Although Florida provides ideal weather for motorcycle enthusiasts to head out for a joyride, motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable individuals on the roads. They lack the same protection features that vehicle occupants enjoy. With this acknowledgment, the state laws in Florida (§ 316.211) have made it mandatory for all motorcyclists to wear the necessary protective gear while operating a motorcycle. The sad reality is that motorcycle accidents still happen in Florida, with more than 8,800 motorcycle crashes occurring in 2019 alone.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, dealing with the aftermath can be overwhelming. You may not know where to go or what to do next, especially if your injuries are severe. But don’t feel upset! Here’s a rundown of several things you should do after a motorcycle accident. Remember, a loved one or someone else at the accident scene can execute some or most of these things on your behalf, especially if you are badly injured to move.
Inform the Police
After a road accident, police will most likely show up at the scene. If they do, then you may consider the requirement of informing the police as fulfilled. However, if the law enforcement officers do not respond, you’ll have to file a report to them, even if there are no serious injuries. Doing this will prevent the other party from changing their story and ensure that they pay what they owe or do what they promised. We have seen cases where the at-fault party promised to reimburse the victim only to turn around and file suit against them because they didn’t inform the police. Don’t let that happen to you.
Seek Medical Attention ASAP
If you have not sustained any injuries and know it, consider yourself very lucky. Nevertheless, it is still important that you talk to the emergency responders or see a doctor as some injuries such as internal bleeding, concussion, bone fractures, or Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), may not reveal immediately after the accident. A qualified healthcare provider with injury experience will be able to assess your situation and work towards saving your life. Furthermore, your medical documentation will serve as evidence and leverage when seeking compensation later on.
As you wait for the police to show up, you need to gather as many details as you can from the drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Get their names, emails, addresses, and contact details. Get insurance records from the drivers involved and document the number-plates of their cars. If you have a camera or smartphone, take photos. Pictures are more accurate and reliable than handwritten details. The visual scenes help police and insurance agencies establish who is to blame in an accident. The police will also collect information, but sometimes they may omit crucial details, so having detailed information will come in handy when seeking compensation.
Keep A Daily Journal
Each time you file a lawsuit against the defendant, part of the case relies heavily on the economic damage. It is hard to calculate those losses. The easiest way to show that you’re physically fit is to maintain a regular log. Put down your thoughts, symptoms, and observations. The doctor will use the details to help treat your case and provide evidence of your claim to the court.
File Insurance Claim
Filing a claim with your motorcycle insurance carrier is the first step towards recovering your damages. Most insurance providers require that you report the incident even when you are not at fault. Once that is done, the insurance provider will send out an investigator to get the information they need to determine liability as well as an adjuster to handle the claim process. While the insurance company may seem to be on your side, you need to bear in mind that they are in the business of making money. For that reason, it is imperative that you don’t offer additional information as it may end up reducing the amount of compensation you get.
Keep Bills, Receipts, And Pay Stubs
Injuries caused by a motorcycle accident are among the most expensive traffic injuries in terms of bodily injuries, lost wages, and medical treatment. To succeed in a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove all economic losses related to the accident and your injuries. That is why you need to keep your bills, receipts from the hospitals, and all expenses bills. Some people get seriously injured and have to stay away from work for some time. This means lost wages; thus, you have to provide your lawyer with evidence of your salary before the accident.
Stay Off Social Media
Beware that insurance providers are only there to make money. Their investigators will always look for ways to devalue your claim. Therefore, keep off social media until your case is concluded. The investigators may misunderstand your photos or messages and can use that to reduce your claim. They can presume that you exaggerated a claim to achieve more recovery than you reported. They might also check on history to see if you had another accident and say you got injured in another accident other than the one at hand.
Don’t Accept an Early Settlement
When claiming damages after a motorcycle accident, one thing the insurance provider knows for sure is that you desperately need money fast, and as a result, they will lure into early settlements to avoid paying what you are actually owed. To be on the safe side, you need to hire a reputable personal injury lawyer to handle each and every aspect of your case. The right lawyer will give you an honest assessment of your situation and help you get the compensation that covers all psychical health costs and financial instability stemming from the motorcycle crash.
Call Our Daytona Beach Office Today
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash and are looking for a competent Daytona Beach motorcycle accident attorney to handle your case, please call our office today to schedule a free consultation. We will help you establish what your claim is worth and work towards ensuring that you get the full and fair compensation you are owed.