Motorcycle Accident Attorney: What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

motorcycle accident attorney

Although motorcycles made up roughly 3% of registered vehicles in the US, motorcycle accidents account for 14% of road fatalities.

Motorcycle accident injuries also tend to be severe, as riders are more exposed than car drivers. Thanks to this, it can be tougher for motorcyclists to lodge a successful claim and gain just compensation after an accident. 

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, what you do immediately after the crash can have a big impact on your insurance claim. For instance, if you speak to your insurance company before getting advice from a motorcycle accident attorney, they might twist your statement into an admission of fault. 

Avoid these pitfalls and keep reading to find out what steps to take after a motorcycle accident. 

Move off the Road

If you’ve been in a motorcycle collision, the very first thing to do is get off the road to a place of safety. 

If you are entirely uninjured, you may also want to move your motorcycle out of the flow of traffic, or set up reflective triangles to warn drivers of the obstacle. 

But, keep in mind that as soon as you move things from the site of the crash, this will make it harder for the police to establish the details of events. 

The best course of action to take will depend on the situation. If your bike is presenting a major hazard to traffic, moving it might be a wiser choice, but only if you’re not injured or have assistance. 

On the other hand, if traffic can flow around the crash area, or is moving slowly, leaving everything as is will make things easier for the police. 

Get Medical Attention Right Away

Once you’ve gotten off the road to a place of safety, the next thing to do is call for medical attention, even if you don’t have any apparent injuries. 

Why? Because shock and adrenaline can mask pain signals. Also, some motorcycle accident injuries might not be apparent for a few hours, until the next day, or until the following weeks. 

For instance, concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and internal injuries aren’t always immediately apparent. According to the CDC, some concussion and TBI symptoms only appear days afterward. 

Getting medical assistance right away isn’t just important for any injuries, it’s also important for your case. Immediate medical attention can help link the accident to your injuries and establish liability. 

The longer you wait to see a doctor, the harder it will be to prove without a doubt that the injuries were from the accident.

Call the Police

Besides calling for medical help, you should also notify the police of the accident as soon as possible. If anyone has been seriously injured or died, or there has been extensive damage, you are bound by law to summon the police. 

Once they arrive on the scene they will file an official police report of the accident.

If the damage is very minor, and no one got hurt, you can also file a police report at the station. This isn’t legally required in most states, but it is important if you want to lodge an insurance claim. 

Take Photos of Everything

If injuries aren’t preventing you from moving around, you should also try to take as many photos of the accident scene as possible. If you are planning to move your motorcycle off the road before the police arrive on the scene, make sure you photograph the placement of everything first. 

You should also take photos of any debris or skid marks on the ground that might be evidence for your case. If you have been injured, take photos of your injuries as soon as you can. 

Gather Evidence and Get Witnesses’ Contact Information

Providing you aren’t severely hurt, we’d also recommend that you gather as much other evidence as you can. Speak to any eyewitnesses and ask them for their contact information in case you need them to testify to what they witnessed. 

You should take notes of all details of the situation, such as the time, the weather, etc. 

Exchange Details With the Other Party

Besides getting any witness contact info, you should also exchange details with the other driver or rider, including:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Insurance information
  • Vehicle information
  • License plate numbers

If the other driver is being difficult and won’t supply you with their details, make sure to at least get their license plate number. 

Do Not Admit Guilt or Apologize

While you’re interacting with the other party in the accident, ensure that you don’t make an inadvertent admission of guilt.

For instance, don’t say something like “I am sorry, I think I took that corner too fast.”

If you’re a naturally empathetic person, it can be almost automatic to apologize for your part in an accident. If you’re concerned about the other people involved, it might be natural to apologize for the incident, even if you’re not at fault in any way. 

Saying “I’m sorry for what’s happened” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re assuming the guilt. But, an apology like this can easily be used against you and framed as an admission of guilt. 

Hire an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Once you’ve dealt with the scene of the accident and received medical attention, the next step you should take is hiring a good motorcycle accident attorney. 

If the motorcycle accident was very minor, you might not need legal help. However, having a lawyer is always beneficial, even for minor accidents. If you sustained any injuries or costly damage to your motorcycle, getting legal assistance is critical.

Why You Might Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Why do you need a motorcycle accident attorney? Because insurance companies are adept at lowball tactics. It’s in their interest to pay out the lowest settlement amounts possible. 

If you take on an insurance company with a large claim on your own, you’ll be at an inherent disadvantage. Insurance carriers have entire legal teams at their disposal. The less scrupulous ones also know every trick in the book when it comes to manipulating claimants. 

If you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, you’ll level the playing field. Motorcycle accident attorneys know how to deal with insurance carriers. What’s more, as soon as the insurance company knows you’ve hired a good motorcycle accident lawyer, they’ll already take you more seriously. 

Not only will they know you mean business, but they’ll also realize that blatant lowball tactics won’t work. 

If you hire a Phoenix accident attorney, they will coach you on what information to withhold or provide during your initial communications with the insurance company. They can also comb through your policy to evaluate exactly which coverage and benefits you’re entitled to. 

In most cases, you will need to lodge the insurance claim personally. But once that’s done, you can hand over further dealings with the insurance company to your motorcycle accident attorney. 

They can handle the negotiation process, and even fight your case in court if it comes to that. 

Finally, accident attorneys also remove a lot of the stress and legwork. If you’ve been in an accident, the last thing you need to do is spend your energy filling out paperwork, negotiating back and forth with insurers, and navigating the personal injury claims process. 

Tips for Hiring Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

An experienced, capable motorcycle accident attorney can eradicate stress and ensure you get the best settlement possible. On the other hand, an inexperienced attorney who doesn’t understand the finer points of motorcycle accidents could jeopardize your case. 

Here are a few tips that will help you find the best Phoenix accident attorney. 

Firstly, look for an attorney who specializes in motorcycle accidents specifically. The more experience they have with motorcycle accident cases, the better. 

Also, look for an accident attorney with a strong track record of success, good reviews and testimonials, and a personality you get along with.

Finally, opt for a highly responsive law firm, that offers good overall client service, and employs a team of lawyers. If your attorney should fall ill or become incapacitated in any way, you want to know that your case won’t be put on hold. 

File an Insurance Claim

Once you’ve found a seasoned Phoenix accident attorney, it’s time to file your insurance claim. Your motorcycle accident attorney will probably brief you on what to say and what to withhold. 

Here are a few examples of the things you should avoid when speaking to the insurance carrier:

  • Providing a recorded statement
  • Saying you weren’t injured in the accident
  • Accepting a settlement before consulting your lawyer

If an insurer offers you a settlement right off the bat for a serious accident, this is usually a warning flag. They may be offering a swift settlement in the hopes that you’ll jump at it, even though you’re entitled to far more. 

Providing a recorded statement is a recipe for disaster because insurers can use this as incriminating evidence against you in court. 

Finally, saying that you weren’t injured can also adversely affect your claim. You might realize after that fact that you are suffering from PTSD or a spinal injury with delayed symptoms. Research shows that 39.2% of accident survivors suffer from PTSD, but the symptoms don’t always manifest right after the trauma. 

In this case, you should receive compensation for these injuries and any effect they might have on your livelihood in the future. 

However, if you initially tell the insurance company that you are uninjured, they might take this statement and use it to try to disprove the validity of your injuries.

You should also keep an eagle eye out for leading questions. For instance, an adjuster might:

  • Cast you as the at-fault driver by getting you to accent to certain details
  • Ask questions related to your injuries that imply they aren’t severe
  • Ask you to confirm pre-existing injuries that you didn’t have
  • Ask questions that suggest you are unreliable or dishonest

These types of questions typically come up in recorded statements. 

Let Your Motorcycle Accident Attorney Deal With the Insurance Carrier

Once you have lodged your claim, you can let your motorcycle accident attorney handle the bulk of any further communications with the insurance carrier. 

This will show the insurance company that you mean business, and it will also protect you from any potential manipulation. 

Survey results show that only 11% of people have strong trust in insurance brokers and agents, and only 27% of people trust insurance companies. 

However, even if you don’t inherently trust the insurance company to deal with your claim fairly, it’s still easy to fall prey to underhanded negotiation tactics. A good motorcycle accident attorney will know exactly how to handle the negotiations. They’ll represent your interests every step of the way, and make sure that you get the settlement you’re entitled to. 

Allowing your motorcycle accident attorney to deal with the insurance company’s legal team will also alleviate stress and save you time. 

Dive Through Your Medical Records

Finally, we’d also advise that you go through your previous medical records and have them ready to supply to your motorcycle accident attorney. 

One way that insurers might try to invalidate your claim is by insinuating that some of the effects of your injuries are from pre-existing conditions. For instance, if you suffered a spinal injury, you need to be able to prove that the injury was caused by the accident, and not something prior. 

Are You Looking for a Team of Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Phoenix?

If you’ve been in an accident, your first priority should be to seek medical help. Depending on your condition, you should also alert the authorities, exchange details with the other driver, take photos, and get the contact information of any bystanders. 

After this, the next crucial step is to hire a good motorcycle accident attorney to represent you. 

Are you in need of a Phoenix accident attorney you can trust? 

If yes, you’ve come to the right place. At Sweet Lawyers, we specialize in personal injury and motorcycle accident claims. 

We are available around the clock and operate on a contingency fee structure. In other words, you won’t have to pay a penny unless we win your case. 

Contact us today for a 100% free case evaluation. 

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