It is common for motorcycle riders to be scared, overwhelmed, and confused in the moments after a crash. As a result, many victims are not thinking clearly at the scene or in the days following the accident, causing them to make unfortunate errors that can affect the outcome of their claims. Our attorneys want to address some of the biggest mistakes motorcycle riders make so that victims can increase their chances of making a full and fair recovery.
Simple Errors Motorcycle Riders Often Make After Accidents
The first mistake bikers may make is to leave the scene of an accident without calling the police. Leaving the scene not only makes motorists seem irresponsible, it also deprives them of the ability to use a police report as evidence in their claims. Even if you think the accident is minor, it is vital to have officers on the scene to investigate and document whether the driver was breaking any traffic laws or was otherwise negligent.
Other common mistakes bikers make include:
- Not getting emergency medical care. Motorcycle accident victims may be eager to go home, dismissing the severity of their injuries. Unfortunately, the shock of an accident can cause a person’s body to suppress pain, causing the full effects of the accident to appear hours or even days later. If a motorcyclist does not seek immediate medical attention, he or she could be risking traumatic brain injury, permanent disability, or even death. In addition, seeing a doctor immediately creates a record of your injuries and condition right after the crash, making it easier to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Saying too much at the scene. Adrenaline rushes into a victim’s body after a crash, and can cause him or her to say or do things that can have a negative impact on the accident case. It is best not to talk to the other driver at all, as many victims will apologize as a way to smooth things over—even if they are not at fault. Try to remain calm, and say as little as possible after the event. Use the moments before police arrive to take pictures of the scene and record any important details, such as the names and contact numbers of witnesses.
- Admitting fault to insurers. When you speak to insurers and police about the accident, you should give only the information that is necessary to make a claim. Anything you say can be used as evidence in settlement negotiations or at trial. If the adjuster asks a misleading question, dwells on irrelevant details, or wants you to speculate on the cause of the accident, contact your attorney.
- Not following a doctor’s advice or going to follow-up visits. Diligently following your doctor’s orders will protect your physical recovery, but also your financial recovery. By attending all of your follow-up visits, you are showing the insurer that you are doing everything you can to minimize further injury. If you go back to work or attempt to ride your bike again before you have medical clearance, the insurer may see your injuries as less serious than you claim.
- Posting on social media. It may seem easier to tell all of your friends how you are feeling after an accident all at once by posting on your Twitter or Facebook page. However, sharing these details to a large group of people on social media can be highly detrimental to your case. Insurers and defense attorneys can comb through your social media accounts, looking for any disparaging information. Even something as small as smiling in a photo or claiming to “feel fine” can be used as evidence that you are not severely injured.
- Repairing your bike. Bikers are often eager to repair their bikes and replace their helmets as quickly as possible in order to get back on the road, but repairing the bike means destroying important evidence. It is best to keep damaged bikes, helmets, and riding gear in their post-accident condition until they have been properly inspected and documented by your attorney.
If you made a mistake at the scene of a motorcycle accident, it may still be possible to protect your right to recovery. Our experienced bike accident lawyers will fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve after a crash, and we do not collect anything from you until after your case is won. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or request a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.