Riders involved in motorcycle accidents might not realize the importance of the decisions they make shortly after a crash. In fact, seemingly minor actions can have a significant impact on an injured rider’s ability to recover compensation for costly medical bills, lost wages, and other crash-related damages.
Here are the things you need to do—and things you should avoid—after a motorcycle accident in places like New York, including Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island, to increase the odds of a meaningful financial recovery.
1. Seek Medical Attention at a Hospital
As a motorcyclist, you’re much more likely than occupants of cars to sustain severe or catastrophic injuries. If you are seriously injured you should call an ambulance immediately, your safety and well-being are the most important thing.
Seeking immediate medical treatment will:
- Limit the risks of life-threatening complications.
- Ensure that all of your injuries are diagnosed promptly, including internal trauma that might not be evident right away.
- Help to establish a causal link between the motorcycle accident and your injuries.
Once your condition is stable, it’s smart to reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.
2. Report the Motorcycle Accident
Call 911 to report the motorcycle accident. You can also call the local local precinct to report the collision if it’s a relatively minor collision. When you call, provide your location and a brief overview of what happened. The dispatcher can send emergency medical professionals and police to the scene.
New York state law requires all motorists involved in an accident resulting in significant property damage, injury, or death to remain at the scene of the collision.
When the police arrive, they’ll perform a preliminary investigation and document critical details about the crash that are often lost or forgotten over time. This might include:
- Names and contact information of involved parties
- Vehicle and property damage
- Physical injuries
- Weather conditions
- Road and traffic conditions
The officer might even make preliminary assumptions of fault, which can be helpful as your NYC motorcycle accident attorney works to build a legal claim on your behalf.
3. Document the Scene of the Crash and Gather Evidence
If you can, take the opportunity to gather some evidence that could be helpful in a future personal injury claim for damages.
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident, property damage, physical injuries, your clothing and safety gear, and the surrounding area.
- Record a quick video of the scene of the crash and resulting wreckage.
- Write down the names and contact information of eyewitnesses.
- Record your immediate recollection of the accident as important details tend to get lost or forgotten over time.
The information you document and gather can be helpful as your attorney investigates your crash and builds a case on your behalf.
4. File a Motorist Accident Report
Calling the police to report the accident isn’t enough. If your motorcycle accident caused an injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000, you’re legally required to file an accident report with the state.
You must complete Form MV-104 (Report of Motor Vehicle Accident) and submit it to the state of New York within 10 days of your motorcycle accident.
5. Don’t Admit Responsibility or Apologize for the Motorcycle Accident
Your gut reaction might be to apologize or say you’re sorry after colliding with another vehicle. However, resist the urge. The things you say can be exaggerated, taken out of context, and ultimately used against you down the line if parties decide to pursue legal action. New York has pure comparative fault rules, so sharing responsibility can adversely affect your ability to recover much needed compensation.
How and why the motorcycle accident happened can only be determined once it is subject to a thorough investigation. Apologizing could effectively put a stop to your personal injury case before it even has a chance to get started
Get Advice From An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
6. Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced New York City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to deal with the consequences of your motorcycle accident on your own. Hiring an attorney can put you in a better position to win your motorcycle accident case and maximize your financial recovery. All you have to do is contact a trusted NYC personal injury lawyer with experience handling motorcycle accident cases like yours.
Your choice of attorney matters, which is why you should make Proner & Proner your first call after a motorcycle crash. A passionate motorcycle rider for over 25 years, Mitchell Proner currently owns and rides a 2018 Harley-Davidson Road Glide and a 1993 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail. He is active in the motorcycle community and is a fierce advocate for motorcycle riders’ rights.
7. Resist the Urge to Accept an Early Settlement Offer
As a motorcyclist, you’re not covered by New York’s no-fault insurance laws. Even though you’re required to have insurance, you’ll generally file a claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company.
The insurance company might be quick to offer a settlement. Take a breath and resist the urge to accept it right away. Many times, these early offers are a way to end cases before they ever have a chance to really start. By accepting an offer, you’ll waive your right to future damages. You’ll be limited to the amount of the initial settlement, even if you find out that your case is worth a whole lot more.
While getting money in your hand can be helpful right now, accepting a deal could do more harm than good in the long run.
For over 50 years, our law firm has been a dedicated advocate for motorcycle accident victims in New York. Our ability to achieve life-changing results speaks for itself: We’ve won over $400 million in damages for deserving clients and grieving families.
Contact our New York City law office to arrange a time for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you after your motorcycle accident.
- Call us 24/7 at (212) 986-3030.
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