What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Arkansas
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident is chaotic. You may face serious physical injuries, mental trauma, and financial hardship. You may be unable to work and provide for your family as you attempt to rebuild your life.
Motorcycles don’t have reinforced steel cages and airbags protecting their riders from injury. Motorcycles expose their riders to the harsh weather and the dangers of the open road. When an accident does occur, motorcyclists may suffer permanent disfigurement, long-term disability, or mental trauma.
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After a Motorcycle Accident Checklist
During this traumatic time, creditors and insurance companies often pressure injured accident victims to settle quickly. They do this to minimize their liabilities because they know how traumatic and life-changing motorcycle accidents can be. They want you to agree before you realize the severity of your injuries. While this may seem unfair, it is why motorcyclists need an Arkansas motorcycle accident lawyer on their side from the very start. Let a motorcycle accident lawyer fight for you and collect the evidence you need to reach a fair settlement.
If you are injured after a motorcycle accident, there are some steps you can take to help your lawyer build your case. The actions you take immediately following the accident could significantly impact your ability to collect compensation after your crash.
Keep Calm and Make Sure Everyone is Okay
Motorcycle accidents are almost always traumatic for the biker. You may have been thrown from the bike or into another vehicle. Or you may have skidded across the pavement, suffering road rash. For this reason, it is most important to keep yourself calm and assess your injuries. Do not move if you suspect you’ve suffered a significant injury.
If you can, make sure other accident victims are okay. If you can move, check on other accident victims and get to a safer location. Even if you cannot move, simply asking if everyone is ok can help you assess the situation.
Keep Your Protective Gear On
It is best to keep your protective gear on after a motorcycle accident, meaning do not remove your helmet, gloves, or riding jacket. You may have sustained worse injuries than you believe, and removing protective gear can worsen injuries.
It is also essential to have someone check you for injuries before you remove your gear. If you have any pain or discomfort, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
If you are involved in an Arkansas motorcycle accident, it is essential to call 911 as soon as possible. This will ensure that emergency services are dispatched to the scene and that you receive the medical attention you need.
If you cannot reach your phone, ask a bystander or another accident victim to call 911. The faster you alert the authorities, the quicker you can get medical treatment and care.
When the police arrive at the motorcycle accident scene, give them crash details but do not admit fault. Even a simple “I’m sorry” can be used to show that you admitted liability. When speaking to the police, stick to the facts and avoid offering opinions on what you believe happened. Let the police officers at the crash scene collect the evidence needed to write their report.
Get Medical Treatment
Motorcycle accident injuries are often severe and life-threatening. Emergency medical teams will arrive at the crash scene to assess your injuries and take you to the nearest hospital. It is essential to see a medical professional even if you believe you are uninjured. Adrenaline can mask the severity of injuries, and life-threatening conditions can go unnoticed without medical help.
Report all Injuries and Symptoms
When you get medical help, you must report all injuries and all symptoms to medical professionals and your motorcycle accident lawyer.
Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries you should report include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Disfigurement or amputation
- Internal bleeding
Motorcycle accident victims may spend weeks in the hospital undergoing surgeries, rehabilitation, and medical care. Even once a motorcycle crash victim gets released from the hospital, they may need to undergo months of rehab, therapy, or long-term care.
The mental trauma from a motorcycle accident can take even longer to overcome, and accident victims often need psychological assistance, counseling, and therapy to get back on their bikes after a traumatic accident.
It is important to report all injuries and symptoms, both mental and physical. This will give you the best chance of recovering and rebuilding your life after a serious motorcycle injury accident.
Obtain a Police Report
Once the police officer files the accident report, you can obtain copies of this report at the police department where the report was initially generated. Arkansas State Police reports are available at the troop headquarters in the troop assignment area. You can view a map of troop assignments by visiting the Arkansas State and Tennessee State police websites. In most cases, you can order copies of the police report within 30 days of report completion.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, exchanging information with the other driver is important. This includes your name, contact information, and insurance information. You should also get the other driver’s license plate number. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information.
Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Taking pictures of the scene is important if you have been in a motorcycle accident. This will help document what happened and can be used as evidence if you need to file a claim or lawsuit.
Some of the things you should take pictures of include:
- The position of the vehicles involved
- Skid marks on the road
- Damage to the vehicles
- Any obstacles on the road that may have caused the accident
- Weather conditions at the time of the accident
Take pictures of the accident scene from different angles. A close-up photo will show additional details than one taken from the intersection. Each angle, however, will help your Arkansas motorcycle accident lawyer piece together what happened and build your case.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, taking pictures of your injuries is important. This will document the extent of your injuries and can be used as evidence when your attorney begins negotiating with insurance companies.
Gather and Preserve All Evidence
After a motorcycle accident, it is important to gather and preserve evidence. This may include taking photographs of the scene, collecting witness information, and preserving your motorcycle. This evidence can help establish what happened and who may be at fault.
However, most injured accident victims don’t consider documenting the details after an accident. This can also get used as valuable evidence. Keep all medical receipts, bills, and expenses. Keep a calendar of doctor’s visits and appointments, and track your pain in a journal. If you can, write down the accident details when it is fresh in your mind.
Don’t Accept an Early Settlement Offer
After an accident, the last thing you want to deal with is a long, drawn-out insurance claim. However, it is important to remember that insurance companies are businesses whose goal is to minimize payouts. One way they do this is by offering low settlements early in the legal process. While it may be tempting to take the money and run, these offers are almost always well below what the case is worth.
An experienced Arkansas motorcycle accident attorney will know how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you the total amount you are entitled to. In addition, they can help to shoulder the burden of dealing with paperwork and red tape, allowing you to focus on your recovery. Ultimately, working with a professional is always in your best interest.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
The most important step you can make is to contact our law firm immediately after your motorcycle crash. Our Arkansas motorcycle accident attorneys will directly go to work building your case and helping you through this difficult time. We know that you need money now to pay for expenses and care. That’s why we work quickly to explore all your legal options.
For decades, the experienced and skilled legal team at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton has successfully advocated for motorcycle accident victims throughout Arkansas and Tennessee. Our lawyers have won multi-million-dollar jury verdicts and settlements for our injured clients across the state. With 35+ attorneys and 150+ staff members, we are ready and willing to fight for you after a serious motorcycle accident. Here, you are never just a number—you are our number one priority.
We’re here to help.
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