After you get in a crash, you’re not thinking clearly. You’re especially not thinking about what will or will not help you in a court of law months or years down the road.
Still, it’s the very things you do or say or that the other parties do or say that will help or hurt you in your case. If you’re injured and need help, call an Arlington Heights Motorcycle accident lawyer at the Chicago Legal Group.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
So many times after a motorcycle accident, a potential client will come to us and say they were in an accident. We then start to ask some questions such as the date of the accident (to identify the statute of limitations expiration date), where did it take place (so we can identify the county to file suit in if necessary), the facts of the accident and so forth.
Many of the questions we ask are designed to see who is at fault for the accident and also to see if the potential client made any ‘mistakes’ after the accident. And by that we mean did or did not do things that she or he should have done or not done.
So, after a motorcycle accident, here are a few of the things you definitely should and should not do.
- Call the police: stories change after an accident. Do not agree to resolve the matter privately. It is important to get the police to write a report if possible. If not, go to the local police station and file a report on your own
- Get the other driver’s auto insurance information if at all possible. If you’re badly hurt obviously you can’t do this most likely. But getting the information could save you weeks of waiting for the police report to get the information.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. We’ve had many cases where clients thought they were fine but in reality, their injuries were masked by adrenaline. Doesn’t matter if it is to your primary physician or the emergency room, but get medical attention (if needed). Do NOT go to a chiropractor first. Always an MD if possible.
- Document everything: take photographs at the scene, of your bike, of your injuries. If you’re too hurt, get someone to take them for you. Photographs really do help.
- Listen carefully to statements, especially admissions of guilt, by the other parties to the accident – a statement such as “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see you” can come in handy later.
- Conversely, be careful what you say to the other party or to the police at the scene of the accident. Whatever you say will be used against you as well.
- Report the claim to both your own insurance company and to the other driver’s insurance company. YES, report it to your insurance company.
- When you report the claim, do not give a recorded statement to the defendant’s insurance company until you consult with an Arlington Heights motorcycle lawyer.
- Remember, whatever you post on social media about the accident will be used against you in the future.
Admissions of Fault After a Motorcycle Accident
Do not admit fault to anyone, especially the cops or another party to the accident. Why? Admissions might be used against you in the future to prove you were at fault for the accident. And not just an admission of fault but be careful of anything you say.
We’ve seen numerous cases diminished because of damaging statements made by a client. For example, we worked on a case where a client was T-boned by a car on a country road. When interviewed by the police right after the accident, he said he was driving 60 to 65 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the speed limit was 55. As such, the insurance company put 30% liability on the biker when in reality the result would have been the same whether he was going 55 mph or 60 mph. An unfortunate statement cost the client.
Should I File a Claim With My Own Motorcycle Insurance?
As mentioned above, 100% yes. A lot of people don’t want to file with their own insurance because they’re afraid their insurance rates are going to go up. The reality is that all these insurance companies are connected and have access to any information about crashes you’ve been in. So they’re probably going to find out anyway.
In addition, you may be obligated to report the crash to your own insurance company anyway. Check the insurance contract you signed when you got your policy, chances are it says if you are involved in an accident you are obligated to report it. Not to say that all people do but again, you may be obligated to.
Finally, you may be able to get your property damage fixed a lot quicker using your own insurance rather than waiting on the defendant’s insurance. Why? The opposing side is going to investigate the accident before they just “accept liability” and pay you. That could cause delays in the process. Not to mention the sub-standard companies that will delay just to avoid paying you altogether.
Another reason riders don’t like to use their insurance is that they will have to pay their deductible. That’s true if you use your own insurance. But what will likely happen is that your insurance company is going to attempt to subrogate or seek reimbursement from the defendant’s insurance. And when they do, if they are successful, you will likely get your deductible back.
Finally, you may have a medpay clause in your motorcycle policy which will pay for some or all of your medical bills. You’ll never know unless you file with your own insurance company.
Arlington Heights is a Great Illinois City
We have spent so much time in Arlington Heights including visiting the downtown area. There are a lot of great restaurants and also a cool little theater at a place called the Metropolis Performing Arts Center located at 111 Campbell Street.
However, the city is probably best known for the Arlington Park Racetrack on Euclid Avenue. We have visited the racetrack countless times including attending many charity benefits. However, the most fun we’ve had there is to go in May to Derby Days. No, the Kentucky Derby is not run at Arlington but you wouldn’t know it when you’re there. Countless people dress up in their Derby best including ladies in beautiful hats – as is the tradition in Louisville. You can even get a Mint Julip to drink.
If you would like a consultation with an Arlington Heights motorcycle accident attorney, call us at 1-847-305-4105.