If you are an avid motorcycle rider, no one would blame you for preparing for the worst—even while hoping for the best. After all, motorcycles are involved in more than 80,000 accidents every year according to the NHTSA. Even if you are a safe and cautious rider, you still put yourself at risk every time you hop onto your bike.
While there is no reason to give into alarmism, it does help to know your options before an accident happens. In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know, including when to call a motorcycle accident attorney.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, you may feel confused and disoriented. However, there are several important steps you’ll want to take.
1. Call for Medical Attention First
Your first priority should be the health and safety of everyone involved in the accident. If any person requires medical attention, call 911 right away. It may also be wise to move everyone out of the busy roadway and away from danger.
If you end up getting medical treatment, save your receipts and records. An attorney can use these records to estimate the value of your case.
2. Gather Everyone’s Contact Information
After you have moved to the side of the road, take a moment to gather the contact information of everyone involved. Be sure to make a record of:
- Phone numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance information
If multiple people are involved in the accident, take care to keep this information organized.
3. Call the Police
If you haven’t already, call 911 and request a police report for the accident—especially if the damages seem like they might exceed $500. A police report can make or break a lawsuit or insurance claim down the road.
Sometimes, physical and property damages don’t present themselves for hours or days. Call the police even if the damages seem minor as a precautionary measure.
4. Call a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer
Even a non-fatal accident can cost several thousands of dollars. That’s exactly why you should call a motorcycle attorney after every motorcycle accident, especially when serious injuries or fatalities are involved.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
After a collision, it can be difficult to know who’s to blame. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney can help you to compile witness statements, police reports, and medical bills to determine which insurance provider to file a claim with.
While you might think that you can file a claim on your own, you may not know just how much you are entitled to without legal representation.
Insurance companies often use underhanded tactics to delay or deny claims, even when they’re valid. If they do offer a settlement, they may try to create an offer in an unreasonably low amount.
A lawyer can help you calculate the value of your claim, accounting for every cent of your damages. A motorcycle lawyer can also guide you through the process of negotiating a settlement so that you avoid making common mistakes such as:
- Signing a document without fully understanding the repercussions
- Allowing the insurance company to record your call
- Accepting a lowball offer
With a motorcycle accident law firm on your side, you can avoid these mistakes.
An experienced attorney can negotiate with the insurance providers to fight for an adequate settlement. If insurers are uncooperative or the driver who was at fault did not have adequate coverage, a motorcycle accident attorney can even take your case to court, if necessary.