Have you been injured in a Phoenix motorcycle accident? As traumatizing as this experience may be, you are not alone. On the often-congested Phoenix roadways, even the most cautious and experienced motorcycle riders are at risk of being injured in an accident. In fact, recent Arizona motor vehicle crash data indicates that were over 2,900 motorcycle crashes reported in 2015, with more than 130 of them resulting in fatality. Additionally, over 85% of the reported accidents involved injury. With the prevalence of Phoenix motorcycle accidents showing no sign of decline, it’s important that you know how to appropriately respond and protect your rights if you are involved in an accident.
Protect Your Rights
In the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident, it’s only natural to be fraught with panic. With emotions running high, it’s easy to neglect some of the most crucial steps that should be taken at the scene of the accident. However, failure to act with vigilance and prudence can greatly diminish your chances of preparing a legal claim with a favorable outcome. To protect your rights and ensure that you are in position to be appropriately compensated for motorcycle accident injuries, consider the following ten steps:
- Obtain Medical Treatment – Regardless of whether your injuries are severe or life-threatening, be sure to seek medical treatment immediately. It’s important to communicate with all medical personnel with whom you interact, develop a clear post-accident treatment plan, and keep records of all appointments and receipts to be submitted when filing legal and insurance claims. Without documentation, compensation for injury-related expenses cannot be assessed or issued.
- Secure the Scene if Possible – A motorcycle accident scene can be chaotic and overwhelming. Remain calm, check for hazardous conditions, and if possible, move yourself, fellow passengers, and the motorcycle to safety. Inspect your surroundings and look for fallen wires, broken glass, debris or other imminent threats to safety. Once able to do so, contact emergency first responders and provide an exact accident location.
- Obtain Information from Driver(s) – Gather and record the names and contact information of the other driver(s) and passengers involved in the accident. Additionally, you’ll want to compile all pertinent vehicle and insurance information, including make and model, color, policy number(s), relevant phone numbers, etc.
- Identify Witnesses – On-scene witnesses can prove vital when it comes to processing a legal claim and proving liability. Be sure to solicit and record all witness contact information. Ask them to repeat and verify spelling, addresses, and phone numbers before they leave the scene. Supply witness contact information to investigating officers should the witnesses leave the scene.
- Do Not Openly Discuss the Accident – Mum’s the word when it comes to talking about the accident, specifically your perceived role. Remember – anything that you say at the scene can be used against you at a later date. Therefore, it’s essential that you only communicate with law enforcement about the accident. Minimize conversation with the other driver(s), bystanders, and additional victims.
- Do Not Admit Liability – Again, less is more in the case of on-scene accident disclosures and discussions. Never admit fault or affirm the other driver(s) claim that you are the party to blame. Instead, focus on the brief and accurate exchange of information, and let law enforcement and legal professionals work to determine where and with whom fault lies.
- Take Pictures – A picture is worth 1,000 words. Most mobile phones are now equipped with a built-in camera, making it easy to take a comprehensive set of accident scene photographs. In addition to property damage, street signs, and weather conditions, be sure to capture details like skid marks, road defects, and anything that obstructed driver view. Photos taken from various angles and distances also help paint a detailed picture of the circumstances surrounding the accident.
- Do Not Leave the Scene – Being present and proactive on the scene of a motorcycle accident is key. Fleeing the scene or prematurely leaving before investigators collect necessary information can adversely impact your claim and put you in a precarious legal position, which could even include criminal charges. Simply put, err on the side of caution, cooperate fully with law enforcement, and leave only when authorized to do so.
- Notify Insurance Company – Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and disclose the details of the accident. Be sure to complete and submit all necessary paperwork in a timely fashion and furnish documentation and details that the company requests to begin expediting your claim.
- Contact Your Attorney – Immediately secure legal representation from an experienced personal injury or accident lawyer. A credible attorney will be knowledgeable in all facets of local and state motorcycle law and will be able to prepare and prosecute your claim. Find one that will work tirelessly to get you compensated for injury or loss.
Phoenix Motorcycle Accident Legal Help
There is a lot to process and consider when taking legal action after being involved in a Phoenix motorcycle accident. Tackling it alone is often daunting and ill-advised. Click here to learn more about my extensive experience as a Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney, and contact my office today to schedule a consultation.