feel relatively mobile or unscathed, don’t leave the scene of the accident. This can be considered a hit and run and will get you into a stickier situation down the line. However, if you are in an area with high amounts of traffic or an otherwise dangerous location, move to the side of the road or another nearby safe location while you call the proper authorities. The emergency dispatcher will know what to ask you and will likely need to know your location, if there are injuries, and how many people are involved. Try to remain as calm as possible and give information as clearly as you can. If you cannot call authorities, someone else at the scene or a witness will likely do so for you.
- Collect Statements and Eyewitness Accounts
If you can, collect accounts of the accident from those who are nearby. Be sure to get their names and phone numbers as well, so they can be contacted if any further information is needed. These statements can help you receive the proper insurance payout and ensure that you are not liable for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Be sure to get checked out by a medical professional as part of your statement gathering as well. A doctor will be able to see if there are any undetected injuries that should be covered by insurance. If you wait to collect a statement from a doctor, it’s likely the insurance company will try to claim that your injuries were obtained sometime after the accident.
- Keep Quiet
Do not admit any fault or guilt for the collision, even if it was likely your fault. Your attorney may be able to fight your case if you don’t admit fault right off the bat. Refrain from apologizing as well, as this can be seen as an admission by the authorities.
- Take Pictures
Take photos of the damage to your motorcycle, the other car, debris on the road, and any minor scrapes, bruises, or cuts that have appeared on your body. These can act as evidence for any insurance claims or arguments over guilt. Many superficial injuries, such as scratches or scrapes, will heal pretty quickly and may not be officially assessed before they heal. The photos will help show what happened to you and what you have suffered from the accident.
- Call Your Insurance Company
As soon as you can after the accident, contact your insurance company. The sooner you begin your claim, the faster you will be able to receive proper compensation for your medical bills and injuries. If the accident was the other driver’s fault, your insurance company could begin the process of contacting the other driver’s insurance company and battling over who will pay. It’s wise to start this process as soon as you can. Contacting them quickly also allows you to give an accurate statement and get any outstanding evidence that they may ask for. If you wait, your memory may not be as clear, or evidence may have cleared or been washed away.
- Call Susan Handel
Trying to go through the aftermath of a motorcycle accident without an experienced attorney only leads to frustration, stress, and lost money. Insurance companies are cunning, and they will likely do all that they can do to avoid paying. This is especially true when the other person refuses to admit fault. Their insurance company will probably refrain from paying your medical bills if their client insists that they weren’t at fault. In these situations, you may be forced to fight a legal battle or pay thousands of dollars of medical bills on your own. To avoid having to represent yourself, call Susan Handel as soon as you can.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
While it’s certainly possible to navigate a motorcycle accident process alone, it’s not advisable. The process after motorcycle accidents can be complicated, and insurance companies often take advantage of people in vulnerable post-collision places. When victims go through the process alone, they often pay more than they have to toward their medical bills and receive less of a settlement than they deserve. Having an experienced attorney on your side ensures that you are not being taken advantage of and that you will fight for your rights to the fullest extent of the law.
What If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet When I Had the Accident?
In some states, helmets are required when riding a motorcycle. In others, it’s simply advised. No matter what the situation, you can still receive compensation for medical bills if you were in a motorcycle accident and you weren’t wearing a helmet, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. If you are unsure whether your situation is eligible for compensation, it’s helpful to talk to your lawyer and explain what happened. Many insurance companies will use the lack of protective gear as an excuse to not pay as many of the medical bills. They will often argue that damage would not have been as extensive if the rider had worn a helmet. While this may be true, motorcycle accident injuries are serious and deserve to be taken care of by those at fault, no matter what kind of protective gear the rider was wearing.
Why Susan Handel?
Motorcycle accidents exist in a niche area of law, and not all lawyers have the experience or the background to properly fight in these cases. Insurance companies are all too quick to take advantage of victims of motorcycle accidents, and many lawyers don’t have the understanding to push back. Susan Handel is not one such lawyer. Susan has extensive experience fighting for motorcycle accident victims and knows what it takes to get proper compensation for her clients. She approaches these cases with empathy and understanding while being tough on insurance companies that seek to exploit victims of crashes. With over two decades of experience in law, Susan Handel brings expertise and strategy to every case. In fact, 95 percent of her cases are settled outside of court, which is an impressive rate for personal injury law.
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, it’s time to get representation from San Diego’s best motorcycle accident attorneys. Contact us today to get started.