What to Do After a Motorcycle Wreck
Motorcycle Wrecks Can Be Devastating
With the increase in the use of cell phones and other electronic devices to text, tweet, and engage in any number of social media interactions, wrecks caused by distracted driving are on the rise. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to the dangers caused by distracted drivers on the road and are more likely to be seriously injured in wrecks than car occupants. Motorcycle crashes cost billions of dollars per year in direct costs such as emergency services, medical costs including rehabilitation, property damage, lost wages, and similar damages. After any motorcycle wreck, it’s easy to become stressed or overwhelmed if you don’t know how to deal with the situation. With thousands of wrecks occurring each year, it’s important to be prepared and understand next steps before you experience a motorcycle wreck of any kind. From immediate to long-term necessities, here are some suggestions on what to do after a motorcycle wreck.
What to do Immediately After the Wreck
The first and most important step to take after a motorcycle wreck is to check and assess any injuries sustained by you and your passenger. Then, call 911. If one (or both) of you need urgent medical care, make sure to tell the 911 dispatcher that an ambulance is required. Even if your injuries do not appear to require an immediate trip to the hospital, calling the police is still a vital step. A police report may be required to recover compensation for injuries that aren’t immediately apparent, or as a prerequisite to make a claim with your own insurance company.
While you wait for the police to arrive, collect as much information as you are able to at the scene of the wreck. Take down the other driver’s license plate, license, address, phone number, and insurance information; get the names, numbers and phone numbers of any witnesses; and take pictures if possible. In addition, make sure to note the weather and road conditions.
Follow up with your Medical Provider!
After any wreck, it is always a good idea to follow up with your doctor or other medical provider. Wrecks are highly stressful situations, and often result in a rush of adrenaline that may mask the pain of new injuries. For some injuries typically caused by the type of trauma typically involved in wrecks, you may not begin to experience pain until days after the accident. A follow up visit with you doctor or other medical provider can prevent minor injuries from becoming serious.
When it comes to damage to your motorcycle, the insurance claim process is pretty much the same as an automobile claim. You will need to file a claim with either your insurance company (if you have comprehensive coverage) or with the at fault driver’s insurance company. If there is a dispute about liability, sometimes your insurance company will pay for the damage so that you can get back on the road, and then seek to recover the money it paid from the at fault driver’s insurance company. There can be advantages and disadvantages for both options, so make sure know and protect your rights.
You may also be entitled to collect money to compensate you for your past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages suffered as a result of the wreck. You may be able to recover insurance benefits from the at fault driver’s liability insurance carrier, or under the Uninsured / Underinsured coverage portion of your own insurance policy.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies try to pay the bare minimum on their insurance claims. You may want to discuss your situation with a Mississippi insurance attorney or accident attorney to make sure you know and protect your rights. The legal team at Van Cleave Law has experience in all types of accident, injury and insurance claims.