Motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic, causing serious injuries or even death. We know legalities are the last thing on your mind after a stressful motorcycle accident—but the truth is, what you do afterward can impact your financial recovery. That’s why it’s so beneficial to get advice from a motorcycle accident lawyer after your collision.
But if you’re ready for the information right away, here are the top eight things an attorney would recommend doing in the moments and days after a motorcycle accident.
1. Check Everyone for Injuries
The well-being of those in the accident takes precedence over anything else. As soon as the collision happens, check your injuries. If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 right away. The same goes for anyone else who needs medical assistance. Injuries can worsen quickly with time, so make sure anyone who requires help right away gets it.
Calling for help does not place any blame on you or make you responsible for the accident.
2. Move Away from Additional Hazards
If you can, move your bike off the road if it’s in the line of oncoming traffic. The last thing you want is another collision or getting hit by a car as you try to handle the aftermath of the initial accident.
Approaching drivers will already not know an accident has happened, and crashed motorcycles are harder to see than cars. Plus, the accident may cause debris that can lead to additional injuries or accidents.
Bottom line: Make sure you are well enough and in a safe location before handling any other details of the accident.
3. Report the Accident
If you didn’t have to call for emergency medical assistance, call the local police department to report the accident. In the State of Georgia, you must report an accident if there are injuries or deaths and/or at least $500 in property damage.
Plus, when you report your motorcycle accident to the police, an officer will respond to the scene and create a police report of the accident. This is an official document that you’ll need if you file a personal injury claim for your costs. It helps prove the accident and other details of your case happened.
When the officer arrives, be sure to tell them what you remember happening before, during, and after the accident. But never admit blame or fault in the accident. And be sure to mention your injuries and any damage to your bike.
4. Take Pictures
As long as you can stay safe doing so, use your phone to take pictures of:
- The entire accident scene and surroundings
- Damage to your bike
- Your injuries (and injuries your passenger, if you had one)
- Any other details you think could be relevant to your case
If the other driver is acting suspiciously or even aggressive or drunk, you might try getting a video as evidence of their behavior. But make sure you are safe when doing so.
5. Gather Information from Others at the Scene
Numbers three and four above are important for gathering proof of your accident. This matters because if you were not at fault for the collision, you are legally entitled to seek financial compensation for your damages. Damages include costs like medical bills, repairs or replacement of your motorcycle, lost wages from time taken off work, and more.
To get a fair settlement for your motorcycle accident claim, you’ll need to provide proof of the accident, the other driver’s negligence in the accident, your damages, and that your damages were caused by the accident because of their negligence. Gathering information helps you do this.
Other ways to compile information after the accident include:
- Getting the names, contact information, insurance information, and vehicle information of everyone involved
- Talking to witnesses and getting their names and phone numbers or email addresses
- Asking for the police report number
- Getting the name and badge number of the responding officer(s)
If you work with a motorcycle accident attorney on your case, they’ll be able to use these details later to strengthen your claim.
6. Never Admit Fault
Most people are used to apologizing out of politeness, but you should refrain from this during a motorcycle accident. Be courteous when talking to other drivers involved, but never admit blame or fault.
The exact cause of an accident is not usually clear right after. Even if you feel like you caused the accident, there might be more to the story. Plus, some drivers still, unfortunately, hold unfair biases against bikers and may make it seem like a situation was your fault—when it wasn’t. You don’t want to accept any fault that isn’t yours because it can be detrimental to your insurance claim.
To protect yourself, be careful about what you say to anyone until you’ve spoken to a legal professional. This includes the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, it’s best to avoid talking to them at all until you’ve consulted with an attorney.
7. Report the Accident to Your Insurance (But Be Cautious)
You’ll need to call your insurance agent after the accident happens. Provide them with all pertinent information about the accident, but wait to discuss any fault, injuries, or other damages. Tell them you’ll wait to provide these details until you’ve seen a doctor, taken your car to a mechanic, and spoken to your attorney.
Contacting your auto insurer helps create more documentation of the accident.
8. Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Most motorcycle accident victims choose to work with an attorney experienced in these types of cases. That’s because insurance claims can be complicated and frustrating.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that will look for ways to reduce what they pay you for your damages. They could deny your claim, try to say you are partially at fault, or offer you a dollar amount way below what will actually cover your costs. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate this process and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Get a Free Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The above steps will help protect your legal rights after a motorcycle accident. But, you might need additional assistance if you want to pursue full compensation. At John Foy & Associates, we always offer a FREE consultation so you can meet us without worrying about costs. Plus, working with us is risk-free because we don’t get paid unless we win you money.
For a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form on this page today.