Mistakes to Avoid After a Motorcycle Accident

Close-up of a helmet of a driver with a blurred motorbike and car crashed in the background - mistakes to avoid after motorcycle accident concept

Being hurt in a motorcycle accident can be a devastating experience. Often, injuries arising from these types of collisions are severe and require a considerable amount of medical treatment and time out of work. Importantly, there are a wide variety of mistakes to avoid after a motorcycle accident that could impact your claim — and potentially reduce the amount of compensation to which you’re entitled.

Common mistakes after a motorcycle accident can include the following:

Failing to Obtain Prompt Medical Treatment

One of the first things you should do after a motorcycle accident is obtain medical treatment. Failure to do so can raise questions with the negligent driver’s insurance company and potentially harm your claim. Even if you do not think you are injured, seeking prompt medical attention is vital for two reasons: 1) to document any personal injury action you might later bring to recover compensation and 2) to rule out any internal injuries that might not be immediately apparent. It’s best to go to the emergency room directly from the accident scene to ensure you get the medical help you need.

Not Reporting the Accident

Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you should contact the police. They will arrive at the scene and take an accident report. Although a police accident report cannot be used as evidence in court, the document will contain important information, including the other driver’s information, witness statements, and details about the accident. In addition, certain accidents must be reported by law in Washington, such as those where a party has been injured and in cases involving $1,000 or more in property damage.

Not Preserving Evidence

It’s essential to preserve as much evidence as you can after the accident to prove your claims for economic damages and pain and suffering. If possible, take photos or video of your injuries, the property damage, and the accident scene. Get the names and contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident as it happened — their testimony could be key to establishing liability in court. You should also keep a list of all the medical providers you have seen, treatment you have received, and out-of-pocket costs incurred in connection with the accident.

Failing to Continue Medical Treatment

Among the most common mistakes after a motorcycle accident is failing to continue the course of treatment prescribed by your doctor. If you stop treatment or have gaps in between treatment, the insurance company will try to use this against you and argue you are not as injured as you claim to be. Treatment should only be stopped when your doctor has specified that you have reached maximum medical improvement.

Speaking with the Insurance Adjuster

No matter how obvious the driver’s negligence or recklessness was that caused your injuries, avoid making any statements to their insurance company. Their objective is to minimize the settlement amount you will receive for your claim — and they will try to use anything you say against you. Significantly, once you are represented by an attorney, the negligent driver’s insurance company is not permitted to speak with you directly without their permission.

Accepting a Settlement Too Early

Shortly after a motorcycle accident, the negligent driver’s insurance company will likely present you with a settlement offer. One of the most common mistakes after a motorcycle accident is entering into a settlement without first consulting an attorney — you also should not accept the first settlement you are offered. This is usually a lowball amount that does not represent the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages. In fact, the total amount your case is worth may not be known until you have completed your course of medical treatment.

Not Being Represented by an Attorney

A major mistake not to make after a motorcycle accident is failing to retain a personal injury attorney. When you hire legal counsel, they will have deep knowledge regarding the tactics used by the insurance companies, the process associated with filing a lawsuit, and how to effectively negotiate or litigate to obtain the maximum compensation available. They can advise you throughout the course of your case and help ensure your rights are protected. By not having the representation of an attorney, you could inadvertently harm your claim or unknowingly accept a settlement that is much lower than you deserve.

Contact a Washington Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been hurt due to the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of another in a motorcycle accident, it’s imperative that you have an attorney by your side to protect your interests. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help ensure you avoid the most common mistakes after a motorcycle accident — and work to secure the compensation you deserve. With locations in Burien and Bellevue, Herron Law Office, PLLC is dedicated to providing skillful representation to motorcycle accident victims throughout the state of Washington. We welcome you to contact us for a consultation by calling (425) 600-2580.