Although motorcycle riders are often portrayed as reckless, most motorcyclists are careful and responsible drivers. Even so, motorcycle accidents can happen when other drivers on the road are not prudent enough. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, there are certain actions you can take right at the scene of the accident to protect your rights and help you begin building a legal case.
If you were not at fault for your motorcycle accident, you should not have to pay for any medical bills, lost wages, or other damages that you face as a result. As a motorcycle accident victim, the burden is on you to file a claim proving negligence and demonstrating your damages.
Here are the important things you’ll want to do at the scene to help your case.
Stay Calm and Move to a Safe Location
It’s completely natural to feel panicked or emotional after a motorcycle accident. As best as you can, try to remain calm and make sure you’re in a safe location away from moving traffic. Take some deep breaths and assess the situation.
If you’re well enough to do so, getting certain information at the scene can help your case and make sure the situation is handled responsibly.
Get Any Necessary Emergency Medical Attention
Motorcycle accidents can be very serious, even deadly. If you or someone else at the scene is badly hurt, don’t delay calling for emergency medical attention. If you’re helping someone else who was injured, try to keep them still, calm, and as comfortable as possible while you wait for paramedics to arrive.
If you are the one who needs emergency treatment, tell those treating you that you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, and be honest about everything you’re feeling. Even if you don’t feel a lot of pain at the scene or don’t think your injuries are that bad, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.
When your body is in a traumatic experience like a motorcycle accident, adrenaline and other hormones can temporarily suppress pain. You might not notice the full extent of your injuries until hours or days later. To make sure you are treated for any worsening injuries, get checked out by a doctor no matter what.
Gather Information from the Scene
If you are able to stay at the scene and don’t need to have an ambulance called for yourself, take time to gather information.
Get the following information from everyone involved in the accident:
- Full names
- Contact information
- Driver’s license numbers
- Make and model of all vehicles
- Insurance policy information
- License plate numbers
Also, take measures to ensure the safety of everything at the scene. Make sure everyone is out of the way of oncoming traffic and safe from any potential hazards, such as gasoline leaks or vehicles that have caught fire.
Take Pictures and Make Notes
Picture evidence can be really helpful in a motorcycle accident case. Use your phone camera to take pictures of your injuries, vehicle damage, and anything that shows the entire accident scene.
Snap close-up shots of the scene, zoomed out shots, and pictures of street signs, the location of the vehicles, skid marks, and anything else that helps show what happened and where. You might also make quick notes on details about the accident scene, such as how road conditions looked, what the weather was like, the time of day, and any odd behavior from the at-fault driver.
Report the Motorcycle Accident to the Police
Always call the police to report the accident. Responding officers will create a police report with details about what happened. This is vital for your case, as it creates the first official record of the accident.
Get the name and badge number of the officer that comes to the scene. Also, ask for an accident report number and how you can access a copy of the report. In Georgia, you can typically request a crash report online.
Talk to Any Witnesses
There are often other people who witness a motorcycle accident, especially if it happens on a busy street or highway. Talk to anyone who might have seen your accident happened. Ask for their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Witness statements can be very helpful in a motorcycle accident case. Your lawyer will want to reach out to these people to get their accounts of what happened.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After you have gathered information, reported the accident, and left the scene, don’t forget to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can. It’s best to reach out within 48 hours of the accident while things are still fresh. If you are badly hurt from your accident and focused on treatment, ask a loved one to make the call for you.
Having an experienced lawyer to help with your case is invaluable—and the sooner, the better. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means you only pay them if they win you money. That means there is no upfront cost and no risk in contacting them early.
Don’t Wait to Take Action
By calling a lawyer early on in the process, you can get legal help and advice right away without worrying about the cost. After a motorcycle accident in Georgia, you only have two years to file a claim (Georgia Code § 9-3-33), so it’s best to get started as soon as possible.
Just be sure to work with a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accident claims and has vast experience winning these types of cases. Even if you’re not sure about hiring a lawyer just yet, you can schedule a free consultation to ask questions and get a sense of the process.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, our lawyers have been working on motorcycle accident cases for more than 20 years. We know what it takes to build a strong personal injury claim and win the recovery you need and deserve. We do not charge a fee unless we win you money, and the consultation is always FREE.
Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to schedule your FREE consultation today. We’ll discuss the details of your accident and how we can help your case—risk-free. Call (404) 400-4000 or reach out online to get started today.