What Not To Do After A Motorcycle Accident
The aftermath of motorcycle accidents can be devastating as it may involve serious injuries and financial hardships. Immediately following the accident, it’s crucial to act responsibly and avoid common mistakes that could jeopardize both your health and your legal rights.
Unsure of what to do next after a motorcycle accident?
If you’re a motorcyclist involved in an accident in California, understanding what not to do after a motorcycle accident is vital to safeguard your well-being and ensure a strong legal case if needed.
Don’t Leave the Accident Scene
The first and most important rule after a motorcycle crash is to stay at the scene. Leaving the scene can lead to criminal charges, especially if there are injuries or property damage involved.
Instead, prioritize your safety and that of others by moving your bike to a safe location if possible and turning on hazard lights. Check on other parties involved in the accident and call emergency services immediately if there are injuries.
Don’t Delay Seeking Medical Attention
Seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think you have severe injuries. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but can worsen over time if left untreated. Additionally, seeking prompt medical care creates a clear link between the accident and your injuries, strengthening your personal injury claim. Common injuries related to motorcycle accidents are:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Internal injuries, including bleeding and punctured abdomen
Don’t Neglect Gathering Evidence
Gathering and preserving evidence is crucial to building a strong case after a motorcycle accident. Here is a list of essential evidence you should collect while waiting for the authorities to arrive:
- Photographs: Take clear and detailed photos of the accident scene from different angles. Capture any skid marks, road conditions, traffic signs, and signals. Photograph the damage to your motorcycle and any other vehicles involved, including license plates. Additionally, take pictures of any visible injuries you or your passengers may have sustained.
- Witness Information: Obtain contact information from all witnesses present at the scene. Their testimonies can play a significant role in determining fault and liability in the accident.
- Police Report: When the authorities arrive, ensure they file a comprehensive police report. This report will include details about the accident, statements from involved parties and witnesses, and the officer’s assessment of the scene. Request a copy of the report from the police department for your records.
- Medical Records: Keep all medical records and bills related to your injuries. These documents will demonstrate the extent of your injuries and the medical treatment you have received.
- Helmet and Protective Gear: Preserve any gear, such as your helmet and protective clothing, that may have been damaged during the accident. These items can provide evidence of the severity of the impact.
- Traffic Citations or Violations: If the other party received a traffic citation or was found to be in violation of any traffic laws at the scene, make a note of this information as it can support your claim of their negligence.
- Surveillance/ CCTV Footage: If there are any nearby surveillance cameras, businesses, or traffic cameras that may have captured the accident, note their locations. Such footage can be valuable evidence in determining fault.
Avoid Admitting Fault or Making Statements
Emotions can run high after an accident, and you may be tempted to apologize or admit fault, even if you aren’t sure who is to blame. However, avoid making any statements that could be construed as accepting responsibility. In California, the state’s comparative negligence laws may reduce your compensation if you’re found partially at fault for the accident.
Don’t Forget to File a Police Report
Even if the accident seems minor, securing a police report is a must. This report will document important details of the accident, and it can be a crucial piece of evidence when dealing with insurance companies or pursuing legal action.
Don’t Not Accept a Settlement Too Quickly
After a motorcycle accident, insurance adjusters may contact you to settle the case quickly. Avoid accepting any settlement offers without consulting first with a motorcycle accident attorney. Insurance providers may try to settle for a lower amount than you deserve, and you may not be aware of the full extent of your injuries and damages immediately after the accident.
Don’t Post About the Accident on Social Media
In today’s digital age, it’s tempting to share every aspect of our lives on social media. However, after a motorcycle accident, it’s best to avoid posting any details or pictures related to the incident.
Insurance companies and opposing lawyers may monitor your social media accounts to find information they can use against you. Innocent posts could be misconstrued and used to undermine your claim. It’s safest to refrain from discussing the accident on social media until your case is resolved.
Do Not Ignore the Statute of Limitations
In California, there is a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. Typically, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Waiting too long can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within the required timeframe.
Do Not Overlook Seeking Legal Representation
Navigating the legal complexities of a motorcycle accident case can be overwhelming, especially when you’re recovering from injuries. Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is necessary. They understand California’s specific laws and regulations related to motorcycle accidents and can guide you through the entire legal process.
An attorney will handle filing insurance claims and negotiations with insurance companies, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case on your behalf, giving you the best chance of receiving fair compensation.
Consult with A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today!
A motorcycle accident can be a life-altering event, and avoiding common mistakes and knowing what to expect after a motorcycle accident can help protect your health and legal rights.
Remember not to leave the scene, seek medical attention promptly, avoid admitting fault, and gather evidence. Filing a police report, seeking professional guidance, and being cautious with insurance settlements are also essential steps.
By following these best practices and understanding California’s specific laws, you can ensure a smoother recovery process and better prospects for a successful personal injury claim if necessary.
At Motorcyclist Attorney, our award-winning motorcycle accident lawyers are dedicated to helping motorcycle accident victims get the medical care and compensation they need and deserve.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t need to pay us a single cent unless we win!
Contact us at (844) 284-9437 for a free case consultation. We are available 24/7!