What Should I Do at the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident?

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What Should I Do at the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident

Knowing what steps to take immediately after a motorcycle accident is crucial to your future health and well-being. At the same time, taking the right steps protects your legal rights and ensures you have the strongest case possible when it is time to file your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver who caused your crash.

Your physical health must be your focus at the crash scene and until your injuries are stable. After that, you should consider how working with a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer will help you seek and secure the money you need to pay for your care, lost income, and other damages.

What Should I Do Immediately After Being Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident?

Knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident prevents you from suffering additional injuries and helps you get the medical attention and assessment you need as soon as possible. If you’re reading this before a collision, try to keep these initial actions in mind in case you ever need them.

If you were already hurt and are considering your next steps, do not second-guess yourself. You did the best you could and should keep reading to learn what to do next.

Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you should:

Prevent Further Injuries

If possible, move to a safe location away from traffic. This could include behind a guardrail or as far off the roadway as possible. It is important, however, to only move if you are sure you do not have spinal cord injuries and can do so without further injury.

Once you are safely away from traffic, assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. Motorcyclists rarely have contact with another vehicle without some type of injury. The severity can vary widely.

Report the Accident

If you have your phone and can make the call, dial 911. Report the accident and request they send an ambulance. This is important so they can assess your condition and determine if you need emergency medical care or can see your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic later.

Once they arrive, you should cooperate with the authorities. They will likely ask you many questions, and you should always answer them honestly. However, do not accept blame for the accident or otherwise admit fault.

Cooperate with other first responders, too. The EMTs will likely need you to answer questions to help them understand your overall health, any obvious injuries, and any symptoms.

Document the Scene

If possible, you should document the scene after your accident. This includes taking photos and videos of vehicle positions, damage to each of them, skid marks, and your visible injuries.

You should also record key information if your injuries allow. This includes name, contact, and insurance information of all motorists involved. Also note the make, model, and license plate numbers of each vehicle. Save this as a written note, email to yourself, or a voice memo on your phone. If there are other witnesses around, get their name and contact information, too.

Often, motorcycle accident victims suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. It might be impossible or painful for you to take these steps. If so, that’s OK. Hopefully, this information will be included in the police accident report.

Seek Medical Attention

If the EMTs do not believe you need emergency transportation to the nearest trauma center, it is still vital to see a doctor for an assessment, diagnosis, and treatment as soon as possible.

If they do recommend a trip to the local hospital, they might take you to the nearest facility to stabilize you or treat minor or moderate injuries. Some motorcycle accident victims in Michigan require additional care, such as that provided by one of the state’s Level I trauma centers:

  • Trinity Health Ann Arbor Hospital
  • University of Michigan Hospital
  • Detroit Receiving Hospital
  • Henry Ford Hospital
  • Ascension St. John Hospital
  • Hurley Medical Center in Flint
  • Corewell Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids
  • Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo
  • University of Michigan Health – Sparrow Lansing
  • Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital in Royal Oak

What Should I Do After Suffering Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident?

Even more important than what you do at a crash scene is the steps you take after you leave. You need to carefully work to protect your right to a fair claim and financial recovery while also focusing on your treatment and healing. The important factors during this time include:

Continue Your Treatment Plan

Continuing with your treatment and fighting to make the fullest recovery possible based on your injuries is crucial for several reasons. This includes:

  • Your future abilities and quality of life
  • To reduce the risk of ongoing pain and suffering
  • Your legal case to recover compensation

You should always try to keep all appointments and work with your healthcare providers to get better. Continue your follow-up until/unless the doctor releases you. Save all your medical records, bills, and other paperwork about your treatment and care.

Your need for emergency medical care, getting treatment quickly, and following through with your care and rehabilitation are all important to winning the compensation you need to pay for your treatment and other expenses and losses. If you wait to see a doctor or quit going before they release you, the insurance company will use this to deny your claim or reduce the money you can recover.

Preserve Evidence

You can take steps to begin developing your legal case during this time. Keep all receipts, bills, repair estimates, and any written correspondence with the insurance companies or liable parties. Also, make note of time missed at work and activities you could not participate in. This could play a role in helping to document your loss of quality of life when negotiating for a non-economic settlement.

Notify Your Insurance Company

You must report your accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. This is generally required as a part of your policy. You will need to provide them with the necessary details but should not agree to a recorded statement. Do not admit that you might have caused or played a role in the crash.

If an at-fault driver’s auto insurance company calls, be polite but do not offer them any information. Tell them they can talk to your attorney instead. Let your lawyer manage these communications.

It is also important not to begin repairs on your motorcycle too quickly. You will want to ensure the damage is documented, and your insurance company has assessed it before you get started.

Contact an Attorney About Your Motorcycle Accident as Soon as Possible

While each case is different, and there is no way to calculate an average payout in a motorcycle accident, many victims find that it is easier, less stressful, and more effective to work with an attorney to navigate their insurance claims after a crash. This is especially helpful for those with serious injuries who continue to undergo treatment and rehabilitation during the time when the law firm would be building a compelling case for compensation.

Contact an attorney who is well-versed in Michigan motorcycle accidents as soon as your injuries allow. The law firm should be used to meeting with clients in hospitals, rehab facilities, or who are homebound because of their injuries. You want to talk to a lawyer quickly to ensure timely handling of your case.

The lawyer will likely provide a free consultation. You will share details about your accident, and they will explain your rights and options. If you agree to hire them, they will begin protecting your rights and managing your case right away.

Why You Should Contact an Attorney

Some people believe they can wait until their injuries heal and then manage their claims on their own. While there are no rules against this, and some motorcycle accident victims recover compensation in this way, it is very difficult for an injured individual without legal knowledge and experience to successfully build a case for several reasons:

  • Difficulty Navigating the Process: When you have injuries, getting treatment and going to therapies becomes a full-time job. Most victims are not able to dedicate the time and energy to their legal case while also healing.
  • Fewer Resources: Law firms handle cases every day. They have time and money to conduct thorough investigations. They also have networks of experts they will call on to help. Victims typically lack these resources.
  • Lack of Legal Knowledge: Navigating the claims process to recover compensation requires knowledge of the necessary steps and how to manage each of them. This is unlikely without experience in the legal realm.
  • Insurance Company Tactics: Individuals are rarely aware of the tactics insurance adjusters use to reduce the value of their claim or support a denial. Understanding and avoiding these pitfalls is crucial for recovering fair compensation.

Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer brings numerous benefits for motorcycle crash victims, including:

  • Guidance and Know-How: Your attorney will know how Michigan’s No-Fault insurance laws affect your case, navigate the claims process, and handle all communication with insurance companies.
  • Maximize Compensation: Working with a lawyer increases your chances of receiving fair compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Your lawyer will know how to identify and document your expenses and losses accurately.
  • Peace of Mind: While your attorney manages your legal case, this allows you to focus on recovery.

When Should You Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

In general, Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5805 gives most injured parties up to three years to begin a lawsuit. However, you may have significantly less time under certain circumstances. For this reason and several others, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your motorcycle accident.

Your lawyer will begin handling your case as soon as you hire them. Not only will they ensure you meet all necessary deadlines, but they will protect your rights and manage all communication about the case. This ensures you can worry about your physical recovery and nothing else.

Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident with Our Michigan Team for Free Today

Knowing what to do and taking the right steps after a motorcycle accident is essential to your physical health and recovery. It is also crucial for your legal case and financial recovery. If you ride, save and share this information to ensure those you care about are prepared after an accident.

If you were already in a crash and want to know how a Michigan personal injury lawyer will handle your case, contact Christensen Law now for a complimentary case consultation. Discuss your case with our team to learn how our experience will become your advantage. Use our online contact form or dial our number to reach our team now.