While taking the right steps following a motorcycle accident could speed up your recovery and strengthen your potential personal injury case, errors in judgment could worsen your condition or hamper your ability to seek monetary compensation.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, it is vital that you speak with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer. Before your initial consultation, the following steps could protect your legal rights and give you the best chance at securing monetary compensation for your injuries.
Dial 911 and remain at the scene
If you are able to do so, your first step should be to call 911 and inform law enforcement that an accident occurred. You are required by law to remain at the scene of the crash if the collision resulted in serious property damage or bodily injuries.
Staying at the scene is important for other reasons. It allows you to speak with the police and ensure that the details in the police report are accurate. Leaving the scene could also make it seem like you were attempting to avoid fault for the accident.
Seek medical care
If you have sustained serious motorcycle accident injuries, your top priority should be seeking medical treatment. If necessary, an ambulance can take you to the emergency room for immediate care.
You should also seek immediate medical care for conditions that do not worsen right away. It is not uncommon for a person in a motorcycle accident to feel worse the day after the crash than in the moments immediately following the accident.
Seeking immediate medical attention is important for a few reasons. First, seeing a doctor right away could prevent your symptoms from worsening. Second, immediate medical care also has the advantage of creating medical records documenting your injuries. These records are an important part of a personal injury claim.
If your physical condition allows, collect as much evidence at the scene of the motorcycle accident as possible. The opportunity to collect evidence from the scene of the crash is fleeting. Once the scene has been cleared, you can never put it back together again. Take photos of any and all vehicles involved in the accident, as well as any visible injuries you have suffered.
One of the most important steps at the scene of a motorcycle accident is identifying witnesses to the accident. Often, an independent witness will be the strongest evidence available. Juries routinely take the word of third-party witnesses, given that they have no bias in the case. Collect their contact information, as you will likely be unable to find them once they leave the scene of the crash.
Notify your insurance company
Under the terms of most insurance policies, a motorcyclist involved in an accident has an obligation to notify their insurer after the crash. This is true whether or not you intend to file a claim with your insurance or not. The failure to notify your insurance company of an accident could result in the lack of coverage or even a cancellation of your policy.
Remember: this only applies to your insurance company. You are never under any obligation to talk to the insurer of the other person involved in the accident. In fact, it is never a good idea to talk to the other insurance company or their attorneys. Anything you say to them could be taken out of context and used against you during the claims process.
Talk to an attorney
There are few steps as vital as talking to an attorney following a motorcycle accident. An attorney could help you pursue your personal injury case and maximize your chances of a favorable outcome. To speak with an attorney, contact Salamati Law right away for your free consultation.