If you’re a motorcyclist injured in an accident caused by the driver of a passenger vehicle or truck, you’re entitled to file a claim against that driver’s insurance company for your damages, including property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Because there is likely to be significant property damage and your injuries may be very serious, you’re apt to have an expensive claim with high medical bills, need extended time off work, and be in extreme pain.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company, which is a for-profit business, doesn’t want to pay expensive damage claims. The insurer’s adjusters and attorneys are experienced experts who will look for any way possible to deny your claim or offer you a quick, lowball settlement that might not cover all your hospital bills. To protect your claim and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for damages, you should take certain steps immediately after your accident if you are physically able to do so.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Wreck
Taking the following steps after your bike crash will help to strengthen your claim for damages:
- Move to safety. If you’re able to move, you should immediately get to an area where you’re safe from further injury. If you cannot move, you should try to call 911, or ask someone else to call for help.
- Stay at the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident where people are injured or property is damaged is a crime. Call 911, and wait for law enforcement to arrive.
- Take photos. While waiting for police or EMTs, take photos of all vehicles involved in the accident, showing their license plates, damage, and respective positions. Get shots of the scene itself, as well as other evidence like skid marks and damaged guardrails, trees, or telephone poles. Note the position of any nearby security cameras that might have footage of your accident. Your attorney will know how to obtain this footage.
- Exchange information. Get insurance and contact information from the other driver, but do not discuss the accident or argue. Try to remain calm. If there are any witnesses to the crash, try to get their contact information as well. Their statements or testimony could be helpful to your claim.
- Report the accident. When the police arrive, report your accident by giving them the basic information they need. Do not elaborate or volunteer anything else. Sign only the documents they require. The official police report proves that your accident happened and provides vital evidence that may show the liability of the at-fault driver.
- Seek medical attention immediately. If you are not transported to the hospital by law enforcement or EMTs, seek medical treatment from your doctor or at an emergency room as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel you’re seriously hurt, you could have injuries with symptoms that won’t surface for a few days or more. A physician’s examination and diagnostic tests right after your wreck can reveal hidden injuries that are asymptomatic. Early diagnosis and immediate treatment lead to a faster recovery, and a physician’s documentation provides evidence of your injuries, proving that you sustained them in the accident, not elsewhere.
- Notify your insurance company. If the at-fault driver turns out to be uninsured or underinsured, you might have to file a claim with your own insurer to get compensation for your damages, so your company should be informed of the wreck as soon as possible.
- Contact a motorcycle accident attorney. Most lawyers will give you a free initial consultation to evaluate your case, so you have nothing to lose and much to gain by getting some legal advice as you move forward with your claim.
You should not post anything about the crash on social media, get your bike repaired right away, speak to the at-fault driver’s insurance company before consulting a lawyer, or make any kind of cash deal with the other driver in return for not reporting the accident. Do not apologize or admit any fault for the accident or to anyone. Maryland’s contributory negligence standard can bar you from any recovery if you are found partially at fault for your crash.
Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Consulting an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is your first step toward justice and fair compensation for your damages. Contact us online, start a chat, or call us at 301-790-3600 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.