As experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, we have seen far too many diligent and cautious motorcycle riders end up with serious injuries due to the negligence of others on the road. We have also seen numerous understandable, but unfortunate, mistakes made after an accident has occurred. In today’s post, we will discuss five common mistakes you should avoid if you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident and explain what you should do instead.
At Metier Law Firm, we have provided injured motorcycle riders with competent and aggressive legal representation for more than 30 years. As avid motorcycle riders ourselves, we have a unique insight into the needs of motorcycle riders and understand the complexities and nuances of motorcycle accidents.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Wyoming, you can trust Metier Law Firm to fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve. We work with clients in Gillette, Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie, and the surrounding areas. Contact one of our offices today for a free, no-risk consultation to discuss your case, and continue reading below to learn about a few mistakes you can avoid if you’re involved in a crash.
Not Filing an Accident Report
First and foremost, always contact the police to file a report if you are able. The fact that a crash occurred needs to be legally documented before you do anything else.
If any witnesses saw the accident, be sure to get their information. They may be able to corroborate your story as you pursue your claim. As we’ll explain in more detail below, you should keep your exchanges with the other driver to a minimum and provide them with only your contact information. Assuming responsibility or apologizing could ultimately hurt your case.
Whether or not there were witnesses, you should use your phone to take photos of the scene. Document any injuries you sustained, damage to your motorcycle, damage to the other vehicle, road conditions, weather conditions, street sign visibility, and anything else that could have played a role in the accident. If your phone does not have a camera or was damaged in the accident, ask the police or a witness for a camera.
If you are unable to go through these recommended steps yourself due to the severity of the accident, remember that a police report will provide you with key evidence after the fact.
Assuming You Aren’t Hurt
After an accident, your body will be coursing with adrenaline and you may not feel injured at all. You might even feel fine even once the adrenaline has worn off. Regardless of how you feel, you should not assume that you were not injured in the accident. Instead, you should take yourself to the hospital immediately for an evaluation. Just as it is important to have the police document the accident, it is important to create a medical record as soon as possible. Your doctor may discover injuries that you are not aware of, such as a concussion or internal bleeding. Moreover, any time gaps between the accident and evaluation give the insurance company room to deny that your injuries resulted from the crash, especially if you have symptoms that occur days or weeks after the incident — commonly called Delayed Symptoms.
If you are concerned about the cost of medical care, remember that you can pursue reimbursement for your medical expenses when you file a claim with your insurance company or pursue a lawsuit with a motorcycle accident attorney. Always put your health and safety first.
Assuming You Understand Why the Crash Occurred
As motorcycle riders, we pay close attention to the road and our surroundings. We like to think that we are aware of everything around us, but motorcycle accidents happen so quickly that you may never see it happen or see what caused it. You do not have immediate access to information about what the driver was doing at the time of the accident, the state of their vehicle, or anything else from their perspective.
Don’t apologize. Even if you believe that you played a role in the crash, you should not assume that this makes you responsible for the accident. Wait until your case has been fully investigated before making any attributions of responsibility.
Giving a Statement to the Insurance Company
While you should notify your insurance company that you were involved in a crash so that you can begin the claims process, you do not need to give them a recorded statement at that time. Your insurance company may not have your best interests in mind and will use anything you say to justify a lower payout. They may frame it as simply telling your side of the story, but you should always speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney before you give a recorded statement.
Handling Everything Yourself
You have enough on your plate in the days and weeks following a motorcycle accident. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney to help you through the entire process.
At Metier Law Firm, our experienced motorcycle injury attorneys offer free, no-risk consultations so that you can explore all of your options before making a decision. We put your interests first and work on a contingent-fee basis, which means that we focus on winning your case before any payment is collected. We have helped clients across the United States recover hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts and will work tirelessly to help you, too.
We know that a motorcycle accident is the last thing you and your family want to deal with. Let our experienced team provide you with comfort, safety, and strength as we pursue justice and maximum compensation on your behalf.