First Steps After a Motorcycle Accident
Millions of Americans are motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy the freedom of the open road. Statistics suggest that motorcycle sales in the United States have grown by as much as 75% since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In fact, as of 2021, there were more than 8.6 million registered motorcycles in the United States. This figure is expected to grow by more than 30% over the next several years.
Each year, nearly 90,000 collisions occur that involve a motorcycle that result in more than 5,500 fatalities. Unfortunately, the rate of fatalities has increased over the last decade by nearly 30% and given the increased use of motorcycles – stand to grow even more. Studies suggest that motorcycle fatalities are most likely to occur during the week in the late afternoon and early evening and on the weekend during the evening hours. Most motorcycle accident injuries involve trauma to the legs, feet or head of the driver.
Proving motorcycle negligence cases can be extremely challenging. Insurance companies often blame the motorcyclist – instantly assuming reckless behavior. Further, the general public (i.e. the jury pool) have conscious and unconscious bias against motorcyclists that requires the use of advanced evidence, including accident reconstruction, to properly explain where fault lies in the accident. Notably, one case prosecuted by the Feagans Law Group involved a motorcycle fatality at a busy intersection witnessed by more than 15 other motorists. These motorists provided extremely contrasting testimony about the motorcyclist’s speed at the time of the accident – ranging anywhere from 25 m.p.h. to more than 70 m.p.h., with many motorists assuming that engine noise equated to speed! Accident reconstruction aided by actual video from nearby security cameras established the motorcyclist’s speed at 40 m.p.h. to 45 m.p.h. – in a 45 m.p.h. zone!
What this means is that motorcycle bias is real and personal injury attorneys must lean into and increasingly rely upon scientific, objective evidence to overcome prejudice. That starts with what actions our clients and their families take in the first moments after an accident. These first steps include:
- Check for injuries and seek medical attention. Never refuse medical attention at the scene. The most important thing following any accident is your health. If emergency treatment is necessary, call 9-1-1 immediately. If in doubt, request an ambulance or seek evaluation with your general care doctor or chiropractor immediately following an accident. If symptoms occur days after an accident or worsen with time, do not hesitate to seek treatment right away. Medical records are necessary to document any injuries caused by a car accident. Notify your doctors as to how your accident occurred and provide accurate details of your conditions and progress at each visit.
- Notify the police. Complete an accident report and provide all relevant information about the crash to the police officer, including any conversations you had with other motorists, bicyclists or witnesses.
- Gather evidence. Write down the names, contact information and license plate numbers for all vehicles, owners and witnesses as well as notes about how the accident happened. Obtain insurance information from motorists. Write down anything anyone says about how the accident happened – including any admissions of fault. Take photographs and video of the accident scene with special attention to the exact area where your accident occurred and the condition of the vehicles. Photograph your injuries and the damage to your motorcycle and other vehicles. Check for hazardous road conditions such as broken pavement, potholes or other hazards that might have caused or contributed to your accident.
- Be careful about what you say following an accident. Do not admit guilt or downplay the accident or your injuries. Do not post about the accident on social media.
- Do not speak with the insurance company or their representatives. Their job is to gather information to limit the value of your claim. They are not on your side.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at Feagans Law Group. Accident victims should never sign any legal documents or give any recorded statements until they have consulted with an attorney. The attorneys at Feagans Law Group can advise motorcyclists of their rights, guide them through the medical and insurance process, perform a factual investigation into the accident to determine potential sources of liability and obtain the necessary evidence, communicate with insurance companies, and advocate on the behalf of accident victims to ensure clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries.
Guiding Your Path to Justice
While it is always important to proactively gather evidence in any injury case, the need to take advantage of objective evidence such as nearby security cameras and speak with accident witnesses before they are influenced by investigators hired by insurance companies is never more real than in a motorcycle accident. The attorneys at the Feagans Law Group have the experience and resources necessary to quickly investigate any motorcycle accident and gather key pieces of evidence need to ensure fair and proper compensation to accident victims and their families. We would be honored if you considered allowing the attorneys at the Feagans Law Group to Guide Your Path to Justice.