What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
There are many steps you should take after a motorcycle accident to protect your rights down the line. These steps include:
- Seek medical attention: Your health should be your first priority. Additionally, getting medical help right away can begin the documentation process for your injuries.
- Report the crash: If there are injuries or property damage, it’s important to call 911 or the local police station so law enforcement can come out to the scene.
- Exchange information: Exchange information with the other driver, including contact information, names, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers.
- Say very little: You may have to exchange information with the other driver, but don’t talk about the crash. When police arrive, say as little as possible and don’t talk to any insurance adjuster who contacts you before speaking to an attorney.
- Gather evidence: Take photos at the crash scene, and get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
- Call an attorney: The best way to protect your rights after an accident is to speak to a motorcycle wreck attorney. A lawyer will deal with the at-fault party and the insurance company to ensure your rights are protected.
After a motorcycle accident, the insurance company of the at-fault party will likely contact you right away. At times, they even visit accident victims while they are still in the hospital. It’s important to remember that these insurance adjusters are not on your side, so you must be armed with some tips when dealing with them.
The insurance adjuster will likely ask you to provide a recorded statement. You should never comply with this request. In fact, you should say as little as possible to the adjuster until you’ve had a chance to speak with your attorney.
Also, don’t sign a medical release. This gives the insurance company access to your medical records, which they will comb through hoping to find a pre-existing condition that can serve as grounds to deny your claim.
It’s also important to never admit fault for the accident. Even saying that you’re sorry the accident happened at all may be seen as an admission of guilt. If you are found at fault for a crash, the insurance company will use this to deny your claim. Never apologize or say you were in any way even partly at fault for the accident.
You must always be honest with the insurance adjuster. If the insurance company finds out you weren’t truthful, it will also use this to deny your claim. If you are asked something and you are unsure of the answer, simply state that you don’t know. Never guess at what happened.
If you are ever uncomfortable speaking with the adjuster, tell them so and end the conversation. Insurance companies often use bullying tactics to make accident victims uncomfortable. When that happens, individuals may say or do something that can hurt their claim. It’s best to just say you don’t feel comfortable talking.
Lastly, do not accept any settlement offer. Immediately following an accident, an insurance adjuster may offer you a settlement. This is likely going to be a low-ball offer that won’t be enough to fully cover the cost of your expenses. If you accept it, you are barred from receiving any compensation in the future, even if your medical expenses and other costs are more than you originally thought. Before signing anything, speak to an attorney.