A motorcycle accident can turn your life upside down. Suddenly, you may find yourself with a host of debilitating injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Things may seem hopeless, but they are not. You can overcome your accident’s negative physical and mental effects, recover monetary compensation for your injuries from the responsible party and get back to living the life you had before the accident. In order to have the best chance of maximizing your recovery potential and getting back to your pre-accident way of life, you should follow these steps:
Check Yourself and Your Passengers for Any Signs of Injury
The moments after the accident when the dust is still settling are often chaotic. Once all the vehicles involved in the accident have come to a stop, you should check yourself and any passengers you have for signs of injury. If you see any blood, bones, bumps or bruises, someone has been injured and their injuries could be severe. Even if you and your passengers have no visible signs of injury, anyone who feels pain or feels abnormal in any other way needs to undergo a professional medical examination as soon as possible.
Call the Police and Talk to Them When They Arrive
If you want your accident and your personal injury claim to be handled properly, you need to call the police so they can come to the scene and conduct at least a brief investigation. When the responding officers arrive, be sure you tell them everything you remember about the accident and its aftermath. No detail is too small or too insignificant. The officers will talk to all the drivers who were involved in the accident, all the passengers who were involved and all the independent witnesses who saw the accident but were not directly involved. They will also examine all the vehicles and road conditions. When they have completed their investigation, the officers will prepare a written report containing all their findings. This report will include summaries of all the statements they took, contact information for everyone they talked to, determinations about who they believe is at fault for the accident and what caused the accident, information about any citations being issued and the responding officers’ identifying information. Ask for a copy of this report. You will need it for your file.
Be Sure to Take Pictures of Everything–Yes, Everything
There is a reason people say a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures are a powerful form of visual evidence, and you would be wise to use them to your advantage. While you are surveying the scene, talking to the other drivers and talking to witnesses, you should be taking pictures of everything you see. Take pictures of all the vehicles involved in the accident, the damage that was done to them, all the people you can find who were involved in the accident and any injuries they may have. You should not stop taking pictures after you leave the accident scene, though. Take pictures of all your injuries intermittently until they have healed. Having these pictures will help to give insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, expert witnesses and jurors an idea of how severe your injuries are and how long it took them to heal completely. In short, take lots of pictures and store them someplace where they will be easy for you to find. Your Los Angeles motorcycle injury lawyer will thank you.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention for All of Your Injuries
Recovering from all the injuries the accident causes should absolutely be your top priority, and time is of the essence. Even if you do not have any outwardly obvious signs of injury, it is imperative that you have a medical professional examine and, if necessary, treat you as soon as possible after the accident. Some symptoms can take days, weeks or even months to appear. If you wait that long to be treated, your injuries may have significantly worsened or reached the point of being irreversible. If you are able, you should transport yourself from the scene of the accident to a hospital or your doctor’s office. If you cannot or would prefer not to transport yourself, ask the responding police officers to have an ambulance come to the scene. The ambulance will take you to a nearby hospital for emergency treatment. When you arrive at the hospital, you will likely undergo some testing. If your injuries are severe enough, you may have surgery right then and there. After you have left the hospital, follow all the advice your doctors give you. They will discharge you from care when you have healed. Until then, you should do as they say to get the most out of your treatment. Trust them.
Keep All of Your accident-related Documentation in a Single Centralized File
You may feel like you are drowning in paperwork and documents that all look alike, so keeping them organized is important. At a minimum, you should keep all your medical records and medical bills, a copy of the police report, all the pictures you have taken, property damage estimates and correspondence from the insurance companies in a single centralized file. Your file should be easily accessible so you can retrieve documents quickly when you need them or when your attorney needs them. This will save both of you the time, frustration, hassle and expense involved in gathering all of them from their original sources after the fact.
Pick Up Your Phone and Contact a Los Angeles Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Who Will Fight for You
When you want to recover maximum compensation for your injuries, you should not face off against the insurance companies on your own. Instead, you should hire a personal injury attorney who has the experience and expertise to prove your case to the insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, and jurors who will ultimately determine your compensation. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in or near Los Angeles, you want a Los Angeles motorcycle injury lawyer who is familiar with local court rules and procedures to represent you. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones not to settle for less than the best local representation available.
Most Importantly, Make Sure You Always Do Your Best to Be a Team Player
When you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you, you become an extremely important part of a litigation team. If you need something from your lawyer or your lawyer’s support staff, or if you have questions about your case, you should not hesitate to reach out to them. They will take the time to make sure the matter is handled with professionalism and care. There will also be times when your attorney or your attorney’s staff will need you to help with your case. If they call you or message you, call or message them back. Your case goes much more smoothly, and likely be resolved much more quickly if you cooperate than if you make things difficult.