What to Do After a Nashville Motorcycle Accident
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Middle Tennessee, it is normal to be unsure what to do in the minutes, hours and days immediately afterward. You may feel practically immobilized with questions and worries and pain from your injuries. It is important to know where to turn for help and to take certain steps after a motorcycle accident to protect yourself and your legal rights.
The days and weeks after a serious motorcycle accident are a time when you need trusted guidance from an experienced attorney. A Nashville motorcycle accident attorney at Bill Easterly & Associates is available to review your legal options and help you through the process of seeking compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. We will investigate your motorcycle accident to identify all the potentially responsible parties and develop a solid plan to seek the maximum compensation for your injuries. Our team has more than 25 years of experience and we have obtained millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims.
10 Steps You Should Take After a Motorcycle Crash
While each motorcycle accident has unique factors that must be evaluated, there are general steps that a downed rider should take after an accident. They include:
- Call 911 – Summon police to the scene of the accident and give them your location. Make a quick assessment of whether anyone is injured and, if so, request an ambulance. Determine how many people may require an ambulance.
- Exchange Information – While you are waiting for the police to arrive, exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other motorist. If the other driver is hostile or refuses to share information, wait for the police to arrive to collect the other driver’s license and insurance information.
- Refuse Any Suggestion to Not Report the Accident – An at-fault driver may be worried about his or her insurance rates going up and want to avoid reporting the accident. It is important not to let another motorist talk you out of reporting the accident to police. The at-fault motorist may promise to pay your medical bills out of pocket and pay to repair your motorcycle to avoid reporting the accident to an insurance company. But without a police accident report, you will have a hard time proving the other driver caused the accident and you will have little leverage to make the at-fault driver pay your damages. A police accident report creates an official record of the motorcycle accident and can be essential to making a strong insurance claim.
- Keep Your Cool – Emotions can run high in the aftermath of a collision. It is important to keep your composure and avoid getting into an argument or an angry exchange with others at the scene. It is common for a motorist who failed to see a motorcyclist to try to shift the blame and accuse the motorcyclist of speeding. Do not get into a debate or discuss what happened with the other motorist. Give the investigating police officer an account of what occurred and let the police officer reconstruct how the accident unfolded.
- Avoid Discussing Your Injuries – Do not discuss with other motorists how the accident occurred or try to reassure the others that you were not seriously injured. The truth is that you may be injured and not realize it in the moments after an accident. The rush of adrenaline after an accident may mask your injuries. Your comments and reassurances, while well intentioned, may be used against you later by an insurance company to undermine your claim. In fact, you may feel fine a few minutes after the accident, but feel very sore the next day. It is best to remain silent and seek a professional medical assessment.
- Identify Witnesses – If you are able, use your time while you are waiting for police to arrive to identify witnesses and document the accident scene. Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident before they leave or have someone else get their names and phones numbers for you, if you are unable to do so yourself. Eyewitnesses can offer an independent description of how the accident occurred and verify your description of what happened. Witnesses will be much harder to track down after they drive off if you fail to get their contact information.
- Snap Photos of the Motorcycle Accident – Use your phone’s camera to take photographs showing the position of the vehicles, damage to your motorcycle and other vehicles, the extent of your injuries and those of your passengers, skid marks and debris on the roadway, the position of traffic signals in relation to the accident and any shrubbery or trees that may be blocking the view of drivers approaching an intersection. Take a photo of the license plate of the other vehicles involved in the accident. Take as many photographs as possible.
- Seek Medical Care – If you do not require emergency medical treatment at the scene of the motorcycle accident, visit a doctor promptly for an evaluation and inform the doctor that you have been in a crash. A doctor’s report provides an independent evaluation of your injuries and will show that your injuries were caused by the motorcycle accident. It can provide important evidence to support your claim for compensation for your injuries.
- Notify Your Insurance Company – Report the accident to your insurance company promptly. If a representative of the insurance company for the at-fault motorist contacts you, politely decline to give a recorded statement or speak to them. You are under no obligation to speak with the insurance company of the at-fault driver and doing so may harm your chances to receive compensation if you say the wrong thing. The insurance company representative may seem friendly and concerned about your health, but their goal is to minimize the amount of money the insurance company pays out. The insurance adjuster may twist whatever you tell them to deny or minimize your injury claim. It is best to have a qualified attorney deal with the insurance company.
- Contact an Experienced Lawyer – Contact a Nashville lawyer who has experience handling motorcycle accidents and who will advocate for your interests and deal with the insurance companies and paperwork. You do not need the additional stress when trying to recover from serious injuries. Recovering your health should be your priority.
At Bill Easterly & Associates, we are committed to the proposition that you should not be saddled with thousands of dollars of medical bills if another motorist caused your injuries through negligence. The at-fault motorist should pay full compensation. Let us review your motorcycle accident and explain your legal options for recovery. If we can assist you, we will handle the case on a contingency basis so you will not owe any legal fees until we obtain money for you through an insurance settlement or jury award.