If you have been in a Motorcycle Accident, there are steps you should know of what to do when in an accident. These steps can significantly help your Phoenix motorcycle accident attorney when it comes time to represent your case. Click on a topic below to learn more.
1) Stop ASAP
Whether the accident is minor or major, stop your bike immediately and exchange information. Arizona law requires that a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident must stop his or her vehicle and exchange information with the other driver including the owner’s identification and any property which may have been damaged. If the accident is very minor, then pull safely off the roadway to complete the exchange of information.
2) Help Any Injured Persons
One of the first things to do immediately after stopping your bike is to assist any injured persons. Call for help if someone is seriously injured or unconscious. You should attempt to make the other person comfortable, but do not move them unless you are trained in first aid as this can do more harm than good. If an individual is trapped within their vehicle or pinned, leave it to emergency response crews.
3) Preserve the Scene
If it is safe to do so, it is best not to move your bike until law enforcement has arrived. If your bike does not pose an immediate risk or is seriously mangled, do not move it, but if your bike poses a safety threat to other traffic and it can be moved safely, then use your common sense on deciding whether to move off the roadway.
4) Contact the Police
Even if the accident is minor, Arizona law requires that you still phone police in order to file an accident report. This can help your insurance claim later on as the report will contain key details. Furthermore, an officer may contact you later on if complaints are made by either party involved or property is damaged.
5) Sign the Ticket / Police Report
If the police arrive and determine that you may be all or partially at fault, they will issue you a citation. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt, but rather a formality. Officers require you to sign a ticket in order to promise that you will appear in traffic court at a later date. During court, the judge or jury will make the determination of fault.
6) I.D. the Other Drivers
This will most likely be a part of the police report if you called to report the accident. Regardless, be certain that you get the other drivers’ address, telephone number, and insurance information. Also write down the license plate number and a brief description of passengers who may have been with that person in case any information is false.
7) I.D. Witnesses
Witnesses are key components in accidents so you should get the names, address, and telephone numbers from all the witnesses who saw the accident occur. Most people will leave shortly after determining that medical care is on its way, but these witnesses may be critical to your case, so get this information as quickly as possible.
8) Record Other Information
Write down your own account of how the accident occurred, including the time, place, weather, road conditions, and a detailed explanation of how you were driving. Draw a diagram that describes the accident and key components. Do not give this information to anybody other than your attorney. For police reports and insurance claims, they often will have you complete a similar process. After the report has been filed, Cantor Crane will secure a copy as quickly as possible.
9) Refrain From Making Any Statements
Arizona law only requires you to exchange address, driver’s license number, vehicle registration, and copies of your insurance cards to the other driver. Other than this, never make any statements or comments that may be used against you later. You should not admit fault for the accident or state anything that could be perceived and negligent driving. Be careful with what you say as it may come back to haunt you later in a civil lawsuit and potentially with criminal liability.
10) Listen Accurately
Listen to everything that the other driver or witnesses say as it can be used against them to help you with your insurance claim. If they apologize, or say that they did not see you, write it down immediately. Simple apologies are almost always viewed as an admission of fault. While some of this information may be considered hearsay depending on the circumstances, it is key evidence that should be collected.
11) Visit the Emergency Room
Go to the emergency room or your family doctor immediately, even if you think that you are not hurt. You may actually have sustained a serious injury and not realize the impact it could have on you. Due to the body’s reaction to a heightened state, the brain may mask the extent of the injuries. You may have internal injuries which you are not aware of and a proper diagnosis by a doctor could help identify a more serious problem. Any old injuries that may be aggravated due to the accident should also be documented.
12) Call Cantor Crane – (602) 254-2701
At Cantor Crane, we will do everything we can to assist you following your accident. We can come to your home or the hospital if you are incapable of coming to our office. When you call Cantor Crane, you can rest assured that you will have a phone consultation with an attorney. Our paralegal will initially gather information and then will route your call to an attorney. In addition to assisting you with your accident claim, we also help you in making rental car arrangements and with obtaining medical assistance. Additionally, we aide in the process of obtaining medical liens, which will prevent you from paying any out of pocket costs until your case is settled.
13) Contact Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company, even if the other driver was the only one cited. Make sire that you do not give them any recorded statements or written statements until after you have consulted with Cantor Crane and have received your attorney’s approval. Your insurance company will be in contact with the other party’s insurance to coordinate coverage and ensure the continuum of coverage.
14) Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
Never give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster for the other driver will attempt to call you shortly after the accident. They frequently use tactics to attempt to get a recorded statement that can be used against you later on. They will also try to offer you a settlement in order to dispose of the case immediately and with minimal impact. Simply tell them that you are represented by Cantor Crane, and that your attorney will be in contact with them.
Contact an Arizona Motorcycle Lawyer and Start Building a Strong Case in Order to Protect Yourself!
– Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Once you are on your feet, or if a family member or friend is available, go back to the accident scene and take photographs. When taking pictures, make sure to include any landmarks, such as signs or buildings that will be easy to describe in each photo. Take photos of skid marks, damage to grass, trees, or shrubbery, and look for any car parts that still may be on the ground. Take a mixture of far away and up close photos in order to get every angle and direction. If you have retained Cantor Crane, we will send out our accident investigator to photograph the scene for you.
– Photograph Damage to Your Motorcycle
Similar to the accident scene, take photos of your damaged bike from every possible angle, both close up and far away. Any separate parts that came off your motorcycle should be photographed as well. These pictures can provide an enormous amount of evidence into what happened during the accident. If necessary, Cantor Crane will be happy to go to the impound yard in order to do this.
– Photograph Your Injuries
Next, you should take pictures of any injuries incurred such as cuts, bruises, casts, or any other medical devices necessary for your recovery. If you are hospitalized, have someone photograph you in your room, showing various angles of equipment that you may be hooked up to. Cantor Crane will be more than happy to have one of our attorneys come out and meet with you in order to complete this task. Photographing these injuries every few days will provide a more detailed account of the extent of the injuries as a bruise often does not fully develop until several days later.
– Maintain Records
This is very important and should be done with grave detail. Keep records of missed time from work because if the other person is at fault, you will be entitled to recover a monetary amount for lost wages and reduced bonuses due to missed quota production numbers during your time off. You should keep not only your paycheck stubs, but also written records, which involves writing down the names of any and all company supervisors who can back up your claim of lost time at work due to your injuries. Additionally, keep a daily record of all pain and inconveniences that you are suffering as a result of the accident and the injuries. This information should be provided directly to your Cantor Crane attorney.
Overall, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident, there are a number of steps to take depending on the gravity of it. An attorney whose practice has a focus on motorcycle injuries is a perfect start to help you determine the complexity of the liability involved in these types of cases. Cantor Crane attorney has the knowledge and ability to help you resolve any issues successfully and in a timely manner!