Anyone who owns and rides a motorcycle knows the serious safety risks involved. Motorcyclists face more threats on the road than most drivers, and they are especially vulnerable when faced with drivers who are negligent, unaware, or unwilling to share the road.
Thousands of motorcycle accidents happen in Pennsylvania each year. In 2016 alone, more than 3,300 motorcyclists were injured and another 192 were killed in crashes.
What you do after a motorcycle accident can have a significant impact on your ability to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries. For your best chance at claiming damages and proving your innocence, adhere to the following four guidelines:
1. Check Yourself and Others for Injury
The first and most important thing you should do after a motorcycle accident is check yourself and the others involved for injuries. Immediately call 911 if you, passengers, other drivers, or pedestrians are hurt. You will not be held responsible for the accident simply because you placed the call for help.
2. Collect as Much Information as You Can
If you have technology on hand, such as a cell phone or a camera, take pictures from a variety of angles. Documenting the motorcycle, other involved vehicles, and the surrounding environment may prove useful with insurance or during a court case. Also remember to take photos of your injuries, and to get the names and personal information for all drivers and witnesses.
3. Report the Accident
Call the police and ask that an accident report is completed. Write down what you can remember from the moments leading up to the accident. Make sure you include what the road and/or weather conditions were like at the time of the accident.
You must also report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. However, it's important that you do not admit fault to anyone, including your own insurance company. Admitting fault can be used against you if you later file a legal claim. If your agent asks about your injury or motorcycle damage, insist that you will wait to offer this information until you have visited a doctor and brought your motorcycle to a professional mechanic. Do not give a statement, and do not agree to sign off on any paperwork-you are perfectly within your rights to politely decline.
4. Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
When you've been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, the last things you should have to worry about are insurance policies and legal deadlines. If you have questions about your case, don't say anything and don't sign anything before you have the opportunity to seek the advice of an experienced motorcycle injury attorney.
If you or someone you care about has been injured as the result of a motorcycle accident, the team at Dugan & Associates is here for you, and we're ready to look at your case. Contact us for a consultation.