Emotions run high after any motor vehicle accident, and these emotions are not your friend. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to remain as calm as possible and act logically to call for help, document what happened, and gather information from the other parties involved in the accident. Be sure to stay focused on these tasks and do not make any comments or have conversations that could be interpreted as admissions of fault. Following are five steps to take to assist your personal injury attorney in achieving a successful outcome for your claim of personal injury.
- Check for injuries. It may be apparent that you are injured, or perhaps not, as you may be stunned and overcome with emotion. Carefully check yourself for the type and severity of injuries, and then check to see if others have been injured in the accident.
- Everyone carries a mobile phone these days, and if yours is handy (and you are able), it is a good idea to take photos immediately (before any vehicles are moved). The best car accident lawyers would suggest taking photos of the vehicles involved and the surroundings. Remember that the aftermath of an accident can be dangerous, so do not risk further injury to yourself or to others in an attempt to take the photos.
- Make the scene as safe as you can until help arrives. This would include moving your motorcycle off the road when it is safe for you to do this. Drivers of oncoming vehicles do not know there has been an accident, and having vehicles and debris on the roadway could cause more accidents and injuries. According to the American Bar Association, this could be considered negligence and you could be held responsible.
- Call 911 right away. Making the 911 call is not considered to be an admission of fault or guilt. If you have called 911, a police officer will arrive and collect information for a police report. This is likely to be an important document in your personal injury claim. Speak with the police officer, get his or her name and badge number, and find out where the police report can be obtained. Report the injuries you have observed or that have been reported to you. Also gather information about the other driver(s), passengers and witnesses, ideally including:
- Names, phone numbers and email addresses
- Make and model of involved vehicles, their license plate numbers and vehicle identification (VIN) numbers
- Names and contact information for insurance companies
- Inform your insurance agent. This should happen as soon as possible after the accident. Be prepared to share the documentation and information that you gathered. The best accident attorneys will advise you to avoid describing your injuries or the damages to your motorcycle at this time. Tell the insurance agent you will report your injuries after being examined by a doctor, and damages to your motorcycle after a mechanic has looked at it. The extent of injuries and damages often are not immediately apparent.
What are the reasons you may need an attorney after you have been injured in a motorcycle accident? Maybe your injuries are severe and/or will have long-lasting effects on your health and your ability to work. Perhaps you were not at fault and the other involved parties claim it was your fault. Your insurance company might deny your claim. All of these are reasons to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Perna & Abracht, LLC who will assist you in achieving the best possible outcome.