According to the 2016 crash data report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclist fatalities occur 28 times more often than any other vehicle. The NHTSA indicates that 80% of motorcycle accidents result in rider injuries or death, while only 20% of car crashes result in injuries or fatalities. As a bike enthusiast, you may need to place more concern over your safety while on the road.
The moments after your motorcycle crash can be horrifying and confusing. The next steps that you undertake may be critical in ensuring that you receive the best care and that your best interests remain protected.
1. Check for Injuries
Your safety and that of your passenger rider come first. You may need to ensure that everyone is okay and confirm those that require medical attention. If possible, move out of harm's way or oncoming traffic. However, you should not attempt to move anyone unconscious or with a serious injury. Call 911 immediately.
You should also avoid taking off your protective gear, that is, helmet, boots, or jacket until the paramedics arrive. If hurt from the crash, you should have yourself checked regardless of the severity of the injuries. Injuries such as whiplash may not become apparent immediately.
2. Document the Scene, If Possible
If you can, get photos of the accident scene and the damage to your motorcycle. Take photos of the road and weather conditions. The photographs may become invaluable as the local attorney files your claim with the insurance company. Personal injury lawyers often suggest taking notes of your immediate thoughts, what you heard, saw, and felt. Creating a timeline of the events can help you provide an accurate account to the law enforcement officers that arrive at the scene.
3. Provide an Accurate Account of the Events
Your local attorney may also prefer that you report the accident to the police as soon as possible. Providing your account of the events may help create an official record. A detailed record of the events before and after the accident may provide the context that the police need. Remain calm as you present your account and stick to the facts. Avoid apologizing to the police or the other party involved in the accident. New Jersey's modified comparative negligence law may affect your future claim to recover damages.
4. Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You may need to reach out to a local attorney that specialized in motorcycle accident law. The lawyers can assist you in filing a compensation claim to the insurance company. The personal injury law firm may also represent you in settlement negotiations with the insurer's attorneys.
It means that you should avoid signing on any statement or settlement proposal without conferring with the local attorney first.
The lawyer can help you determine the value of your claim as well as ensure that you receive specialized treatment for any serious injuries. If the insurance company denies the claim, the personal injury lawyers can represent you in civil court against the negligent party and the insurer.
The steps you take right after the motorcycle accident may have a huge impact on your health and claim filing. If you need a local attorney in New Brunswick, NJ, for your motorcycle crash, contact Garces, Grabler and LeBrocq.