Noble McIntyre on July 7, 2015
If you love the open road and you’re spending long summer days out on your bike, this is likely your favorite time of year, and the possibilities seem endless. At McIntyre Law, we value safety, and we never like to answer the phone and hear that someone has suffered injury as a result of a motorcycle crash – but it happens. If it happens to you, the first priority is making sure that you receive the appropriate medical treatment so that you can have a full recovery. Next, we have to make sure that you are properly compensated so that you can get those wheels back on the road.
Call 911. Whether or not you think you or anyone else is injured or damage has been sustained, it’s crucial that a police report is on file for any motor vehicle accident. If there are witnesses, encourage them to stay at the scene until the police arrive to take their statements and contact information.
Go to a hospital or visit your doctor immediately. If your injuries are severe, head straight to the nearest emergency room. Even if you think that you’re fine, you should go to a hospital or get checked out by a doctor, regardless. Some head, back, neck and internal injuries can take hours, or even days, to become apparent. If you delay treatment, your insurance company could take that as a sign that your injuries are insignificant, or even that you’re making them up after the fact. A complete report by a medical provider immediately following an accident is a crucial part of any insurance claim you might make.
Make statements about the accident only to the police. In the heat of the moment, your impression of what happened could be fuzzy. You have just experienced a trauma, and you might even be nervous enough to admit to or apologize for something that was not your fault. Avoid making apologies or admissions to anyone at the scene (even any other involved drivers) except for the attending police officers. While you might think that you’re simply being nice and showing concern for another motorist, an apology made at the scene is admissible in court and could be evidence against you if the other party seeks to prove fault.
Take pictures. If you are able to do so, take a few pictures at the scene. Try to show any damage to your motorcycle, as well as to other vehicles and other property damage. Keep them safe in your phone or on your camera, but don’t send them to anyone until you’ve been advised to do so by the attorneys at McIntyre Law.
Call your insurance provider to have a case file created for the accident. You want the insurance company to know that you were following due diligence in avoiding any delay in reporting the case. You will get a claim number for the date of loss and will connect with a claims adjuster who can be your point of contact for any other communication that you will do to recover medical, lost wages, property damage or other claims. However, if the insurer asks you to make a recorded statement about how the accident happened, we recommend that you decline until you have our lawyers present to advise.
Call McIntyre Law. We’ll walk you through every step of the process so that you avoid making statements to your insurance company that would restrict the amount of compensation that you could recover, and help you to only pay what’s fair to the other parties involved.
Be wary of law firm representatives to contact you, rather than your contacting them. Everyone has heard of the stereotypical “ambulance chaser” law firms. They do exist, but they are not looking out for your best interests. If someone visits your hospital room or comes to your home representing a law firm that you did not contact, do not speak with that person. For a law firm representative to pursue someone who has just been in an accident is illegal and unethical. If someone tries to encourage you to have him or her represent you, it’s best to avoid that person altogether.
Keep accurate records and receipts. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you might be able to collect damages for costs associated with life activities that you’re unable to do while you’re recovering. For example, if you’re paying for cab rides to medical appointments because you’re unable to drive, or paying for someone to walk your dog or mow your lawn, you should keep receipts for all of those services. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you might be able to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses related to your injuries. Your McIntyre Law attorney can advise as to how to proceed and what expenses should be tracked.
Avoid posting details about your accident on social media. Insurance companies are known to view Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other social media associated with an individual’s claim. While you might want to let your friends and family know that you’re okay, or that you need help managing your injuries, it’s best to keep those conversations offline. Steer clear of sharing any detail about how the accident occurred or how your recovery is going. If you say, “Hey! I had a pretty bad motorcycle wreck today, but no worries, I’m going to be fine!”, the insurance company could construe that to mean that your injuries are less serious than they actually are.
No one wants to think about the possibility of a motorcycle accident. Following Oklahoma motorcycle helmet laws and knowing basic motorcycle safety tips is a good start towards preventing yourself from getting hurt. If the unexpected does occur, though, the staff at McIntyre Law is ready to help. Insurance and medical bills can be overwhelming, but we will guide you every step of the way so that you can get the compensation you need to get yourself healthy and recovered, and not have to exhaust your bank account in the process.