While riding a motorcycle can be fun and exciting, each year thousands of motorcyclists are killed in motorcycle accidents and tens of thousands more are injured. In many cases, the injuries are severe and require a lifetime of medical care and rehabilitation.
While you can never predict when or where a motorcycle accident will take place, you should make sure that you know what to do in the event that you are involved in a motorcycle crash. Being prepared for the worst can go a long way in helping you take the appropriate steps to protect your rights in the aftermath of an accident.
The legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers has helped thousands of accident victims. We understand how devastating a motorcycle accident can be and you can count on our motorcycle accident attorney to help you every step of the way. Below are nine steps to take after a motorcycle accident to maximize your chance of obtaining fair and full compensation for your losses:
- Remain at the Scene of the Accident. When you are involved in a motorcycle accident you should always stay at the scene of the accident. Even if the accident appears to be minor, California law requires you to stop, remain at the accident scene, and exchange insurance and contact information.
- Check on all Parties. Before you worry about potential damages and exchanging driver and passenger information, you need to make certain everyone involved in the accident is okay. If anyone appears to be injured, call 911 immediately.
- Contact the Police. When a motorcycle accident occurs, you should call the police and ask them to make a report of the accident. Some law enforcement agencies will not take a report if no one is injured, so communicate any injuries to the officers at the scene. Before the officers leave, make sure you get the traffic accident information card with the report number, which will allow us to obtain a copy of the police report.
- Exchange Insurance and Contact Information. Be sure to gather insurance information and write down the names, phone numbers, addresses and driver’s license numbers from all parties involved in the accident. You should also make note of the make, year and model of all vehicles. The easiest and quickest way to gather this information is to take photos with your cell phone.
- Watch What You Say. Even though your emotions may be high, you need to be very careful about what you say at the scene of the accident. Do not admit anything or make a claim as to who may be at fault. Remember, even a simple “I’m sorry” can hurt your case.
- Talk with Bystanders. It is important to gather all of the relevant contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the collision or conditions at the accident scene.
- Take Pictures and Notes. If you have access to a camera, be sure to take pictures of all vehicles as well as the accident scene. Write down important information such as the street and intersection where the accident occurred and make note of the road and weather conditions.
- Document Your Injuries. If you have been injured, make sure you schedule a hospital or medical visit as soon as possible. Even if you believe you are okay, you should still schedule an appointment with a medical doctor because some injuries may not become apparent until days or weeks after the accident.
- Talk with an Los Angeles Motor Accident Lawyer. While you may believe the insurance company will take care of everything, insurance carriers do not always act in the best interest of motorcycle injury victims. Before you report the accident to your insurance company or make any statements to the other parties’ insurance carriers, you should speak with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney. Your lawyer can guide you through the process and protect you from saying or doing anything that might hurt your case. Your lawyer will also carefully assess your situation and outline all legal avenues that may be available to help you get the full compensation you need and deserve.