Although motorcycles are familiar and enjoyable modes of transportation in Utah, they aren’t without their faults. Not only can motorcycle accidents cause extensive injuries and expensive damage to your property, but they can also result in death. So far, 25 people have died of motorcycle crashes on Utah roads: a five-year high.
Usually, the moments following a motorcycle accident are chaotic and confusing. You may be too shocked, traumatized, or injured to think clearly. However, taking immediate action can maximize your chances of recovering damages.
Far too often, victims regret not being better prepared for what to do at the crash scene and in the hours, days, and weeks that follow. That’s why we have compiled a list of seven steps you must take after a motorcycle accident in Utah.
7 Steps to Follow after Motorcycle Accident
Follow these tips, and you’ll have a better shot at building a strong case against the negligent driver. Let’s dive in!
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel pain or notice any visible injuries, it’s still smart to see a medical professional after a motorcycle collision. You may have life-threatening internal injuries, such as hemorrhages, punctured lungs caused by broken ribs, and bleeding around the lungs, hidden in plain sight.
Don’t wait for the adrenaline to subside – call 911 and ask for medical assistance, pronto. Additionally, do not remove your protective gear till the paramedics arrive, as this can compromise your injuries further.
You must also report your injuries and symptoms to the police, the EMTs, and the medical staff in the hospital emergency room. Insist that the personnel document your injuries, no matter how insignificant. A proper record of your wounds ratified by attending doctors can help your personal injury case down the line.
Not seeking prompt medical care doesn’t just impact your health, but it can also hurt your chances of receiving compensation for your claims. Unless you get proper treatment for your injuries, insurance companies might assume they don’t exist.
2. Report the Accident to Local Authorities
Utah’s motorcycle accident law requires drivers involved in an accident to report it to the nearest law enforcement agency through the quickest means possible (for example, a phone call from the scene).
Once the police finish investigating, remember to obtain a copy of the police report. The report will contain vital insights, such as the other driver’s contact information, how the accident may have occurred, the police’s views on who was at fault, and whether a citation was issued. These details can help your case when you’re negotiating a personal injury settlement down the line.
Also, note the reporting officer’s name and badge number for future reference. You can contact them later if you require more details about the accident.
3. Exchange Information with People on the Site
When everyone is out of immediate danger, try your best to gather information from the people at the crash site. If possible, make a list of their:
- Phone numbers
- Car makes and models
- License numbers
- Insurance information
Eyewitness testimonies can also turn the tables in your favor during a motorcycle accident claim. You must speak to everyone who witnessed the accident or recorded it on their phones. Be sure to do this as quickly as possible while the incident is still fresh in their minds.
4. Gather Evidence
If you can move around after the accident, take pictures and videos of the scene. Remember to capture the:
- Location of the accident
- Speed limit signs
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- Intersections and mile markers
- Key points of interest at the site
- Lighting conditions
5. Never Admit Fault
Whether you’re speaking to an insurance adjuster, police officer, or the other driver, do not say anything that may accidentally put the blame on you. Simple statements like ‘I am sorry’ can have serious legal consequences down the line. The last thing you want is to be charged for a motorcycle accident you had no part to play in.
Any admission of wrongdoing can make it difficult or even impossible for you to collect the compensation you deserve. It’s best to avoid giving direct statements to the authorities to reduce the chances of a grave mistake. Let your motorcycle accident attorney do all the talking for you instead.
6. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Without Delay
Let’s face it: you can’t go to war with insurance companies alone. Without proper legal representation to protect your interests, the insurers may try to trick you into accepting a lowball settlement.
Since motorcycle accidents can leave you bedridden and unable to work for weeks (or months), you need proper compensation to offset your expenses.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Utah will go the distance to safeguard your rights to benefits and possible financial damages. They will investigate the scene, determine potential liability, review your medical records, and explain every step of the legal process in plain English. Furthermore, if the insurance company refuses to accept your claim, your motorcycle accident lawyer will take your case to court, no questions asked.
7. Keep a Folder of Events After the Motorcycle Accident
As you know, you must present compelling evidence to establish the other party’s fault and prove that you are entitled to compensation after the accident. But you’ll not find everything you need at the scene.
So, what do you do?
Make an effort to keep track of the following while you recover.
- Letters/prescriptions from your doctor or other healthcare professionals
- Communications from your employer if you are unable to work
- All insurance documents
- Medical bills and an explanation of the benefits statement
- A description of how the injuries affected your daily life
- Any prescription/non-prescription medication you used
- The dates and times of all your medical appointments, including physical therapy
- Laboratory tests (blood tests, CT scans, MRIs, X-Rays)
- All symptoms, including mental and emotional distress
Staying organized can help you recover mentally after the accident. Additionally, this information can come in handy if you decide to take legal action against the other driver.
The Bottom Line
It’s impossible to predict an accident. That’s why it always helps to be prepared so that you can get recover rightful damages should you get involved in a crash. Hopefully, this post has given you some insight into the seven crucial steps you must follow after a motorcycle accident. A little vigilance and effort can go a long way in securing your settlement.
Were you involved in a motorcycle accident recently? You need proper legal support to fight the insurance company’s cunning ways. At Henriksen & Henriksen, our motorcycle accident attorneys can help you evaluate your claim and negotiate generous compensation. Moreover, we’re willing to duke it out in court if push comes to shove. Get in touch with us for more information today!