Hopefully, you will never wonder “What to do if I am in a motorcycle accident in Maryland?” Motorcycle accidents are uniquely dangerous, and often leave victims physically impaired and financially destitute. For this reason, knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of an accident is just as important as knowing how to stay safe on the road. Read on to learn exactly what to do after a motorcycle accident.
Your first and most important action after a motorcycle accident should be to make sure that you are safe and uninjured. Here are a few basic physical checks:
- Can you move your farthest extremities? Spinal and head trauma can cause paralysis, but moving right away can make these injuries even worse. Try wiggling your toes and fingers first.
- Did you lose consciousness, even for a few seconds? If so, you may have a concussion and will require immediate medical attention.
- Do you have irritation or redness on your body, either under your clothes or on your bare skin? “Road rash” is one of the most common minor motorcycle injuries.
- Are you bleeding or bruised? A quick pat-down over your clothes can detect cuts and other skin damage.
If you have been injured, dial 911 or ask someone else at the scene to call an ambulance. Do not attempt to move. If you seem to be unharmed, check the other vehicles involved and determine if anyone else is hurt.
Regardless of your initial assessment, you should seek professional medical attention as soon as you can. Only a doctor can adequately determine the severity of your injuries. Remember that the stress of an accident can release pain-masking endorphins and adrenaline. Many serious injuries, such as whiplash and spinal cord injuries, may appear a few days after the crash. If you decide to file a personal injury claim, your medical records and documentation can support your case.
Exchange And Gather Information
Your next step, after ensuring that everyone is safe, is to gather as much information as you can about the circumstances of the crash and the vehicles involved. Ask the other drivers or riders for their insurance information, phone numbers, addresses, and names. If you have a camera or phone, take some photos of the accident scene. These will help the police when compiling their accident report. Most importantly, do not admit that the accident was your fault.
If you feel like you need some legal help, contact our Motorcycle Accident Law attorney to schedule a free case evaluation today.
Stay On The Scene
As a Maryland citizen, you are required to remain at the accident scene until the police arrive, even if the accident was minor and no one was hurt. The officers will ask questions about the collision in order to compile an accident report. Describe the situation honestly, clearly, and correctly. You should also give the police your contact information so that you can receive a copy of the accident report later.
Talk To An Attorney
Do not accept any offers from the other driver or their insurance company without first consulting an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Most insurance companies will quickly offer you a settlement, hoping that you will take the bait before you recognize the long-term impact of your injuries. However generous this offer seems, it usually does not provide adequate compensation for the future medical bills, lost wages, and property damage that you will need to pay out of your own savings.
Once you have accepted this settlement, you will not be able to file for further personal injury compensation. In addition, some insurance companies will try to prove that you helped cause the accident. Under Maryland’s common law, the doctrine of “contributory negligence” states that an individual cannot seek damages for their injuries if they were responsible for the accident in any way.
We advise you to get in touch with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as early as possible before you even speak with the insurance company. A legal team can gather the facts, build a solid case, and determine whether your negligence played a role in the accident, which can help you secure a larger settlement later on.
We hope that this article has answered your most pressing question—what to do if I am in a motorcycle accident in Maryland—but you are probably looking for a lot more answers. Our experienced legal team can evaluate your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 410-753-4611 to learn more.