Critically Important Steps to Follow After You’ve Been Hit
Any Los Angeles motorcyclist, regardless of skill level, is unfortunately at risk on the road. Impaired drivers or “someone who “just didn’t see you” can hit your bike at any time. Be safe, and be prepared. Regardless of the severity of the accident (and here’s hoping it’s minor!), your actions immediately following the accident may not just affect your health, but have a significant impact on your financial well being and future.
First and foremost, take whatever reasonable action is necessary to protect yourself from any immediate danger.
Next, assess yourself and any passengers involved for injuries. Many motorcycle accidents result in head injuries that may not be immediately apparent. We’ve discussed the symptoms of concussion in this blog, but with a motorcycle, it’s even more important to understand the risks and symptoms of a devastating head injury. Furthermore, commonly motorcycle accidents result in internal bleeding, and/or broken bones. These injuries will require immediate intervention. Call 911 if you think you or someone else might be hurt. Otherwise, contact the police right away. They will let you know what to do next. Whatever you do, do NOT leave the scene.
Once help is on the way and you’re in a safe location, try to keep calm.
If you’re able to do so without putting yourself back into the roadway or otherwise into danger, now is a good time to take photographs, or jot down any identifying details about the accident. Get the phone number or contact information of anyone who might have witnessed the collision. Location, car make and model, license plate numbers will all be helpful later. However, your well being is paramount. Do not risk either to gather information. Quite frankly, it’s just not as important as your immediate health and safety.
At the time of the accident and later, exercise good sense when it comes to talking to other people about the incident. Until you talk to an attorney, it’s simply inappropriate to assess the extent of your injuries, or explore what you think happened. The police and your insurance provider will have direct questions that it will be important to answer honestly, but there is no reason to rehash the accident with any other parties, particularly the person who hit you or with their insurance.
Let the professionals sort it out.
Once you’ve reported the accident and hopefully are feeling a little better, consider talking to a qualified personal injury attorney about what happened. You may be unhappy with the settlement offered by the insurance company (or denied outright for any compensation). You may be accused of causing the accident when you know you’re not at fault. In any case, a personal injury attorney can assess whether you have a claim, and the best way to proceed.
Remember, in most situations, this won’t mean a trial or any direct confrontation with the person who caused the accident. Usually, auto accident cases mean your lawyer will work with the insurance company involved to get you fair compensation and the resources necessary for you to heal fully after the injury. In fact, many insurance companies reject accident claims out of hand until they’re forced by legal means to pay the claim.
Have you been in an accident? Not sure what to expect? Call Darren Manibog today to schedule your free consultation. 1-800-MANIBOG.