Motorcycle accidents are some of the deadliest incidents that occur on the roadways. Thousands of individuals are killed each year in motorcycle crashes throughout the nation, and tens of thousands more sustain serious and catastrophic injuries. In Alabama alone, dozens of individuals are killed in these types of accidents on an annual basis.
Motorcycle accidents are especially common in the summertime. The weather is warmer, kids are out of school, and there are more motorcycles and other types of vehicles on the road. There are also more inexperienced drivers on the road, as well as an increase in alcohol consumption before driving, all of which are contributing factors to the rise in traffic-related accidents during the summer months.
A motorcycle accident can be a terrifying experience, especially for the motorcyclist. Without the protection of a steel cage, there is not much that separates them from the pavement and other hard objects. This is why motorcyclists are far more likely to be killed or sustain a severe injury when they are involved in a crash.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the steps you take shortly after the crash can have major repercussions regarding your physical well-being and the ability to protect your legal rights.
Here are six things you should do if you have been in a motorcycle crash:
Call for Immediate Medical Attention
The first priority after a motorcycle accident is to ensure that everyone who was injured receives treatment, including yourself. Even if you do not feel hurt right away, call 911 anyway and bring an ambulance to the scene. The 911 operator may also contact the police for you. If not, call the police to the scene as well.
Some injuries have delayed symptoms, often because of the adrenaline rush you feel during the heat of the accident and other factors. Make sure to get checked out at the scene and go in for follow-up visits as needed. Finally, follow all of your doctor’s recommendations and thoroughly document all of the medical care you receive.
Take Photos of the Scene
Photos are one of the best forms of evidence in a personal injury case. Take multiple photographs of the accident scene from as many angles as you can. This will help show, in detail, how the collision occurred. If you are physically unable to take photos yourself, have someone else take them for you.
Obtain Statements from Witnesses
The testimony of witnesses is another strong piece of evidence that you will need if you have to file a legal claim. Speak with any individuals who may have witnessed the accident and obtain their contact information. And if they are willing, have them provide a statement. You can either record their statement with the video camera on your cell phone, or if they do not want to be on camera, ask if they will at least give you an audio statement, which you can capture with your phone’s voice recorder.
Compile your Own Report
One of the purposes of calling the police is so that there will be an official report compiled for your accident. However, it is also important for you to have your own report of what happened. Whenever it is convenient, write down, in as much detail as possible, your recollection of the events while everything is still fresh in your mind. If you do not have anything to write with, you can use the voice recorder on your cell phone to create an audio report that can be transcribed later on.
Do NOT Admit Fault
As you interact with the others involved in the accident, the police, witnesses, and when you report the accident to your insurance company, NEVER apologize or admit any wrongdoing. Alabama is a “contributory negligence” state, meaning if you are found to have “contributed” in any way to the accident (even 1%), you may be barred from recovering damages. Be calm, courteous, and polite, but only state the facts of the case as you know them. Refrain from speculating on who was to blame and leave that for the experts to sort out.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Contributory negligence has a high bar to clear, and there are many potential pitfalls that can cause you to lose out on the compensation you need and deserve for the injuries you suffered. For this and many other reasons, it is absolutely essential to retain strong legal counsel as early as possible after the accident, so your right to recover compensation can be preserved.
At M. Adam Jones and Associates, we understand that a motorcycle accident injury can exact a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and we fight hard for every dollar of compensation you deserve. We have in-depth knowledge of Alabama personal injury law, and we know what it takes to successfully overcome the challenges victims have when trying to recover damages in our state.
Call us today at 334-581-9238 or send us a message through our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.