Even if you’re an experienced and cautious driver, there are known dangers associated with riding a motorcycle. Between 2011 and 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an average of about 5,000 people each year died as a result of motorcycle accidents, while nearly 90,000 suffered injuries annually.
Precautions like wearing a proper helmet, boots, and padding, avoiding poor weather and road conditions, and remaining hyper-aware of surroundings can help, but without the visibility or protection a car provides, accidents can still occur. This is why it’s important to know what to expect after a motorcycle accident.
A collision can leave you rattled, and this could lead to mistakes such as admitting fault when you’re not at fault, foregoing medical care, or leaving the scene of the accident. These errors could exacerbate injuries or result in legal issues. So what should you expect, and how should you act when a motorcycle accident occurs?
You May Be Confused
The first thing you should do after a motorcycle accident is to stay still and take stock of the situation. Your knee-jerk reaction may be to get up and run to help others, but first, you need to make sure that you’re okay.
If you don’t know what to expect after a motorcycle accident, you might not be prepared for the adrenaline, which may cause you to not immediately feel the pain of abrasions, bruises, or even more serious injuries. Take deep breaths, stay calm, and do a once-over to make sure you’re actually okay before you attempt to help others.
It’s also important to note that head injuries are common, even if you’re wearing a helmet, and so you may feel confused. Be careful not to admit fault in these situations. For one thing, you may not recall the incident clearly, and for another, you might not have all the information about what caused the accident.
Seek Medical Help as Soon as Possible
If you can walk away from a motorcycle accident completely unharmed, you’re luckier than most. When it comes to what to expect after a motorcycle accident, it’s much more likely you’ll suffer common injuries, such as:
- Spinal injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken limbs
- Fractured ribs
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
Regardless of the severity of injuries, it’s always best to get checked out by a medical professional. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, you want to make sure you know the extent of your injuries so that you don’t overdo yourself and cause further harm.
Second, it’s imperative that you have a record of any accident-related injuries in the minutes, hours, and days following the incident, as you will need to provide this information to ensure that expenses like medical care, rehabilitation, and lost wages are covered by the responsible party.
Don’t Downplay Injuries
One mistake many people make is downplaying the severity of injuries. You might think that it’s just a bruise or that your neck is just a little sore, but when the adrenaline wears off, you could find yourself dealing with significant pain and injury.
Even if you feel relatively well immediately following the accident, it’s best not to leap to conclusions. If you say you’re fine, others involved in the accident (such as the at-fault party) may try to use it against you later to claim you’re faking genuine injuries. This is another reason why seeking a medical assessment after an accident is so important.
If You’re Able, Document the Scene
Any documentation of the accident you can collect at the scene could help you to secure needed compensation in the event the at-fault party or their insurance contests the events or attempts to deny coverage. If you’re able, take photos of the scene, including damages and identifying location information.
Make sure to get contact and insurance information from other drivers involved, as well as contact information from passengers and witnesses. If you’re unable to do this on your own, ask if a witness will do it for you.
File an Accident Report
As soon as you’re able, you’ll want to make a statement to the authorities. This may be possible at the scene of the accident, or you might make your statement later on at the hospital, at home, or at the police station.
Police officers know what to expect after a motorcycle accident, and if you’re injured and unable to make a statement at the scene, they’ll likely connect with you later to record your recollection of events. You’ll want to relate your story as soon as possible while it’s still fresh in your memory.
Contact a Qualified Motorcycle Accident Attorney
When you know what to expect after a motorcycle accident, you have the best opportunity to protect yourself and ensure coverage for any costs associated with an incident that isn’t your fault. But even if you do everything right, insurance providers may still try to delay and deny your claims until you give up or run out the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit.
With a knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side, you have the best opportunity to receive the compensation you’re due and get back on your feet following injury.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines