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What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Orlando
Motorcycle accidents are common in Orlando. The city is home to many high-volume roads that offer little protection for motorcyclists.
After a motorcycle accident, the steps you take can affect your legal rights and accident injury claim. You will need to collect evidence and identify the at-fault party, and file your claim within Florida’s deadline. Partnering with an attorney from the beginning will increase your odds of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
Here are a few things to do following a motorcycle crash:
1. Get someplace safe and check for injuries
Following a motor vehicle accident, it is critical to immediately evaluate all participants for injuries. If any of the participants appear to be injured, call 911 immediately and wait for medical care to arrive. Even seemingly minor injuries can become worse without quick medical attention. For potential head injuries, prompt treatment can help prevent potentially fatal brain trauma. If possible, move your motorcycle off of the road to prevent further collisions; however, do not attempt this if you suspect your own injury requires immediate medical attention.
2. Call 911 and contact the police
After assessing the situation, call 911 and alert the police as soon as possible. Include in your report any details that you observed immediately before the accident and any information you can provide about the other driver or drivers involved in the collision. If an officer on the scene tells you that there will be a written report about this incident, ask for that officer's name and badge number. You may want to contact that officer later if you have questions about what happened or need more information from that officer for your case. If another driver appears to be at fault for causing the accident or if you suspect that another driver may try to flee the scene of an accident, call 911 immediately so that law enforcement can respond quickly and properly document all evidence related to the incident.
3. Exchange personal and insurance information
Be sure to gather information from all parties involved in the motorcycle accident. Obtain the names, insurance information and addresses of all drivers involved in the accident. Get their license plate numbers as well, if possible. Do not admit fault for the motorcycle crash to any party or emergency services. Your lawyer may try and find security camera video, medical reports and other evidence from the accident to help build your case and identity at fault and liable drivers.
4. Take photos and notes of your surroundings
If you're in a motorcycle accident, your insurance company and the other driver's insurer will want to know as much as possible about what happened. It will also be in your best interests to collect as much information about the accident as possible in order to build a solid case for your injury claim. If you have your cellphone, take pictures of the scene, your motorcycle, any other vehicles involved and the injuries sustained by everyone. Record where you are, what time it is, and what’s happening around you. If possible, take pictures with a time stamp on your phone so that you can show how long it took for police officers or tow truck drivers to arrive at the scene of an accident.
If there are witnesses around who saw what happened, ask them for their contact information so that they can provide statements as well. This can help to bolster your case later on down the road if it ends up going to court.
5. Visit a doctor or hospital and receive treatment
It is important to receive medical treatment as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident. Some motorcycle injuries are very obvious and easy to spot, such as a broken bone or a wound. These injuries can be treated immediately. However, other injuries are invisible but can still cause pain or discomfort. Many people assume that because they have no visible injuries that they have not been injured at all. They may even think that their pain will go away on its own over time. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
If you leave the scene of an accident without receiving treatment, it will be more difficult to prove your injuries were caused by the crash. Additionally, if you are treated for something other than your injuries from the crash, the defense attorneys will argue that those injuries were unrelated to the accident. If you receive prompt medical attention after an accident, it is easier for an injury attorney or insurance adjuster to determine what caused your injuries and how long they may last. If possible, go directly to a doctor or hospital after the crash.
6. Report the crash to your insurance
Contact your insurance company and alert them of the accident, as well as information about the party you believe is at fault in causing your motorcycle accident. File a report right away – ideally within 24 hours of the crash. This gives you an opportunity to be certain about what happened, who was responsible for what happened, and how those responsible are connected to each other (e.g., if they were operating under their own insurance or if one was riding as a passenger on another's bike). If another party is immediately admitting fault for the accident and showing remorse for their involvement, it can also help your situation by being able to get in touch with them quickly.
Make sure to keep track of all expenses related to your injuries from the motorcycle accident (e.g., medical bills), even if they haven't been processed yet.
After a motorcycle accident, you should contact the insurance company of the party whose actions may have caused your crash. Even if the other driver was not 100% at-fault, you may still be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your own insurance company can help expedite this process by providing information on how best to contact the other driver's policy. After reporting the crash to your own insurance company, confirm with them that they have taken action and reported it to the other party's insurance company. Then let your attorney know that you've reported it so they can follow up with their own investigation. Also file a report right away – ideally within 24 hours of the crash. That way, if someone else was hurt in a subsequent crash because they could not see what happened or where debris landed, your testimony could be used for that case as well.
7. Follow your doctor’s orders
While you may feel as though you are in a hurry to move on with your life and get back to normal, it is important that you understand how crucial it is for you to follow your doctor’s orders. This is true not only for your own benefit but also as documentation for the insurance companies and potential lawsuit.
Talk with your doctor about what treatment advice he or she gives you after an accident. You should make sure that you always follow this plan. This is how the insurance company will know how serious your injuries were and how long it took for them to heal. Even if the treatment does not cost a lot of money or time, it is crucial that you follow through with visits. If they find out that you didn't follow orders and that has caused further injuries, they can use this as evidence to assert that you are responsible for worsening your injuries.
8. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney
If you've been in a motorcycle accident in Apopka, chances are you're experiencing pain and suffering, and you may be considering filing a personal injury claim to help cover any out-of-pocket expenses. It's important to get the right guidance from an attorney as soon as possible, which means contacting a motorcycle accident attorney at Hines Law right away. A claims adjuster for your insurance company will likely give you some advice about what to do next, but he or she is not your legal counsel and you should not rely on the claims adjuster for legal advice. The only way to protect your rights is by seeking advice from someone who is experienced in handling personal injury claims involving motorcycles.
We're here for you in your time of need. If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident in Apopka, Orlando or anywhere else in Central Florida, call us at (407) 554-4484 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney today!