From the moment of impact, your life is changed forever. Motorcycle accidents are almost always more severe than car accidents, frequently resulting in serious injuries and, in a lot of cases, the loss of your bike. Motorist insurance will cover some of the costs, but keep one thing in mind: the insurance companies are not on your side and will try to avoid paying a claim.
Your actions after a Maryland motorcycle accident could mean the difference between receiving compensation or walking away with bills and injuries that could last a lifetime.
Here’s a look at what to do after a motorcycle accident, and just as importantly, what not to do.
DO: Report the Accident
If the other party is insisting on handling the claim privately, you may be tempted to not report the accident. No matter what the other party says about payments and settlements, always report the accident to have a legal police document regarding the incident. Evaluate yourself and the other driver, and call for emergency medical services if necessary.
DO NOT: Drive Away
Leaving the scene of an accident is a big no-no that will land you in legal trouble. Stay at the scene and await police, even if the other party leaves or insists that notifying the authorities isn’t necessary.
DO: Collect All Information
You don’t need to wait on the police for this step, provided it is safe to communicate with the other driver, your injuries aren’t severe, and you are both calm. Make sure to take pictures of the car, your bike, and the other party’s license, registration, and insurance information. If possible, snap a few pictures of the entire car, not just the damaged areas, to protect yourself from fraudulent claims of damages after the incident.
DO NOT: Underestimate The Severity of Your Injuries
Even if you are walking around following the accident and feeling unhurt, it’s good practice to have a followup with a physician within a day or two of the accident. Many injuries aren’t felt immediately, and will worsen over time. Not having a doctor evaluate your injuries as soon as possible following the accident can interfere with the damages you are seeking following a motorcycle accident in Maryland.
DO: Seek Witnesses
Finding a witness to the accident will help you prove your claim. Make sure to get the witness’ contact information, and inform the police that there is someone who can verify the details of the accident.
DO NOT: Claim Fault
It’s a tricky situation; the natural instinct after an accident is to apologize. Try to avoid generalizations such as “I’m sorry,” and never say anything that could be construed as claiming fault, like “I wasn’t looking” or “I didn’t see you.”
DO: Notify Your Insurance Company
Regardless of fault, your insurance company needs to be notified about the incident. It’s your responsibility to file a claim, even if it “seems” obvious the accident was the other party’s fault.
DO NOT: Talk Directly to The Other Party’s Insurance Company
It’s important not to engage with the other driver’s insurance company without a legally prepared statement. Remember that insurance companies aren’t on your side, and a claim can be denied based on something you inadvertently said or implied.
DO: Get Legal Help Immediately
A lot of things are going on after a motorcycle accident in Maryland, and it’s an overwhelming process full of potential mistakes that could result in your claim being denied. It’s important to retain legal counsel immediately after the accident to protect your legal rights.
DO NOT: Hire an Inexperienced Attorney
Not all attorneys specialize in personal injury and accident litigation. It’s important to find an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to represent you, handling the insurance companies and paperwork for you to ensure you are properly compensated.
DO: Call Arthur C. Crum, Jr.
Arthur C. Crum, Jr. is a practicing motorcycle injury lawyer, serving areas of Western and Central Maryland including Frederick, Hagerstown, Frostburg, and more. To discuss your case, call the law office of Arthur C. Crum, Jr., today. We offer free consultations and there are no legal fees or costs unless we recover for you. Contact us at 301-662-4088.