What Should I Do After Getting in a Motorcycle Accident?
Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you might be injured and unable to think clearly. But the steps you take after a motorcycle accident can impact the compensation that you can recover for your injuries.
At the Accident Scene
After an accident in the state of Florida, you have several legal duties. Under Florida law, everyone involved in an accident must stop, provide their information to the other drivers, and render reasonable aid to anyone injured in the crash.
After a crash, you should:
- Help the Injured Assess your injuries and the injuries of any other people involved in the crash. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911. You may need to provide first aid until the paramedics arrive. If you are injured, make sure someone calls for medical help to assist you.
- Call Police
Florida requires drivers to report all accidents that result in injuries or death. Calling the police satisfies your legal duty to report an accident. But it can also benefit your injury claim because the police can:
- Investigate the accident
- Produce an accident report
- Cite the at-fault driver
Failure to call the police after an accident that causes injuries can jeopardize your injury claim. The only time that you do not need to call the police is when an accident only causes property damage.
Under Florida law, you must identify yourself to the other drivers involved in an accident. All of the parties involved in the accident must exchange insurance information or provide their information to the police officer who responds to the accident.
Although Florida uses a no-fault insurance system for automobiles, Florida’s no-fault laws do not apply to motorcycles. As a result, you will need to know the identity and insurance information of the driver who caused the accident. Without this information, you will have a much more difficult time recovering compensation for your injuries.
Document the Accident Scene
If you can take photos and videos, you should document the scene of the accident. A visual record of the damage, skid marks, and final location of the cars can help a motorcycle accident attorney. These photos will explain what happened to an insurance adjuster or jury.
You should also get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can help to corroborate what happened.
After the Accident
In the days and weeks after the accident, you will need to work on your injury claim. Some of the steps that could improve your outcome include:
- Seeking Medical Attention: To obtain compensation for your injuries, you will need medical records that explain the nature and extent of your injuries. If you do not seek medical attention, an insurance adjuster or jury could assume that your injuries were minor. Seeing a doctor can also help you to understand the treatment and therapy that you will need to fully recover from your injuries. A motorcycle accident lawyer can use this information to fight for appropriate compensation.
- Getting a Copy of the Accident Report: An accident report will describe the accident. It may include conclusions about fault. This accident report can provide valuable information that can be used to support your explanation of the accident and the way that you sustained your injuries. Your accident lawyer can request a copy of the police report. But you can save some time by getting a copy before you meet with the lawyer. The accident report is different from the drivers’ exchange, which is the information the police officer will provide to you at the scene.
- Speaking to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney: Motorcycle injury lawyers have knowledge and experience in handling motorcycle injury claims. They understand how motorcycle accidents happen and the injuries they can cause. Speaking to an injury lawyer will help you to understand your legal rights. An injury lawyer can also help you to avoid making damaging admissions to the insurers.