Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be a stressful and traumatic experience. These accidents can leave you with permanent disabilities. For instance, you may lose your ability to walk or may be unable to work in the same job you did before the accident, leading to a loss of wages and leaving you and your family in a challenging financial condition.
If your injuries result from someone else’s recklessness, you have the right to pursue settlement for the pain, medical bills, lost wages, and suffering. What you do immediately after a motorcycle accident is crucial to the results of subsequent claims for future litigation and compensation. Here is a step-by-step guide to help motorcycle riders know what to do after an accident in Pittsburgh, PA.
Get to safety
Your safety should be your primary concern following a motorcycle crash. Move away from where the accident occurred, especially if the accident happened on a highway, exposing you to high-speed incoming vehicles. If another injured person is at the scene, carefully move them to safety.
Still, for safety reasons, you must keep all your gear on after crashing. Taking off your helmet immediately after an accident can aggravate your head, neck, and spine injuries. This also applies to removing your boots and gloves, as it can cause further issues if an injury is already present in the area.
Once you are sure you are out of danger, contact emergency services. Getting first aid when it is needed can help you avoid significant injuries in some cases.
Call law enforcement and first responders to the accident scene
Pennsylvania traffic laws require that any motor vehicle accident resulting in injury be reported to a law enforcement officer. Moreover, a police report allows you and the at-fault driver to tell your side of the story.
You must file a report with the police in the shortest time possible. A police officer will ask for a statement concerning the accident and the parties involved. Stay calm and answer the officer’s questions factually. While at it, do not admit any degree of fault for the accident. Make sure to record the police officer’s name, badge number, and police report number.
Seek medical attention
An injured rider must seek immediate medical attention. After a motorcycle accident, you are incredibly susceptible to internal bleeding and damage. Even if you think you did not sustain any injuries, you must visit a doctor within 48 hours after the accident for a thorough examination. In some cases, damage may not appear immediately after a motorcycle crash. Sometimes it may take a few days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear. Some common injuries after motorcycle accidents include;
- Head injuries and concussions
- Broken jaw
- Facial injuries
- Neck and back injuries.
- Broken bones
- Severe cuts and bruises
- Internal injuries
- Severe injuries to limbs
- Road rash
Other than ensuring you receive the necessary treatment, these medical records may prove helpful if you opt to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. These reports will also come in handy when making an insurance claim. Otherwise, without proof of your injuries and a treatment plan, it may be hard to receive the compensation you deserve.
Collect the other driver’s information
After a motorcycle accident, gathering as much evidence as possible immediately is always a good idea. This means taking pictures, writing notes, and obtaining a copy of the police report. If you can, go ahead and speak to the other driver to get as many details as you can, like:
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Full name, address, registration number, contact details and insurance details of any drivers involved
- Name and contact details of any witnesses at the accident scene
If possible, take photos of the damaged vehicle, your injuries, and the crime scene. Detailed, clear pictures of your bike and any other vehicles involved will help to build a picture of the accident. Also, get as many photos of the other vehicle as possible.
Notify your insurance company
Not all motorcycle riders have insurance. But if you do, regardless of who you think is at fault, you must contact your insurance company and notify them of the motorcycle accident as soon as possible. Otherwise, the insurer may deny coverage if you fail to report the accident within the specified time limit.
It is also essential to notify them so they can explain the options available for getting your bike fixed. That said, it is not advisable to record a statement before consulting a motorcycle accident lawyer PA. If the other driver is to blame for the accident, your primary means of getting compensation is to bring a claim against their insurance company. However, you may still be entitled to further coverage through your insurance.
Never admit fault for the crash
This part is crucial. Even if you think you are at fault, never verbally disclose this to a third party or anyone at the accident scene. For starters, you may not be thinking straight, and you might not have the whole story of what led to the incident. Another reason is that you cannot reverse your statement after admitting fault.
When is the best time to talk with a motorcycle accident attorney?
The sooner, the better. After a motorcycle accident, speak to a legal professional as soon as possible. Most motorcycle accidents tend to be serious, causing severe injuries and damage. Therefore, you must consider getting legal representation immediately after the crash. Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney can make all the difference in your insurance settlement. A motorcycle accident lawyer will investigate and collect the evidence needed to build a strong case.
Get in touch
At Frischman & Rizza, we can help you get fair compensation. Our Pittsburgh law firm is an expert in the conduct of motorcycle injury compensation claims. We are dedicated to assisting motorcyclists in getting the insurance payout they deserve. Contact us at (412) 291-9377 for a free case evaluation.