If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should keep in mind the first 5 things to do following an accident in order to protect your rights:
1. Seek proper medical attention.
Motorcycle accident injuries can range from minor to catastrophic. Regardless, it is important that you seek proper medical attention immediately following a motorcycle accident. There may be hidden or imperceptible injuries which are not immediately apparent, however, they could become quite serious or life-threatening. Additionally, the sooner a person obtains proper medical care and treatment, the sooner the healing process begins and the more effective it becomes. For further discussion on this topic including compensation for medical bills, click on Minnesota No-fault Law.
2. Notify the police.
It is proper to summon the police to an accident scene as soon as possible. The police are trained to respond immediately to begin the process of caring for any injury. Thereafter, the accident scene is secured to prevent further accidents, and then an on scene investigation is commenced to determine how the accident occurred. By law the police are required to complete an official State Traffic Accident Report form. This form is used by every insurance carrier for numerous reasons including verifying that an accident took place, determining the parties involved, and reaching an initial determination as to which party was at fault for the cause of the accident. Once the police arrive on the scene and the initial physical health/injury concerns have been addressed, be sure to explain to the responding law enforcement officer the proper measures you took to avoid an accident, and the conduct of the other involved driver which led to what caused your accident.
3. Obtain photographs.
Photographs are a vital piece of evidence in every accident case. It is recommended that photographs of the damage to all of the involved vehicles be obtained prior to their repair. Normally 10 –– 20 photographs should be taken using a color camera with color film. The photographs should be immediately developed (one hour) to verify they are of high quality. If not, the process should be repeated. It is also suggested that a minimum of 20 photographs be obtained of the accident scene. Often times this is quite helpful when explaining or retelling the story of the accident many months, if not years later.
4. Do not give a recorded statement.
Regardless of whether you were fault-free, it is important that you do not initially give a recorded statement to any insurance company. This includes your own insurance company as well as the other involved driver’s. Your own policy of automobile insurance requires that you cooperate, and provide a statement at their request. However, it is suggested that prior thereto you simply consult with an attorney. Insurance companies are professionals as they are involved in the business of auto accidents every day throughout the year. Many times they do not have your best interest at heart, and by providing a recorded statement, you could be innocently, and unknowingly harming your case. Consequently, the best approach is to obtain a free legal consultation before speaking with insurance representatives.
5. Consult with a personal injury attorney.
When faced with a car accident, a person is immediately faced with making numerous important decisions regarding their own physical health, financial welfare, and very possibly the welfare of their loved ones. Complicating this decision-making process is the competing interests involved, namely, the other involved parties, their insurance company, and your insurance company as well. Under these circumstances, many people are naive, never having been through this process before. The best approach when faced with all of the above is to make an informed decision.
The law offices of Malzahn Law, Ltd. has handled thousands of injury and car accident cases over the years. We have represented injury victims and families of injury victims ranging from very minor injury cases to the most catastrophic including wrongful death claims.