10 Steps to Follow After a Motorcycle Crash
Florida is one of the best places to ride a motorcycle. The sunshine, the warm temperatures and clear stretches of road are the perfect storm for prime motorcycle conditions.
Unfortunately, Florida has also seen a growing number of motorcycle accidents, and, as a result, injuries and fatalities, in the past decade. In 2013, 444 people riding driving motorcycles in Florida were killed. Another 18 passengers of those motorcycles were killed, according to Ride Smart Florida.
Recent numbers also show that motorcycle crashes are very costly for the rider. In 2011, the average hospital bill for motorcyclists admitted to a Florida hospital was $56,966, according to Ride Smart Florida.
The number of riders on the road doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon either. As of January this year, there were 593,321 registered motorcycles in the state.
So, what should you do if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident? Here are 10 steps to follow.
Ensure you are safe and self-check for injuries
First things first: Make sure you’re safe and uninjured. Safety is the priority immediately following a crash. If you have a passenger, ensure they are also OK.
Immediately following a crash, emotions run high. Adrenaline is pumping. Try to stay as calm as you can and focus. Yelling at the motorist or causing a scene beyond the collision will likely only end up hurting you later on in your claim or lawsuit.
Check that the motorist and those around you are uninjured
Once you’re able to confirm you and any passengers are okay, look around to see if the other motorist or any bystanders were hurt in the incident.
Call the authorities or emergency medical personnel
Once you’ve checked in with everyone, call the police and/or an ambulance, depending on the situation. It’s important to get the incident written up by the police so you have an official record to turn to if you decide to pursue a claim or lawsuit for any injuries the driver may have inflicted.
Talk to any bystanders
In addition to an accident report from the police, it’s good to have any eyewitness statements to add to any evidence, as well. Bystanders sometimes have a better handle on what happened because of their vantage point. If you’re able to talk to any witnesses, jot down their information so you or your lawyer can follow up later.
Exchange information with the driver
Be sure to exchange the following information with the driver:
- Phone number
- Insurance company and policy number
- License plate number
Capture any information about the scene with notes or a camera
If you have a pen and paper, or a camera, either via your smartphone or otherwise, capture the scene as you’re able. Sometimes memory fades over time, and details are crucial when mounting a case.
File a health insurance claim
Don’t delay in contacting your insurance company. The claims process can sometimes be a lengthy endeavor, so the sooner you begin, the better. This will sometimes also enable you to decide whether you should contact a lawyer. Experienced personal injury lawyers will be able to help you deal with your insurance company and the driver’s insurance company, in addition to seeking any other eligible financial compensation as a result of your injuries.
Consider filing a personal injury lawsuit
If the injuries you’ve sustained on your motorcycle are the result of a crash with a negligent driver, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation. This compensation would cover things like medical bills, future medical costs, any lost wages, and any emotional pain and suffering you’ve been cased as a result of the crash and injuries.
Contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accidents
If you’re interested in learning more about your options in the wake of a crash while on your motorcycle, be sure to contact an experienced lawyer. The Fort Lauderdale lawyers at Boone & Davis have 30 years working on these kinds of cases — and our solid record advocating for clients and recovering financial compensation is clear.