Knowing what you should do at the scene of a motorcycle accident can be crucial for protecting your legal rights. Even though you may be in shock or possibly injured, taking a few important steps—if you are able to—can be helpful, especially if you need or want legal recourse in the future.
First, never drive away from an accident and always remain at the scene until law enforcement has arrived. Even in a minor accident, you will want to protect yourself. In many cases, leaving the scene of an accident can be a criminal offense. There are other pivotal first steps you should take after a motorcycle accident as well.
Call for Medical Help and Law Enforcement
Calling for medical help is an important step that can help you or anyone else who may have suffered injuries in the motorcycle accident. Even if you only have minor injuries, it is still a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. The Mayo Clinic confirms that some injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can take days or weeks to appear. If you decide to pursue legal action against a negligent driver, having medical records that prove your injuries will be crucial.
If you dial 9-1-1 for medical help, police will also likely be alerted and dispatched to the scene of the motorcycle accident. Having police come to the scene and draft a police report is another important step. Take your time to explain all the details of the accident calmly and truthfully to the officer, and make sure that your statement is accurately recorded. The police report can serve as excellent evidence if you choose to file a claim for damages.
Take Pictures of the Scene
If you are able to do so without putting yourself in danger, try to take pictures and/or videos of the accident scene from several different positions. Make sure that you document the damage to your motorcycle from all angles as well. If you can, take pictures of the other vehicles involved and any visible damage. All this evidence can help you piece the accident together to determine who is at fault.
Gather Contact Information
Try to get contact information for everyone involved in the motorcycle accident, especially the at-fault driver (or drivers). You should also ask the at-fault driver for their insurance details. If there are any eyewitnesses, you will want to move quickly to get their contact information as well. Eyewitness accounts can serve as crucial information if you decide to sue the at-fault party.
Consult a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
It is never too early to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer after an accident. In fact, this can be one of the most important things you do at the scene of a motorcycle accident or shortly after. A motorcycle accident lawyer can advise you on exactly what to do—and what not to do—to protect yourself. A motorcycle accident lawyer can also discuss your legal options, gather evidence, and help calculate your damages. If a negligent party caused the accident and your injuries, your lawyer can work to build a case against them and attempt to recover compensation on your behalf.
Meet All Deadlines
If you can successfully prove that another driver’s negligence is responsible for the accident, you may be able to recover compensation such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. However, you will need to act in a timely manner as most states have deadlines for filing personal injury claims (also known as the statute of limitations). These deadlines can be as short as one year or as long as four years, depending on your state. You should speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to ensure your case is filed in time.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Help
Almost 5,000 motorcyclists died on U.S. roads in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Undoubtedly, thousands of other motorcyclists suffer life-changing injuries each year as well. Motorcyclists have many disadvantages on the road, including less visibility. They are also relatively unprotected in accidents, unlike those in enclosed vehicles.
If someone else is to blame for your accident and injuries, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you get the justice you deserve. Call our team today at (800) 223-5115 for a free case evaluation.