Motorcycle accidents can be one of the most frightening and sudden events in someone’s life. Without warning and in the blink of an eye, you can find yourself struggling to comprehend what had just happened. This experience can be even worse when you’re on a motorcycle with little to no protection beyond a helmet or jacket.
Whether you’re seriously injured or it’s just a slight accident, being involved in a motorcycle accident can leave you confused and unsure of how to respond. However, with the right knowledge, and the help of a qualified and experienced motorcycle accident attorney in New Orleans Louisiana, you can make the best of a terrible situation.
Important steps you should take if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in New Orleans
Get Immediate Medical Attention
When you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, the number one priority is you. Call 911 immediately after your accident and make sure to give the operator as much information as possible. Not only will this help ensure the proper medical attention is provided, it will also begin a formal record of your case.
Even if you don’t receive immediate medical attention from first responders, you should follow up with your doctor soon afterward. Often injuries may not be immediately apparent and your doctor can help find any injuries early before they become more of an issue down the road.
Call the Police and Obtain an Official Report
Although this step is in-line with number one, it’s extremely important for any potential insurance complications or questions that may come later. If you have received immediate medical attention from a first responder that may be on the scene before you call 911, you should still call the police and ensure that a full and accurate report of your accident is documented.
The police will report the accident to your insurance and the more information they have, the better chances you have of getting your claim accepted and processed by your insurance. Make sure that the reporting officer’s name and badge number are recorded, and ask the officer for a copy of the report.
Get the Names and Contact Information from Witnesses
After you’ve received medical attention and a formal report is being filed, it’s crucial that you obtain the contact, license and insurance information from all parties involved in your accident. Although some people may try to convince you that it’s not necessary to exchange insurance information, this is absolutely wrong. They are trying to avoid responsibility and if you leave the scene without getting their information, you may be on the hook for all of the damage and/or injuries resulting from the accident.
In addition to those involved in the crash, it’s also important to obtain information from any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can help you prove your case and help the police determine who is at fault.
Take Photos of the Scene
Similar to number three, taking photos of your motorcycle, the other vehicles on the scene, and any property damage that may have occurred. Photographs can also help police determine fault, and they can be used as evidence when you are making a claim to your insurance company. Usually it’s as easy as taking out your phone and snapping as many photos as you can.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have received immediate medical attention, informed police and gathered any evidence that will help determine fault of the accident, you have a duty to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. In fact, many insurance policies require that insured motorists inform them before they leave the scene of the accident. The sooner you involve your insurance company, the more likely you are to have your claim accepted and processed.
However, while you are required to inform your insurance company right after the accident, you should never negotiate with any adjusters or insurance representatives, or admit any fault. Typically, the calls made to insurance companies are recorded and any negotiations or admissions can be used against you when making your claim.
Because insurance companies are seeking to pay out as little as possible, it’s vital that you contact a qualified and experienced motorcycle accident attorney in New Orleans, that will deal with insurance representatives. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf and ensure that your rights are protected and you are compensated for your injuries resulting from the accident.