It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran motorcyclist or a first-time rider, no amount of experience can prepare you for the aftermath of an accident. Fear, anxiety, pain, and adrenaline can all singlehandedly alter your focus, but when combined, they can make the most levelheaded rider second guess reality. This inevitable confusion is why it’s essential to not only know what to do following an accident but also to have it written down so you don’t jeopardize your chance to pursue an injury claim.
Dos and Don’ts Following a Motorcycle Accident
Immediately after suffering a motorcycle accident, there are several actions that you must take to preserve your rights and your ability to pursue a successful compensation claim. These actions are as follows:
- Seek medical attention. No matter how minor you think your injuries may be, make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible. Once you’re cleared by emergency personnel, you should proceed with securing the following evidence and information. However, always remember that your health comes before anything else.
- Record contact information. If you’re able to communicate, write down contact information for everyone involved in the accident, including bystanders. You never know if or when you’ll need a statement for your case. Information should include names, phone numbers, addresses, and where they can be reached. License plate numbers and vehicle identification numbers for those involved in the accident are also important to record for later use.
- Call the police. No matter how minor the accident, you need to call the police to get a record of the incident. Although the police report may not be allowed in court, your attorney can use the information to illustrate the accident clearly to a jury. Once the officer arrives, make sure he writes down your version of events for the record.
- Take notes. As soon as you regain focus, write down everything you can remember about the accident. The sooner, the better, as you may begin to forget details the longer you wait. Some details to think about include what happened, the time, the weather, any warning signs, and memories of how your injuries occurred.
- Document injuries. The best way to document your injuries is through your physician. His medical reports can be used as evidence of the severity of your wounds as well as when they occurred and speculation on how they occurred. It's also important to keep a journal of your injury recovery, including pain levels, treatments, loss of sleep, and any other problems caused by the accident.
- Preserve physical evidence. When you’re able, take photographs of all physical damage that resulted from the accident—both personal injuries and property damage should be documented. You should also leave all damaged property alone until you speak with an attorney. Don’t attempt to fix your motorcycle, wash blood stains out of clothing, or replace any broken equipment or gear. Your lawyer needs to see the extent of the damage.
All of these actions can make the difference between building a strong case and having nothing to prove your claim. Therefore, you need to take these actions seriously. If you’re physically unable to perform these tasks, contact a friend or family member to help. An experienced attorney can also help procure essential pieces of evidence such as video camera footage, medical reports, and police records.
For more information on how to secure a strong motorcycle accident injury claim, contact our office directly. We have several options that you can use to get in contact with us.
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