- An estimated 4,990 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017.
- A motorcyclist has 28x more chance of being killed than a person in a vehicle.
- Motorcyclists constituted 14% of all road fatalities in 2017.
Being involved in a motorcycle accident is frightening, to say the least. If you are lucky enough to walk away without injury, the experience will haunt your memory for the rest of your life. It’s nothing compared to the life-altering consequences of suffering serious injury.
As San Luis Obispo motorcycle accident attorneys, we know that traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and broken bones are common results of such a powerful collision.
Because the injuries and necessary medical care following this type of crash can be so severe, you may discover that filing a lawsuit to recover damages is your only option. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes following a motorcycle accident that negatively impact their chance at a successful judgment. If you are involved in a wreck, the steps you take immediately after are more important that you may think.
We have put together a list of ten steps, based on our experience representing accident victims, that you should take if you are injured in a motorcycle accident.
1. Stay at the Scene
Do not leave the scene of the accident even if it was a hit-and-run or you collided with a fixed object. Leaving scene constitutes a crime and means that you can be cited, even if you were injured.
Always stay put and wait for law enforcement and other personnel to arrive and provide assistance and instruction.
2. Visit a Medical Professional
Your health and safety is a priority. Your first concern should be ensuring that you and your passenger receive any medical attention you may need. It’s important to seek the advice of a doctor even if you don’t think you were injured.
Motorcycle accident are severe and you may be in shock. Let a doctor be the one to decide you are okay.
3. Always File a Report
It is important that you report each accident, no matter how minor. In some cases, when people strike a stationary object, they get back on their bike, drive a way and go about their lives.
Every accident needs to be reported to the local authorities.
4. Gather Information at the Scene
Collect the information of anyone else involved in the accident. At a minimum, you need their insurance and contact information. You will also want to gather information from any witnesses that chose to stick around.
These people may be able to help you should you decide to file a civil lawsuit.
5. Stay Level-Headed
Keep your cool. Emotions run high after any type of accident, but you may be furious if you believe that someone else was responsible for your wreck.
Resist the strong urge you have to lash out. Chances are high that you will only make things worse.
6. Collect Photos of the Area
Take pictures of the scene. Your should document the area of the accident, the current weather conditions, and the road conditions.
Trust us when we say that you cannot take too many pictures. At the worst, you’ll end up deleting some. At best, they can help prove your case.
7. Collect Photos of Your Vehicle
Take pictures of damage. Take pictures of your motorcycle from every possible angle.
Don’t forget to take photos of any other vehicles involved in the collision, especially any damage to those vehicles.
10 Actions to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
Don’t utter anything that can be construed as taking blame for any or all of the accident. Keep in mind that what you can say can be used against you in a court of law, even if you are the one initiating the case.
The same is true in civil court.
9. Be Wary of Your Insurance Offer
Don’t accept the first settlement offer you receive. Your insurance agent or the at-fault party’s insurance agent, depending on the circumstances of the accident, may offer you a settlement. Once you accept the offer, your case is over.
Most attorneys work on a contingency basis and offer a free case evaluation. It won’t hurt to take a moment to speak with a legal representative about the settlement you’ve been offered.
10. Hire an Experienced Lawyer
Call an attorney. Even if you haven’t been offered a settlement by an insurance agent, speaking to a motorcycle accident attorney can be beneficial. An experienced advocate can review the details of your collision and help you determine if you have the necessary elements for a personal injury case.
In some instances, an insurance settlement is your best option. In other cases, you will recover far more through a lawsuit.
No one expects a motorcycle ride to turn into a devastating accident, but it happens on a daily basis. People start off on a relaxing ride that ends in catastrophic injury. When you are involved in a motorcycle wreck, the steps you take following the incident could make or break your ability to retrieve adequate and fair compensation. By following the tips above, you may be protecting your legal rights.
Our San Luis Obispo Motorcycle Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you are involved in a motorcycle collision, you need one of our San Luis Obispo motorcycle accident attorneys fighting by your side. We will dedicate ourselves to your case and use our experience on your behalf.
No victim deserves to be placed in financial distress due to circumstances beyond their control. Trust our expert legal team to advocate for your rights in court. Call our office today to schedule your free case evaluation and discover how we can help you.