It’s very common to be shocked and confused after a motorcycle crash. This is why it is so important for all motorcyclists to know what to do and what not to do after the worst has happened. What you do right after and the days following the accident will either help or hurt your case.
Seven Things You Should Avoid Doing After a Motorcycle Crash
By avoiding the mistakes below you will increase your chances of a better settlement in recovering the compensation you deserve.
1) Leaving the Accident Scene
You should never leave the scene of any accident you are involved in. It’s against the law. It’s important to stay at the scene to gather evidence.
2) Not Calling the Police
Always call 911 after a motorcycle accident. Even if your injuries don't appear severe you should report the crash to the police. Many drivers will promise to pay for damage to your bike in order to convince you not to call the police. This is a big mistake. Drivers frequently will later deny they were involved in a crash or deny it was them at all. Even when they admit fault at the scene, they may later deny it to their insurance company and create headaches for you and your lawyer. Have the police prepare their report confirming who was involved and who was at fault.
3) Admitting Fault at the Scene
Most people are not thinking clearly after an accident because they are shocked and confused. After such a traumatic event, you might not be able to recall every detail until hours or even days later. Making statements accepting fault on you will likely come back to haunt you later. Even when you feel you had some responsibility for what happened or feel badly for the other party, don't discuss it with them. Just be polite, hold your feelings and talk about it later with your lawyer. Determining who has legal responsibility for causing a crash is best left for your lawyer, even the police frequently get it wrong.
4) Not Seeking Medical Treatment
It is generally best to get checked out medically even when your injuries do not seem severe. It is common to have seemingly minor issues prove to be much more serious over the following days or weeks.
5) Missing Medical Appointments
Be sure to go to all of your medical appointments with all of your doctors. One of the worst things you can have on your medical records is “failed to show.” Missing appointments can indicate that you aren’t having as much pain as you originally indicated and this can definitely hurt your claim.
6) Giving a Recorded Statement
Beware of the claims adjuster. They are not your friend. It is in your best interest to contact an attorney before providing a statement, because the insurance adjuster will try to obtain information that will allow them to deny your claim.
7) Handling Your Own Motorcycle Accident Claim
I'll be honest with you, in most situations the worst mistake someone can make after a serious motorcycle crash is to attempt to represent themselves. An insurance adjuster knows they will have you at a real disadvantage since you have no idea how claims are evaluated by insurance companies and by juries and you have nothing to objectively know the settlement range your case should fall within. Make sure you even the playing field by consulting an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer before making a decision to handle it on your own.
If You Have Any Questions, We are Here to Help
If you or a loved one was injured in a Florida motorcycle crash, we can help answer any questions or concerns you might have. To find out how to protect your rights and get the recovery you deserve, fill out the form on this page or call our office at 727-446-0840 to talk to an experienced motorcycle crash attorney. There is never a charge to discuss your case.