When you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, there are some steps you need to take to protect yourself legally. Taking these precautionary steps can dramatically help your Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney successfully handle your case. We have compiled a list of steps to follow after an accident and urge you to familiarize yourself with them. While we hope you never need to use them, motorcycle accidents do happen and if you are in one, knowing what to do can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
1) Stop As Soon As Possible
Whether the accident is minor or major, stop your bike immediately and exchange information. Arizona law requires that a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident must stop his or her vehicle and exchange information with the other driver including the owner’s identification and any property which may have been damaged. If the accident is very minor, then pull safely off the roadway to complete the exchange of information.
2) Attend to Anyone with Injuries
One of the most pressing things you need to do after stopping is to help anyone with injuries. Try to help make injured persons comfortable, but do not move them. Moving injured people can cause major trauma and is a task best left to the medical professionals. Never try to free someone pinned under a vehicle as this can cause irreversible damage and even death.
3) Make Sure the Scene is Undisturbed
If it is safe to leave it, do not move your motorcycle until the police have arrived. If your bike isn’t causing undue risks to other drivers or it is mangled, simply leave it as it is. If your bike is seriously impeding safe travel on the roadway and can be moved safely, use your common sense and judgement to decide if moving it is safer and best for everyone.
4) Call the Police
Arizona law requires you call the police after any accident regardless of how minor it is. Making this call will help you make a successful insurance claim later on since the police report will contain information required by your insurer. Additionally, police may need to contact you after the accident if there are complaints filed by the other drivers or parties or if there is property damage.
5) Read and Sign the Accident Report
When the police arrive, they will review the situation and if they find you are at fault, even partially, they may issue you a citation. Read the report and citation so you know what they are holding you responsible for and then sign the citation. Signing is not admitting guilt but is a formality representing a promise that you will appear in court. It is during court that a judge will determine fault.
6) Identify Other Parties Involved in the accident
This information should be contained within the police report, but be sure you get the other driver’s name, address, phone number and insurance information. Be sure you also write down the car’s license plate number and a description of any passengers who were in the other driver’s car. This can become important if any false information is provided during the case.
7) Get Information and Identities of Those that Witnessed the Accident
Since most people uninvolved in the accident will leave once they are satisfied medical help and police are on the way, it is critical you get the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone who witnessed the accident as soon as possible. Witnesses can often provide important information in an accident, so do not miss the opportunity to get all the information you can from as many witnesses as you can.
8) Record Your Own Account of the Accident
Take notes of how the accident happened including the time, location, road and weather conditions. Provide a detailed description of how you were driving and draw a diagram that includes the accident location and all important components. Do not provide this information to anyone other than your accident attorney. Police and insurers may also have you do the same or similar process, but keep the original for your attorney. Once the accident report has been filed, Cantor Crane will get a copy as soon as possible and review the information contained within the official report.
9) Keep Quite in Regards to Making Statements to Other People
Arizona law requires you to exchange information with the other driver, but other than your name, address, telephone number and insurance information, do not say anything else. Never make statements of apology, fault, mistakes, neglect or guilt as these statements could come back and hurt your case. Keep quiet and be cautious about anything you say as it could be misconstrued and held against you when police arrive and later when you deal with insurers and the court system.
10) Listen Carefully
Listen attentively to what the other driver or witnesses say as their statements can help you with your case and claim. If the other driver says they did not see you, cut you off or apologizes, immediately write this statement down. While they may seem simple, apologies are almost always construed as an admission of guilt and fault. These statements are key evidence that should be recorded and collected in case you need them later.
11) Go To The Emergency Room
Even if you think you are unhurt, visit the emergency room or your doctor immediately. In accident situations, adrenaline runs high and you may be seriously injured without knowing it. Internal injuries, whiplash and other injuries could be present and not show up immediately. Proper and immediate medical treatment ensures injuries are identified and treated before they become major problems.
12) Call Cantor Crane – (602) 254-2701
Call Cantor Crane at 602-254-2701 and we will do everything possible to help you after your accident. We can even come to the hospital or your home if coming to our office is difficult for you. When you call Cantor Crane, a paralegal will gather information from you and then connect you with one of our attorneys. Not only will we help you with the accident claim, we will help get you a rental car and assist you with medical care. We can even help you get medical treatment on a lien basis, so that you will not have to pay medical costs until the case is settled.
13) Call Your Insurance Provider
Even if the other driver was cited, call your insurance company. Do not give your insurer any written or recorded statements unless and until your Cantor Crane attorney has approved you to do so. Your insurer will contact the other driver’s insurance company to coordinate coverage and continuum of insurance coverage.
14) Do Not Give a Statement to Any Insurance Company
The insurer of the other driver will contact you shortly after the accident, but do not give a recorded or written statement to them. They are working on behalf of the other driver and will often employ tactics designed to trick you into saying something they can use against you. They may also try to offer you a settlement in an attempt to quickly settle the case and minimize their pay out. When they call, simply and firmly tell them you are represented by Cantor Crane and your attorney will contact them.
You need to build a strong case to protect yourself in a motorcycle accident suit. Contact an Arizona motorcycle lawyer at Cantor Crane to defend and represent you. Here are a few more steps to take to build a strong case and protect yourself against false claims.
Contact an Arizona Motorcycle Lawyer and Start Building a Strong Case in Order to Protect Yourself!
– Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Once you are back on your feet and it is safe to do so, go back to the scene of the accident and take pictures of the scene including marks, signs, buildings, landscaping and anything else that you can easily describe. Take pictures of skid marks, car parts or wreckage left at the scene and any damage to landscaping. Take photos for every angle and photos up close and at a distance. When you retain the services of Cantor Crane, we will send our accident investigator out to take the photos for you.
– Photograph Your Motorcycle
Take pictures of your bike from every angle, up close and far away. If parts came off as a result of the impact, photograph those as well. These pictures can provide hard evidence as to what actually happened during the accident. If necessary, Cantor Crane will send our photographer to the impound lot to take the pictures for you.
– Take Photos of Your Injuries
Photograph all your cuts, scrapes and bruises sustained in the wreck. Take photos of any casts or other medical apparatuses and devices needed during your recovery, too. If you are hospitalized, be sure to get photos of yourself in the room with all necessary equipment or support systems you need included in the pictures. Again, Cantor Crane is happy to help take these photos if you desire. Take photos every few days to accurately show the extent of your injuries since bruises often develop several days after the initial accident. These photos can be powerful proof of extensive injuries others may try to claim are minor.
– Keep Records
The importance of this step cannot be overstated, keep records! Pay attention to the details and keep records of everything, including missed work time. If it is determined the other driver is at fault, you will be entitled to recover lost wages from missed work as well as any bonuses or production quotas incentive pay you missed during your recovery. Retain your pay stubs and the names of supervisors who can confirm your claims of missed work because of your accident and injuries. In addition, keep a journal logging your daily pain levels and all problems and inconveniences you experience because of the accident. Give this information to your Cantor Crane attorney so they can build the best possible case on your behalf.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you need an attorney who specializes in motorcycle injuries and accidents. Cantor Crane has the expertise and expert you need to successfully settle your case.