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What Do I Do if I Crash My Motorcycle?

6 Important Steps After A Motorcycle Accident

There’s nothing quite like the feeling that comes with riding a motorcycle. The experience of riding the open road is relaxing and enjoyable…until another vehicle fails to share the road. The lack of protection for riders and passengers increases the risk of sustaining serious injuries during a collision.

While riders have the same rights as other drivers, often drivers fail to see motorcycles, crowd them off the road, or simply don’t yield the right-of-way. Whatever the reason, no one should experience serious and life-changing injuries due to the negligence of someone else. If you have suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident, consider discussing your case with a Florida motorcycle accident attorney. The attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have made this 6 step list to assist you in the even of an accident, for more information call at (727) 451-6900 today.

1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately

After an accident, you should call 911 and seek medical attention immediately. While this may seem like an obvious thing to do after a motorcycle accident, not all injuries show immediate symptoms. Once the shock of the initial impact subsides, you may discover you can stand, walk around, and decide you are fine. However, internal injuries such as internal bleeding and organ damage may not be readily apparent and require diagnosis by a medical professional. Here are just a few medical conditions that can have delayed symptoms:

Neck pain – Neck pain may be a symptom of a sprain, more commonly known as whiplash. Often the result of rear-end accidents, whiplash is the rapid movement of the neck in a back-and-forth fashion. The many symptoms of whiplash include headaches, neck stiffness, and pain with neck movement. In more severe cases, you may develop blurred vision, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and memory problems.

Neck pain can also symbolize other issues such as broken bones or torn tissue. If you experience neck stiffness following your motorcycle accident, don’t brush it off as merely soreness. Rather, you should seek immediate medical attention to receive an accurate diagnosis.

Abdominal pain Internal bleeding is extremely serious and can occur for hours, or even days, without detection. Symptoms may include large areas of deep purple bruising, swelling, dizziness, and fainting. Abdominal pain that involves internal bleeding can induce life-threatening conditions, so have medical professionals evaluate you.

Seeking immediate medical attention is vital, not only for your health, but also for establishing a medical record of your injuries. Medical records may be critical evidence should you decide to pursue litigation.

A motorcycle accident can lead to medical shock. Medical shock is a very serious condition that can result in death if left untreated. While you may think you know your body better than anyone, the sudden trauma of a motorcycle accident can change what you know. Make immediate medical attention your top priority following your accident.

2. Don’t Admit Fault

Some people may inherently offer an apology after an accident, but an apology may lead others to believe you are at fault. Law enforcement officials are responsible for determining who is at fault for an accident. Such a sudden and traumatic experience may leave you feeling dazed and somewhat confused. Do not admit fault immediately following an accident.

The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be chaotic. As people surround the scene, you may be able to identify the other driver involved. If a bystander tells you they witnessed the accident, you should speak with them. An eyewitness account of how the accident occurred may be invaluable later.

It is in your best interest to cooperate with law enforcement and emergency responders. By providing a statement to responding officers, you contribute to the official report of the accident. Open communication with first responders is vital to ensure you receive the appropriate treatment for your injuries.

Experiencing a motorcycle accident is sudden, stressful, and traumatic. If you have suffered injuries due to the carelessness of another driver, call 911, get a medical evaluation, and don’t admit fault.

3. Collect Evidence

Advances in smartphone technology make it possible to collect important evidence at the scene. If you can, use your phone to record video, pictures, and the contact information of witnesses. Any evidence collected at the scene will be helpful for any future litigation.

When your injuries are too severe to collect evidence, ask a witness to assist you. Frequently, rider’s phones do not survive the accident, making the help of others imperative for collecting evidence at the scene. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Watch for any news coverage of the accident from local television stations, online or print newspapers, and social media accounts. News accounts and social media posts may contain details previously unknown to you and worth further investigation.

4. Control Your Anger

It is normal to experience a range of emotions when you are involved in an accident. Many riders have a special connection to their motorcycle after investing substantial amounts of money into equipment, accessories, and care. When your special ride is knocked out from under you, like you, it will be damaged. Following a motorcycle accident, you may initially fear anger stemming from:

  • The other driver’s blatant recklessness;
  • The loss of your bike; or
  • The injuries suffered by you or your passenger.

Resist confronting the other driver immediately following an accident. Witnesses to the incident may later claim that you were the aggressor. Aggressive behavior directed at the driver may elicit an unintended response due to the traumatic experience of an accident. Aggression could cause a physical altercation or provide a basis for false claims later.

The widespread use of instant video and social media may expose the confrontation to the public—before you even leave the scene. It is easier said than done, but it is crucial to maintain a cool demeanor at the crash site. Losing your cool will only come back to haunt you later as you pursue litigation.

5. Assess the Injuries From the Motorcycle Accident

Every motorcycle accident is different. A serious crash can cause a variety of injuries. Depending upon the severity of your injury, you may face the following medical expenses:

Spinal cord injury – This type of injury is typically associated with some degree of paralysis. Spinal cord injuries often require a range of medical needs, including power chairs for mobility and vehicle modifications for functional transport. In addition, home modifications may be necessary to accommodate handicap accessibility.

Spinal cord injuries may require the need for an ongoing in-home caretaker. Simple daily tasks such as bathing and dressing are often difficult without assistance. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation reports the lifetime costs associated with a spinal cord injury can amount to millions of dollars every year.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A traumatic brain injury will have wide-ranging impacts on an individual. At a minimum, TBI disrupts normal brain function and the more severe the injury, the more therapy and extended care your loved one may need.

In addition to medical care, you may find the day-to-day care for your loved one to be overwhelming. Placement in a skilled nursing facility may be necessary and will definitely be costly and emotionally difficult. Of course, you want to provide for your loved one on your own, but his or her needs just may be more than you can handle.

Multiple broken bones – The force of impact when a body strikes a hard surface can result in the fractures of multiple bones. The breaking or, worse, the crushing of a bone typically requires surgery, casts, braces, physical therapy, and assistance with personal care. Severe injuries, such as breaking your back can result in missed time from work and chronic pain throughout your life.

Calculating Damages

A personal injury attorney can help you to calculate your future medical costs. Patients with severe and permanent injuries likely will experience more than one surgery and frequent hospital stays.

In addition to fighting for fair compensation, having legal representation offers you peace of mind while navigating the aftermath of a traumatic experience. Each case and outcome is different, but with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side, you will be able to focus on your health.

Sadly, many victims of motorcycle accidents do not survive. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die after a collision with a car. Additionally, in more than 50 percent of multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles, motorists are at fault.

When someone you love dies as the result of a motorcycle accident involving a reckless driver, you may consider bringing a wrongful death claim. A personal injury attorney can offer advice on who should bring the claim and the amount of compensation to demand. While wrongful death claims can be complex, you may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost income, and loss of companionship. No amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, but a compensation award can ease the resulting financial burdens.

6. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney

Steps to Take After Motorcycle Accident

Matt Dolman, Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial case evaluations. The Florida statute of limitations sets a strict timeline for filing personal injury claims. The sooner an attorney can review the details of your case, the sooner they can determine the best course of action for you.

Time is of the essence, so find the right attorney for your case quickly. Securing the services of a personal injury attorney experienced in motorcycle accident litigation is essential for success. While each case is different, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

A personal injury attorney has the knowledge, training, skills, and experience required to handle aggressive insurance companies. A lawyer who knows how Florida law applies to personal injury claims is crucial to your claim’s success. Pursuing justice on your own will likely only leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed.

How Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Can Help You

Insurance companies aim to settle cases as quickly as possible. While may make an initial settlement offer that seems like a lot of money, it may not be enough to even cover future medical expenses.

Insurance company representatives only have the company’s best interests in mind. Never feel pressured to engage in conversation or accept any offer presented. Instead, contact a personal injury attorney who can best represent you and protect your best interests.

An experienced Florida personal injury attorney understands a motorcycle accident can be difficult and traumatic. Attorneys will apply appropriate pressure against insurance company demands, while remaining compassionate with their clients and open with their communication.

Hire an attorney to represent you in dealing with aggressive insurance representatives, so you can get the rest you need. Knowing you have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will provide peace of mind during this stressful time.

Riding your motorcycle in the warm Florida sunshine is your right as a licensed motorcycle driver. When the negligent actions of another driver cause you serious harm, consider all of your options for pursuing litigation. Like your injuries, there is often no quick fix when it comes to negotiating a fair settlement. While negotiations take time, most personal injury cases reach a settlement without ever going to court. However, if an attorney is unable to get an insurance company to agree to the type of settlement you deserve, they will fight for your rights, even if it requires going to court.

A motorcycle accident is a sudden and scary event. If this happened to you or someone you love, life will change for you both. Negligent drivers are dangerous drivers and holding them accountable may just prevent the same accident from happening to someone else.

When a motorcycle accident occurs, whether you are the rider, passenger, or a witness, call for immediate medical help and to remain as calm as possible. By taking a deep breath, you can focus on your care now and justice later.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: (727) 451-6900

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer