An auto accident can be a terrifying experience for everyone involved. Accidents can be particularly unnerving for motorcyclists, who will absorb more impact from the collision with a larger vehicle, and have less protection when they do. After a traumatic experience – such as a motorcycle accident – it can be difficult to know what to do.
Motorcyclists in and around the Clearwater area trust the Dolman Law Group to protect their legal rights after an auto accident. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating personal injury claims. They are familiar with the unique needs of motorcycle riders and will ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
When a motorcycle accident does occur, it can be difficult to know what to do next. With a little preparation and knowledge, you can take control of the situation in order to feel less overwhelmed, start your physical recovery, and protect your legal rights. Follow our tips to take charge and stay calm.
Access all necessary medical treatment: The first and most important step after an auto accident is to ensure that your injuries are treated appropriately. Severe injuries may require emergency treatment from paramedics, the hospital’s emergency department, or an urgent care facility. All accident victims should follow up with their primary care provider to ensure that any latent injuries are discovered and treated. Complicated injuries may require consultation with specialists, such as an orthopedist, a pain management expert, a neurologist, a cardiologist, or a sports medicine physician. Schedule and attend follow up appointments to ensure that your injuries are healing appropriately and that no further treatment is required.
Many auto accident victims are – understandably – concerned about the costs of medical care. When another driver’s negligence was the cause of your injuries, he or she is legally obligated to compensate you for your injuries. Moreover, Florida’s personal injury protection statute requires all drivers to carry no-fault accident coverage. This coverage pays for medical bills incurred as the result of the accident, regardless of who was at fault. A personal injury attorney can help you access this compensation quickly in order to begin medical treatment right away. Don’t delay getting the medical care you need – the longer an injury is left untreated, the worse it gets, and the poorer its prognosis for recovery.
Document the accident as best you can: If your physical condition allows for it, document the accident scene as best you can. Most smartphones come equipped with a photograph, video recording, and audio recording features. These can be used to document any relevant information from the accident scene. Physical injuries – such as bruises, scars, and cuts – should also be documented to support your personal injury claim. Note any changes in these physical injuries which occur in the days and weeks following the accident.
Often, law enforcement officers will respond to the scene of a motorcycle accident. They will ask all involved drivers to make a statement of how the accident occurred. Give the simple facts of the accident as concisely as possible. Do not embellish with unnecessary details or speculate about events you did not actually witness. Be sure to get information about how to access the accident report once it has been completed. The police report is often the most important piece of evidence in a personal injury case.
Contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible: The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the sooner your legal rights will be protected. This increases the chances for a favorable resolution of your case. An experienced attorney can help you avoid common mistakes such as: giving statements to the other driver’s insurance company, settling a claim before all expenses and losses have been identified, or letting the insurance company reduce your compensation for pain and suffering.
Do not discuss your accident on social media: Any pictures you post or statements you make on social media can be used by the insurance company to devalue your personal injury claim. While it is tempting to immediately update your friends and family on a major life event (such as a car accident), this can seriously compromise your legal case. Refrain from posting any information about the accident until your claim has been settled or resolved at trial. This includes photographs of your vehicle or injuries, statements about your injuries, statements about the accident itself, complaints about the settlement process, etc.
The best way to protect yourself from injuries is to reduce your chances of having an accident altogether. Ride defensively: never assume another driver will yield the right of way, even when it is yours. Make sure that drivers can see your motorcycle by using your lights and horn as needed. Do not make erratic movements: signal turns and lane changes well in advance so that other drivers can anticipate your movements and react accordingly.
The importance of helmet use cannot be overstated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, for every one hundred motorcyclists killed while not wearing a helmet, thirty-seven of them could have been saved by wearing a helmet. It’s also worth noting that both Texas and Arkansas experienced increases in motorcycle fatalities when helmet laws were repealed. Always wear a helmet – even when you are riding through a state in which helmet use is not legally required.
The personal injury attorneys of the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating motorcycle accident claims. They fight hard to protect Florida residents from injuries and ensure that they are fairly compensated when injuries do occur. Our experienced team has the legal expertise to ably handle your claim. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney today. Our experienced, aggressive attorneys will protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765