Motorcycles are fun to ride. With the wind at your back, it can be a feeling of utmost luxury.
However, motorcycle accidents in Tampa and everywhere are real and can be pretty nasty. That’s because you’re more exposed than when inside a car. So, if you ever get hit by a car or truck when riding a motorcycle, you are at risk of severe injuries that may incur heavy medical expenses. So, do you foot them out of pocket? Not so.
Personal injury claim: Protecting your right
When injured in a motorcycle accident, you have a right to seek compensation if the accident results from someone else’s negligence, possibly a driver. Sometimes, you may not have an idea right on the spot that was at fault. Whatever the case, your best bet is to talk to a motorcycle accident attorney following the incident. Your attorney would evaluate your case to determine the degree of fault and pursue personal injury compensation on your behalf.
No-fault law does not apply to motorcycle accidents, so your attorney would be able to file a case against your injurer if they’re indeed at fault.
Nonetheless, before even discussing with an attorney, there are steps to take right there on the scene that may help your case.
1. Call law enforcement
You heard that right. The first course of action following any road traffic accident is to report it to the police. Leaving the scene without reporting is a criminal offense as it’s nothing different from a hit-and-run. Also, if you do not report the accident, your claim may not stand if you later wish to file one.
The police will come to interview witnesses, document the crime scene, assess property damage, etc. But police records may be flawed and may not really help your case. That leads us to the next step.
2. Do some documentation yourself
If you can move, get a phone and take pictures of the crime scene before the police arrive. Take videos and photos of your motorcycle and the vehicle involved, including the driver and any visible skid marks on the road. If you can capture road signs and traffic signals, excellent!
When the police come, you want to ensure their documentation aligns with yours. So it’s important also to get witness testimonies as they saw it happen, even before the police arrived.
3. Get treatment
Although you may not sustain any significant injury due to your safety clothing, it’s in your best interest to visit the nearest hospital. Even though you do not feel pain, go anyway. A medical examination will uncover any hidden injuries such as internal bleeding or strained tendon that may worsen a few days later.
4. Avoid taking the blame for the incident
The biggest mistake you can make following a motorcycle accident is trying to be nice and apologizing for the occurrence. Avoid things like, “I shouldn’t have turned when I did, I’m so sorry.”
Although it may be the nicest thing to do, it may put you in trouble as the other party may sue you for damages and your words used against you. It’s alright to show care as a human to the other party but never admit wrong after an accident.
5. Avoid posting footage on social media
In the age we’re in, it’s tempting to post whatever happens to you online as soon as it does. But when it comes to motorcycle accidents where there may be an at-fault party, keep the photos you took off social media. Why?
From experience, we have discovered that insurance companies tend to go through your social media accounts to see if there’s any post related to the accident. And they do not search because they want to help you; they search because of their selfish interest, which is not to give you the full compensation you deserve. And truth be told, who knows what they might dig up? So it’s best to keep things off social media until you’re done with your claim.
6. Speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney
A local attorney well-versed in the state laws in question will be able to help liaise with your insurance company and injury in terms of settlement claims. They may also represent you in court should the at-fault party decline your request for the full amount.
Importantly, it’s great to have an attorney by your side when answering any questions your insurance policy provider asks. Again, this is to ensure you do not compromise your case yourself.
Finally, there’s nothing like a minor injury. No matter the severity of your motorcycle accident, it’s advisable to follow through with the above steps to ensure you are covered against additional risks.
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