What to do After a Serious Motorcycle Accident
The immediate actions of those involved in a serious motorcycle accident can have a substantial impact on one’s ability to maximize the injury compensation the can be received.
The Boston motorcycle accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman understand how these actions may serve to help or hinder your odds of success with an insurance claim settlement, judge ruling or jury verdict.
There are a number of considerations to be made, but if you glean nothing else from this article, here are the three most important things to remember following a motorcycle accident:
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Do not give a statement to any insurance company representative.
- Contact an attorney with experience in handling motorcycle accident injuries and wrongful death.
Remembering these steps will improve your chances of damage recovery. To learn more about measures you can take to maximize your future claim, read on.If You are Alert and Able After a Motorcycle Crash
In many cases, motorcycle accidents result in injuries that can result in at least temporary loss of consciousness or physical ability. If you find yourself alert and able at a crash scene, it’s important to take the following measures to protect your safety and the future of your claim:
- Relocate all persons to a safe place to prevent further accidents and injury.
- Call 911 and wait for instruction and assistance from emergency responders.
- Do not refuse medical attention.
- Gather the personal information of all involved.
- Identify any potential witnesses.
- Take notes and photos of the accident scene. Even if the event seems vivid in your mind, your memory will fade.
- Notify your insurance company.
- Contact an experienced injury attorney.
At no point should you offer an apology to anyone. Although it can seem like the natural and polite thing to do – especially when someone else might be hurt – this could later be construed as an admission of fault for the crash. That is the last thing you want.Why is Medical Attention so Important?
Obviously, there are cases in which a motorcyclist will be transported to the hospital after a crash with no real input, due to the severity of his or her injuries.
However, even in cases when you may feel “alright” or the injuries just don’t seem “that bad,” understand firstly that to some degree, you may be in a state of shock. That means you aren’t in the best position to judge the severity of your injuries right away. It’s best to seek medical attention immediately because otherwise, if you wait until later, you risk the possibility that the at-fault party will argue something else caused your injury between the time of the accident and the time you sought medical attention. By seeing a doctor right away, you eliminate that argument.
Beyond that, your health is the most important thing to protect after a motorcycle accident. Again, you may not recognize right away the damage that has been done. This is particularly true of:
By seeking prompt, efficient medical attention, you may be able to reduce the long-term effect of some of these injuries.Statements Made to Police, Insurers
There are differing thoughts in the legal community when it comes to statements made to police and insurers. Some say provide as much detail as possible, while others say don’t talk to either at all.
Here’s what you definitely don’t want to do: Lie or exaggerate your injuries or involvement. This will result in a later attack on your credibility that could negatively affect your chances for maximum recovery.
The problem with offering an immediate, in-depth statement to police and insurance adjusters is that you may be flustered, dazed or confused. You’re in pain. Your adrenaline may still be pumping. If you’ve suffered a head injury, you might not be totally thinking clearly. And yet, whatever you say in that moment could potentially come back to haunt you in court. Declining to give an immediate statement is not being uncooperative. It’s being smart.
As far as the police are concerned, you can provide your identifying information and basic information about the crash. But beyond that, it may be best to reiterate the need to focus on getting medical attention before giving a full statement.
With insurance adjusters, you have to be especially careful. Recognize that insurance companies are not on your side. Adjusters are tasked with digging up any information they can that will minimize your recovery during settlement negotiations or trial. You may want to inform them that a crash has occurred, but decline to give any further statement until you’ve had a chance to talk with your injury lawyer.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation.