Motorcycle Accidents Dos and Don’ts in Houston
The moments after a motorcycle accident are very scary. You’re likely dealing with serious injuries and may not know what to do next. The steps you take following a motorcycle crash, though, are very important. They can either help or hurt your case if you decide to file a claim for compensation. Below are some of the most important do’s and don’ts if you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Houston.
Do Call the Police Right Away
Under the Texas Transportation Code, all motorists must report accidents resulting in injury or death, or significant property damage. It is important to do this after a motorcycle accident, and not just to ensure you are abiding by the law. When police are called to the scene, they can help you seek immediate medical attention, clear the scene, gather evidence, and even indicate who was at fault for the accident. All of this is helpful in a future personal injury claim.
Don’t Apologize for the Accident or Accept Blame
For the weeks and months following a motorcycle accident, the insurance company and at-fault party will use anything you say against you to reduce, deny, or delay a claim. Due to this, it’s important that you never admit fault or make any statements of blame. Although you will need to speak to the other driver, keep the conversation limited to exchanging important information. Do not talk about how the accident happened or what you were doing just before the crash. Even saying you are sorry that the accident happened at all can be seen as an admission of guilt by the insurance company.
Do Get Medical Help Right Away
You need to get medical attention for your injuries right away to ensure you have the best chance of healing and to prevent them from getting worse. Sometimes, the medical treatment provided immediately after a motorcycle accident can save your life. Even if you think you only sustained minor injuries, it’s still important to get medical treatment. A doctor can examine you and look for injuries that are not always obvious right away, such as a concussion.
Getting medical help as soon as possible also helps document your injury from the outset. You will need detailed medical documentation to support your claim for compensation.
Don’t Move Yourself or Anyone Else Who is Hurt
It’s important to call for medical attention any time you or anyone else is injured in a crash. However, it’s also important not to move yourself or anyone else who has been hurt. This could cause further injury, such as paralysis.
Do Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Crash
Evidence is crucial in a personal injury claim. To claim compensation, you must prove someone else was at fault for the crash, and for this, you need evidence. If you can, you need to collect this evidence right after the accident, as it has a way of disappearing quickly.
Photographs provide solid evidence after a motorcycle crash. If you can, take pictures of your motorcycle, any injuries you sustained, and the position of the other vehicle in relation to your bike. Also take pictures of any other relevant information, such as a utility pole, traffic lights, or skid marks. These will help identify how the accident happened and can help prove liability. Accident reconstruction specialists rely heavily on photographs when reconstructing the scene of a crash.
Other important evidence to collect at the scene includes eyewitness statements. These statements are very helpful and the courts weigh them heavily due to the fact that witnesses are typically objective bystanders. Write down their contact information and tell them your attorney will likely be contacting them.
Don’t Let the Other Driver Convince You Not to Report the Accident
Sometimes, drivers don’t want to report the accident to the police or to the insurance company. This could be for several reasons, such as if they had been drinking or they don’t want their insurance rates to go up. This most often occurs when the other driver knows they were negligent and caused the crash.
However, it’s very important that you don’t let them convince you and that you report the accident to the police and the insurance company. Failing to do so will bar you from receiving compensation.
Do Report the Accident to Your Own Insurance Company
Even if another motorist was at fault for the crash, you will still likely need to report the accident to your own insurance company. This is particularly true if the other motorist was uninsured. However, you should only provide the insurance company with the basic details of the crash. Do not admit fault or assign blame, and don’t tell them how you think the accident happened. Answer as few questions as possible, as the insurer may take your words out of context. Even saying you didn’t know where the other driver came from could be misconstrued later as indicating you weren’t watching the road.
Don’t Trust That Any Insurance Company Is on Your Side
When the insurance company first contacts you, the adjuster will act friendly and as though they are on your side. They are not. Their job is to reduce your claim, or deny it altogether. For this reason, you should never trust that any insurance company is on your side. Do not provide them with a written or recorded statement, or allow them to access your medical records. These are deceptive insurance tactics aimed at gathering evidence to hurt your claim. Instead, refer them to your attorney for further communication.
Do Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Houston. At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we know how to hold insurance companies and negligent drivers accountable for paying the compensation you deserve.
Our experienced legal team will take care of all the details of your claim while you focus on your recovery. Contact us online to schedule your free consultation now.