What to Do If You've Been Injured
While a general personal injury attorney may have some knowledge and experience handling various types of injury cases, including motorcycle accidents, it is generally advisable to seek out an attorney who specifically specializes in motorcycle accidents or has significant experience with similar cases. Here's why:
- First, call 911.
- Make sure the police are called and that they take a detailed report.
- This isn’t the time to be tough: Even if you think you’re not seriously hurt, don’t refuse medical aid. You could be in shock or your injuries may not be apparent yet.
Take the Ambulance
At the Scene
- Don’t discuss fault with the driver.
- Be sure that the driver has provided his or her driver’s license, insurance information and license plate number to authorities.
- Pull the padding from the interior of the helmet and check for cracks on the interior foam.
- Understand that the police officers on the scene might automatically assume you caused the crash because you’re on a motorcycle, bicycle or on foot and might put you on the defensive. They could miss things and fail to get key facts like contact information for witnesses.
Turn on Your Cellphone and Let It Run
Get Witness Information If You Can
If you remember only one thing to do after an accident, make it this: Grab your phone and record as much information as you can. Take photos or video. Record yourself talking. Write notes. What you’re able to note, film or photograph depends on how hurt or shaken up you are, but any information like this can help your case later.
- Images or descriptions of the driver, the vehicle and damage to the vehicle.
- Images or descriptions of your injuries, blood on the street, etc.
- Images or descriptions of witnesses – even if it’s just someone who drives by and asks if you’re OK.
- Images or a diagram of the street and where your accident occurred and the where the vehicles are in relation to each other.
- The locations of any cameras that might have captured the crash.
- Anything you remember from just before and just after the crash. Shady stuff: Does the driver or vehicle smell like alcohol? Are people moving their vehicles, trying to change position in the vehicle (to make it look like another person was driving) or doing anything else to hide something or cause confusion?
When You Get Home
DO NOT throw away any clothing, even if it is badly soiled.
Note and take photos of your injuries and damage to your motorcycle or bicycle, equipment and clothing.
Note anything else you remember from before or after the crash. Every detail is important.
Remember that insurance companies will not tell you what you need to know but they will ask you questions that will help them reduce your payment. Never discuss fault with insurance representatives.
Don’t beat yourself up about anything you did or didn’t do at the scene. You did your best in a really intense situation.