If you've been involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to make sure you take the right steps after the accident to reduce the headaches of the legal issues that you will need to settle. Here is a list of basic to-dos that will help you as you recover from your accident.
1. Document your injuries.
Motorcycle injuries are notoriously more serious than normal car-crash injuries, even with minor accidents. Even if you were lucky enough to walk away without a scratch, stay hyper-vigilant for any change in the days following the accident. This is important even if the accident did not involve another driver. Your insurance helps to pay for medical concerns, but you'll have to prove they are related to the accident. Take time to photograph bruises, see the doctor, and record any changes in how you feel. Make a note of headaches, back pain, or other joint pain.
2. Write down what you can remember from the accident while it is fresh in your mind.
This record helps you to preserve details that can be useful in a case later on, especially if you end up being at fault for the accident. Your lawyer will use any details you remember as ways to gain evidence to reduce or refute your full culpability. Write down everything you can remember, including the following.
The weather. Was it foggy, raining, or snowing? Sometimes, the weather can mean that your fault is reduced. Motorcycles have fewer built-in safety features to make navigating in bad weather easier.
The road conditions. Potholes, missing guard rails, and icy roads can all indicate that someone else should be held partial responsible for the accident. For example, if the city is responsible for clearing icy roads in a reasonable time frame after a storm, and you hit a pedestrian because you were not able to stop, the city may have some part in the civil liability.
The time of day. This reflects on your state of mind and how busy the roads may or may not have been.
What the driver of the other vehicle was wearing, driving, eating, listening to, or saying. Sometimes it takes two to accident, and anything that the other driver might have done to influence the accident can help your case.
You may never actually need to use this information, but having it on hand can be a big help for your motorcycle-accident attorney should you need to hire one. If possible, include photos that you took at the accident scene.
3. Contact a lawyer, just in case.
Not all accidents require the use of a lawyer, but if your case is becoming complicated, it's better to get legal advice sooner rather than later. Your accident attorney can do more than just get you compensation from an at-fault driver. They can also help you deal properly with your insurance and keep better track of professional statements that could impact your case. For example, a law office such as Scherline And Associates can stay in contact with your doctor and your employer to be sure you are being fairly represented when you're collecting due compensation from your own insurance company.
4. Follow all treatment protocols to the T.
If you visit a doctor after the accident, be sure to take all prescribed medications and to follow through on appointments and other outpatient procedures, like small surgeries or physical therapy. Even if you feel like these things are a waste of time or that you'll get better on your own without going, following your doctor's orders can really help your lawsuit, if you have one, and it can help you get what you deserve from your insurance for your injuries and time lost at work. Especially with motorcycle accidents, it's essential you follow to rules to remain credible to your insurance company.