It can be hard to know what you should do in the days following a motorcycle accident, especially if you suffered extensive injuries and incurred significant medical expenses. However, knowing what to do to protect your rights will be crucial in this situation. Understanding your next best steps can help you get the justice and compensation that you deserve.
Actions to Take Following a Motorcycle Accident
Your best course of action after a motorcycle accident can be to:
- Seek medical attention, even if you received care at the scene of your accident or you do not have apparent injuries
- Call a legal professional to receive a consultation
- Refrain from making any on-the-record statements until you have spoken with a legal professional
- Obtain any documentation that could be important to your pursuit of compensation
A lawyer can guide you through the post-accident checklist, with the defense of your rights and care for your injuries being the primary focus.
Seek Medical Help and Treatment as Soon as Possible
Your health should be your number one priority if you were involved in a motorcycle crash. If you have suffered only minor injuries, you might go home without getting medical help. This can be a serious mistake, especially if you later intend to hold a negligent driver to account for your financial losses and injuries.
You should see a doctor right away after an accident, especially if you suffer from any symptoms that could stem from the accident. According to the Mayo Clinic, serious injuries such as a traumatic brain injury may not show symptoms for days or weeks after the initial injury occurred. Having a medical report detailing your injuries will also serve as important evidence of your damages in court.
Consult with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Speaking to a motorcycle accident lawyer and evaluating your options can help you get justice. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you with all aspects of a claim, including calculating your damages correctly and negotiating with any defendants and their insurance. If it comes to trial, your lawyer can passionately represent you and fight for what you deserve.
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What to Do at the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident
After a serious collision, it can be overwhelming to think about what to do next. Unfortunately, every step that you take at the scene of the accident can have an impact on your case. In addition to getting medical help for your injuries, here are some general good practices for what to do while you’re still at the accident scene:
- Collect physical, photo, and video evidence. If you have broken personal items, cuts, bruises, torn clothes, or other physical evidence, make sure you or someone you love holds onto these things. You should also take photos of your motorcycle, the other vehicle, and the accident scene. Take video evidence where possible.
- Call the police. This may seem like common sense, but it’s vital that a police officer is present at the scene of the accident. They will write an accident report and provide invaluable assistance to you. If you are too injured to collect evidence and eyewitness contact information, they can do so for you.
- Call your lawyer. Your lawyer can help you prepare your statement for the police and the insurance company, so you don’t accidentally make a costly mistake. They can also assist you in gathering evidence, ensure you receive medical attention, and keep your case on track right from the beginning.
Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,579 motorcyclists perished in accidents in 2020 alone. If you or a loved one were severely injured in a motorcycle accident, you may not only suffer from the physical and emotional effects but also have mounting medical bills and other expenses now.
Some of the injuries seen in motorcycle accidents can include:
- Road rash
- Head injuries such as traumatic brain injury
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Injuries to internal organs
- Serious fractures and shattered bones
Motorcyclists can be permanently disfigured or even disabled after a serious accident. They may never be able to live a normal life again, work, or live independently. If this has happened to you or a loved one, and you are wondering what you should do in the days following a motorcycle accident, you can find help and advice when visiting with a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Impact Injuries Can Be Deceiving
One reason why it is important to seek medical attention in the hours, days, and weeks following a motorcycle accident is that injury symptoms may not emerge right away. The Mayo Clinic notes that the symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI)—one possible outcome of a motorcycle accident—may not emerge until weeks after the injury occurs.
You may accept medical care at the scene of your accident, as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) may be able to spot symptoms of injury and provide treatment. The extent of treatment they may provide could be somewhat limited, however, and you may accept ambulance transportation to a medical facility for further care.
Whether or not you receive an injury diagnosis in the immediate aftermath of your accident, you should pursue follow-up care in the days following the collision. Doing this may be important because:
- You may have new symptoms indicating serious injury
- You may need treatment to address any symptoms that you are experiencing
- You may not generally be able to adequately diagnose your injuries from home, even if you have some sort of medical background
- Receiving treatment and diagnosis of your injuries could be important if you choose to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit
You may consider an accident to be relatively minor, only to find out later that you suffered one or more serious injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that 80 percent of motorcycle accidents cause some sort of injury, so the odds lean towards you having one.
Injuries Can Create Secondary Losses
You may want to document your injuries in the days following an Orlando motorcycle accident, as it may be important to show the connection between your accident and your negative health outcomes. Suffering an injury can lead to several consequences in your life that may entitle you to compensation.
If you are physically or cognitively injured because of your motorcycle accident, then you may:
- Miss a significant period of work, and lose your regular income
- Have long-lasting or permanent physical restrictions
- Have permanent cognitive impairment, such as forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating
- Experience negative changes in your personality or mood
- Develop specific conditions such as depression
- Lose your sense of independence
- Not be able to pursue specific goals and aspirations because of physical and cognitive impairment
- Develop a permanent disability
- Experience chronic pain
You may experience substantial financial hardship because of these losses, and the cost of treating your injuries could worsen your financial standing. Your lawyer will fight for you to receive compensation covering all losses related to your accident.
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A Lawyer May Be Able to Guide You After Your Accident
Seeking medical care is just one of the responsibilities you may need to tend to after your motorcycle accident. A lawyer can inform you of other tasks that may be necessary if you plan to bring a lawsuit or insurance claim, and may be able to complete certain tasks on your behalf.
You may need to report your injuries to certain authorities and may need to ensure that a report of your accident is filed as well. You may also need to make statements to insurance companies, and a lawyer may be able to protect you from unsavory insurance company practices as your claim develops.
If you end up bringing a lawsuit, then your lawyer will handle the legal process from start to finish. Some of the duties your lawyer may perform include:
- Obtaining evidence of your accident, such as traffic camera recordings and photographs of the accident scene
- Interviewing witnesses to your accident
- Obtaining records of your injuries and medical care
- Filing your lawsuit
- Calculating losses you have already suffered and projecting your future losses
- Negotiating a settlement on your behalf
- Completing a trial
- Defending your rights
The Statute of Limitations for a Motorcycle Accident Case
It may benefit you to call a legal professional as soon as you can, as Florida Statutes § 95.11 states that you generally have four years from the date of your accident to bring a personal injury lawsuit, and you generally have even less time to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Call Us for Help with Your Claim
If you are wondering what you should do in the days following a motorcycle accident, we can advise you thoroughly on your next best steps. Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for legal advice and to determine whether you have a case.
You could potentially recover compensation that can help with your recovery and medical bills. Do not wait too long as most states have deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. Call us now for a free case evaluation.
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