The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Department documents that there have already been more than 300,000 car accidents and 7,000 motorcycle crashes this year in the state of Florida, causing more than 400 motorcyclists to lose their lives.
If you’re a biker, you need to take extra precautions when on the road to have a safe ride and avoid fatality. And just in case you’re involved in a crash, our personal injury attorneys have put together this guide on what to do after a motorcycle accident in Florida.
So, if you’re a motorcycle rider read on to prepare yourself for an accident, should it ever occur.
Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you need to consider your safety. If you have minimal injuries and the scene is safe, you should move out of harm’s way so another motorist doesn’t hit you and cause further damage.
If possible, get out of the flow of traffic to the shoulder or side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights. If you have them available, set up warning triangles.
Call Emergency Services
Once you’re safe, call the police. They play a vital role in collecting evidence you’ll need for your personal injury case. Police officers can do the following:
- Assess property damage
- Document road conditions
- Draw diagrams
- Get recorded statements from the other driver and witnesses
- Issue a citation to the at-fault driver
- Obtain insurance documentation
Importantly, under Florida Statute 316.066, a law enforcement officer who reports to the scene of the accident must file a Long Form police report within ten days of the accident if the accident:
- Caused a wrongful death, personal injury, pain, or discomfort to anyone involved in the accident
- Violated Florida Statute 316.961(1) or 316.193
- Rendered a vehicle so inoperable a wrecker needed to remove it from the crash site
- Involved a commercial motor vehicle
You’ll need a copy of this police report for your motorcycle accident case.
Get Medical Care
Even if you don’t have serious injuries (or think you don’t), you must seek medical attention after an accident. You may have injuries you’re unaware of or that will present themselves in the future. A medical report will not only document your current condition but will serve as a crucial piece of evidence for your motorcycle insurance claim.
Further, if you later discover you have injuries from the crash, such as prolonged back or memory problems, you’ll want the at-fault driver to cover your medical bills. Injuries from motorcycle accidents can take days or weeks to appear. You want to ensure you’ll receive compensation for any accident-related medical ailments whenever they present themselves.
Take Pictures of the Site and Injuries
Take pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your motorcycle, and your injuries immediately after the crash. Also, photograph any road conditions that may have contributed to the accident, like large potholes or damaged street signs.
In addition to taking pictures, you should get the contact information of all parties involved and those present at the accident scene, such as eyewitnesses. You want to take a photo of the driver’s licenses of the drivers involved in the accident and their insurance information.
Under Florida law, if any accident victims have injuries from the crash, the at-fault driver(s) must provide this information. The police can help you collect the necessary documentation when they arrive on the scene.
File an Insurance Claim
File a claim with your insurance provider to begin receiving compensation. An insurance adjuster will assess the claim and determine fault. Even if you weren’t the at-fault driver, you must report the accident to your insurance company.
In some instances, you’ll also be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. A Florida motorcycle accident attorney can help you file a claim with both your insurance provider and the other driver’s provider to ensure you receive the most compensation possible.
Consult a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Finally, if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you need to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer for legal advice about handling your claim. Insurance companies will always try to find a way to limit how much they need to compensate you for your injuries and suffering.
Thus, you need help from someone with years of experience fighting for those who sustained injuries from motor vehicle accidents. The Florida motorcycle accident lawyers at Burnett Law have over two decades of experience filing personal injury claims and getting compensation for these people. We will always be on your side and fight diligently for the compensation you deserve.
What Not to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
When discussing what to do after a motorcycle accident, it’s also essential to discuss the things not to do. Follow the advice below from our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys.
Say Too Much
Insurers will use any evidence they have against you to avoid paying compensation. Only stick to the facts when speaking about the crash.
Never speculate on the cause of the accident or admit fault. You also shouldn’t apologize for your actions or discuss your injuries (or lack thereof) with the insurance company.
Not Complete Treatment
If you fail to complete the recommended medical treatment, you’re putting your health and insurance claim at risk. Don’t refuse treatment or try to return to work without medical clearance. The insurance provider may use this against you to show that you aren’t really injured and deny you compensation.
Accept Unfair Settlement Offers
As mentioned, insurance companies will do anything to limit how much compensation you’ll receive. If an insurer tries to settle early or provide inadequate compensation, don’t accept it. Get a personal injury lawyer to help you receive the settlement you deserve.
Know What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Florida
Knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident in Florida is crucial so that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and pain. With this guide, you have the necessary information for how to handle a crash.
If you’ve recently been in a motorcycle collision, request a free consultation from Burnett Law to see how our expert attorneys can help with your motorcycle accident claim. We help clients in Tampa and the surrounding cities win fair and just compensation.