When a motorcycle happens to you or someone you love, it is important to know what to do next. There are certain steps you should follow, steps that can help your motorcycle accident lawyer represent your case. Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law presents the steps to follow after your motorcycle accident, followed below by more information about each one:
- Stop ASAP
- Help anyone who is injured
- Keep the scene as it is after the accident
- Contact the police
- Sign your ticket or police report
- Identify the other drivers in the accident
- Identify witnesses on the scene
- Record information about the accident
- Do not provide statements to anyone
- Listen to others’ statements
- Visit a doctor or the emergency department immediately
- Call the law offices of Cantor Injury Lawyers for the legal help you need
- Call your insurance company
- Do not give a recorded statement
- Take photos of accident evidence
- Maintain the records of your accident
- Get Legal Help with Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law
Whether your accident is a minor one or a more catastrophic one, you need to stop your motorcycle immediately. Exchange information with other drivers as you must under the law. State law says that you must provide the other drivers with your identification and information about your vehicle. If your accident is a fender-bender or other minor incident, pull safely off the road to exchange the required information.
Help Anyone Who Is Injured
Immediately after you have stopped your bike, one of the first things you must do is to check on the well-being of anyone involved in the accident. Look for injuries and do what you can to help people with those injuries be safe and comfortable. You need to quickly call for help. Do not move anyone who is injured unless you have the proper medical training to do so. Without being trained and knowledgeable in first aid, moving someone can injure them more. When someone is pinned or trapped within their vehicle, you should allow emergency responders to work to free them.
Keep the Scene As It Is after the Accident
When it is safe to do so, you should leave your motorcycle where it is after the accident until police have arrived. Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law has found that this is particularly true when your motorcycle’s position or location does not pose an immediate risk to others. If it is seriously damaged or mangled, leaving it where it lands is best for your motorcycle accident case. That is, unless its position poses a threat to the safety of other traffic. When it does pose a threat and can safely be moved away, you should use your common sense in deciding to do so.
Contact the Police
Even for minor accidents, Arizona state laws require you to call police after your accident. Doing so will enable you to receive an accident report, a critical part of any insurance claim evidence. The police report will contain key information about your wreck needed for your claim. Further, an officer may talk to you about complaints made by other parties in the accident, or if property is damaged.
Sign Your Ticket or Police Report
After police have arrived on the scene, they will determine whether you may be fully or partially at fault in your motorcycle accident. If they see you were at fault, they will issue you a ticket. Many people fear signing the ticket, believing it is an admission of guilt. But this is not the case. You need to sign your ticket as directed by the police officer, as it is merely a formality and shows that you promise to appear in traffic court as ordered, on a later date. In traffic court, the judge or jury will be the ones to determine whether you are truly at fault in your motorcycle accident.
Identify the Other Drivers in the Accident
If you called to report your motorcycle accident to police, they will identify the other drivers for you in their report. But you should still ensure that you gain the other driver’s address, telephone number and insurance policy information. You also need to write down the other vehicles’ license plate numbers and brief descriptions. Also describe passengers involved in the accident, those who may have been riding with the other drivers. The passengers may be called as witnesses or for other reasons by the Cantor team during your legal claim.
Identify Witnesses on the Scene
Witnesses play a very critical role in your motorcycle accident case. You need their names, addresses and telephone numbers. Most people who see a motorcycle accident happen leave the scene when police or medical care arrives. But these witnesses may be very important for your motorcycle accident case, so you need to gain their identifying and contact information as quickly as possible.
Record Information about the Accident
After your motorcycle accident, you should have a goal of recording as much about how the accident occurred as possible, as well as its time, place, road conditions, weather and a clear explanation of your driving before the accident occurred. Draw diagrams to help you describe the accident and key parts of the incidents involved. Do not provide these details to anyone except your motorcycle accident lawyer. You will have to go through a similar process for your police report and insurance claim. After your police report has been filed by the law enforcement officer, Cantor Injury Lawyers will secure a copy of this report as soon as possible.
Do Not Provide Statements to Anyone
You are only required under Arizona law to exchange details of your identity, address, driver’s license number, vehicle registration and insurance policy to the other drivers in your motorcycle accident. Other than this basic information, you should never provide any statements or comments that the other side can use against you later. You should never admit fault for any part of your accident or say anything that may be misconstrued or perceived as an admission of negligent driving. Be very careful what you say to others and listen to them more than you speak. Your words may come back to haunt you in court later, or as part of your settlement process, even possibly leading to criminal liability.
Listen to Others’ Statements
Listening to everything others say about the accident while on the scene is important. What other drivers or witnesses say can be used against the at-fault driver to help you gain what you need from your insurance claim. When a driver apologizes, you need to take good notes about that apology. These words are almost always seen by the courts as an admission of fault. While it can be challenging to move past these words being considered “hearsay,” it is key information you should write down. Better yet, use the recording capabilities of your cell phone or other devices to record these statements.
Visit a Doctor or the Emergency Department Immediately
Anytime you are in a motor vehicle accident, particularly a motorcycle accident, you should go to the emergency department or visit your doctor immediately. This is true even when you do not believe you are injured or hurt in any way. You may have actually sustained soft tissue damage or other serious injury, but do not yet have pain or outward signs of those injuries’ existence. Your body operates in a heightened state of adrenaline after your accident and may mask the extent of your injuries through those natural defenses. You could even have internal injuries that you are not yet aware of, needing a proper diagnosis by a doctor to understand and have proof of your actual serious condition. Old injuries from before your accident may also be exacerbated in the motorcycle wreck. Those must be documented.
Call the Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law for the Legal Help You Need
At Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law, we do everything in our power to help you recover from your motorcycle accident. This begins immediately when we represent you after your accident. We can come to your home or hospital room if you are not able to visit our office for an initial consultation about your motorcycle accident. When you call us, you can be assured that you will speak with an actual attorney with interest in helping you get through your motorcycle accident case. The paralegal initially gather information we need for this call to be effective, then routes your call to one of our attorneys. Besides helping you with your motorcycle accident insurance claim, we will also help you by making arrangements for your rental vehicle and obtaining the medical assistance you need after your accident. We also help injured victims of motorcycle accidents with medical liens, so you will not have to pay for your expenses out of pocket, until your case is settled. Then, these costs are covered by the settlement amount.
Call Your Insurance Company
After speaking with the Cantor team, you will need to contact your insurance company and provide information about your accident. This is true even when the other driver is the only one at fault. You should always ensure you do not give the insurance company any recorded statements or written statements, without the knowledge and guidance of the Cantor team. Your insurance company will contact the other driver’s insurance company to coordinate coverage of the motorcycle accident costs and ensure a continuum of coverage.
Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
You should never give a recorded statement to anyone from the other driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster from the other driver’s insurer will try to contact you quickly after the motorcycle accident. They will do this to try to gain a recorded statement that may be used against you later. They will work to get your approval on a quick, low settlement before you realize the full extent of your damages and how much you may be owed. When this insurance adjuster reaches out to you, simply inform them that you are represented by Cantor Injury Lawyers. Tell them that your lawyer will be in contact with them.
Before police arrive to write an accident report, or after you have been treated for your motorcycle accident injuries, taking photos of the accident scene should be a priority. You may also have a friend or family member return to do this for you. Whoever is taking the photos should go back to the scene and capture images of the scene itself, landmarks around it, signs, buildings, trees and other things that will make describing the scene easier. You should then take photos of skid marks on the road, damage to the natural environment, any car parts on the ground or other signs of your accident having occurred there. You should take a mix of both close-up photos and those from a distance that show the entire scene. Try to capture every angle and direction. If you have a lawyer from the Cantor team, we may even send our accident investigator to take these photos for you.
Damage to Your Motorcycle
Just as you did for the accident scene, you should take photos of the damage to your motorcycle. Capture images from every possible angle and from varied distances. If parts came off your bike, those should be photographed as well. You can use these photos for your motorcycle accident case evidence to shed light on what happened during your accident. Cantor Injury Lawyers may send someone to the impound yard to take these photos, if you are not able to do so, yourself.
You also need photos of your injuries, from immediately after your accident and while you are gaining treatment, through to the next several days, weeks or months of your injury treatment. You should show the injuries themselves in these photos, such as cuts, bruises, casts, wounds and any medical devices required by these injuries. If you are in the hospital, have someone take photos of you in your hospital room, showing the equipment you are connected to for recovery. You need several angles used for taking these images. You should take new photos of the injuries every few days to show the full extent of their effect and how these effects change over the coming period of time.
Maintain the Records of Your Accident
After a motorcycle accident, it is very important to keep good records with a high level of detail. You should keep evidence of time missed from work, because when someone else is at fault for your motorcycle accident you can gain damages for your lost income and reduced bonuses due to your absence from the workplace for recovery. You should keep paycheck stubs, written records, and information about your company supervisors who can back up your claims of lost income and time at work due to your motorcycle accident injury recovery. You should also keep a daily diary or journal that logs your pain and personal inconveniences suffered because of the motorcycle accident and injuries. You should provide all of this information to your lawyer at the Cantor team.
Get the Legal Help You Need after Your Motorcycle Accident
When you are in a motorcycle accident, you will likely experience damages and injuries, as most motorcycle accident victims do. There are several steps you need to take after this occurs, depending upon the severity of your accident. You need the help of a lawyer who leads a focused practice for motorcycle accident and injury cases. That is the best place to begin after your incident, as they know the complexity of liabilities in these types of claims. Your Cantor Injury Lawyers representative has all of the experience, skill and knowledge you need to help you successfully resolve your motorcycle accident claim in a timely manner.
Call the experienced motorcycle accident and personal injury lawyers of the Cantor team now at 602.254.2701 for a free, no-obligation case consultation.