Written By: Patrick Brown and Ryan Marinacci, Student-at-Law
Summer is around the corner and motorcycles are coming out of storage. Safety should always be the number one priority but crashes do occur, most of the time completely out of a rider’s control. A rider can be doing everything right: wearing up-to-date safety equipment, obeying the rules of the road, and driving cautiously. Yet, the rider is still involved in a collision through no fault of his or her own. The same can be said about driving a car but the difference lies in the seriousness of injuries that an exposed motorcyclist can sustain.
The lawyers at McLeish Orlando understand that motorcyclists face considerably higher risks and are much more vulnerable than individuals driving cars. Here are six things you should do if you have been in a motorcycle crash:
- Call 9-11 and request officers at the scene.
- Do not touch your motorcycle and take pictures.
- Demand the other driver’s information.
- Obtain witness names and contact information.
- Seek medical attention.
- Consult a lawyer.
First, call 9-11. Request officers at the scene. When officers attend the scene, witness statements are taken and more details are recorded. Ask for the officers’ business cards. This ensures that the motor vehicle collision report and investigative field notes accurately detail what happened and are easy to obtain.
Second, do not touch your motorcycle. Take pictures of everything: injuries, property damage, vehicles involved, street signs, road conditions, weather, and lighting. There is no such thing as too many pictures. The better the documented property damage and injuries, the better the case.
Third, demand the other driver’s information, including insurance slip, driver’s license, and license plate number. Do not negotiate. Information easily gets lost and slips through the cracks in the mayhem after a crash. Having your own easy access to the other parties’ information will avoid having to rely on the police or the insurance companies to initiate legal action. This saves time and legal resources.
Fourth, obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Witnesses with critical information regularly leave the scene before police officers arrive to investigate the crash, often assuming someone else will report what they saw to police. Obtaining witness names and contact information yourself might avoid losing crucial evidence regarding the circumstances of the collision when individuals who saw the crash leave the scene without speaking to police.
Fifth, seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash. Report every single injury and symptom you experience to doctors and nurses. Be detailed. Most injuries and symptoms present in the first 48 hours after a collision. Ensuring that the medical records document all of your injuries and symptoms early on will make it easier to link them to the crash, track your prognosis, and claim compensation.
Sixth, consult a lawyer before talking to insurance companies. Do not give a recorded statement. Do not sign anything. What seems like a harmless detail could seriously hurt a claim down the line.
The importance of hiring the right lawyer after being injured in a motorcycle crash cannot be overstated. An experienced lawyer will be able to maximize results by combining accident reconstruction with a detailed investigation into the long-term consequences of the injuries, and a robust analysis of economic losses, including lost income and future cost of care. Grappling with the nuances and paying attention to every single detail are necessary assets. Being able to persuade an insurance company of the amount it should pay to secure an injured motorcyclist’s future is of critical importance.
Through years of experience in representing injured motorcyclists, the lawyers at McLeish Orlando have developed a well-recognized ability to obtain outstanding results for clients who have been injured in a motorcycle crash. There is no charge for initial consultations. Feel free to contact one of the lawyers at McLeish Orlando for an assessment of your case.