What to do After a Motorcycle Accident in Binghamton NY
- Jan 10, 2024
- By: Tom Schimmerling
Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience for many. The feel of the open road, the wind in your hair, the roar of the engine - it's pure freedom. But motorcycle accidents can and do happen whether it’s in Binghamton NY or across the nation.
If you ever find yourself in a motorcycle accident, it's important to know what steps to take next. This guide will walk you through the key actions to take after a motorcycle crash to protect your health, safety, and legal rights.
According to NYC.gov, only 2% of registered vehicles in NYC are motorcycles, yet motorcycles accounted for over 14 percent of traffic fatalities in the city. This shows the dangers of riding a motorcycle and why you should have an experienced motorcycle attorney on your side when the neglect of a driver causes you injury.
Seek Medical Attention Regardless of How You Feel
The first priority is always to get medical care for any injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident. Adrenaline and shock can mask pain initially, so even if you feel fine, it's crucial to get checked out by a doctor. Head trauma, broken bones, organ damage, and internal bleeding are some of the serious injuries that may not be immediately apparent after a motorcycle crash.
If you are able to move on your own, get yourself to an emergency room or urgent care clinic right away. Call 911 for an ambulance if you have any doubts. Seeking prompt medical attention can positively impact your recovery and create a record of your injuries and treatment related to the motorcycle accident.
Secure the Motorcycle Accident Scene if Safe to do so
If you are able to do so safely, try to stop your motorcycle in a safe place like the shoulder of the road and turn on your hazard lights. You want to avoid further collisions and minimize additional injury. If you have flares or reflective triangles, set them up a safe distance behind the accident scene to alert oncoming traffic.
If your motorcycle is disabled, get yourself out of harm's way by getting off the road and behind a guardrail if possible. Don't try to walk around in traffic. Wait for emergency vehicles to arrive to control the scene.
Call the Local Binghamton or NY State Police Immediately
Contact the police to report any motorcycle accident, even minor ones. Under state law, all accidents involving personal injury or property damage over $1,000 must be reported. When police respond to the scene, they will interview drivers and witnesses, document vehicle damage and positions, take measurements, and file an official report of the motorcycle accident.
Having an official police report is crucial for insurance claims and potential personal injury lawsuits after a motorcycle crash. The officers may also help with traffic control, contacting emergency medical services, and notifying family members about the accident if needed. Write down the responding officers' badge numbers and keep a copy of the police report for your records.
Document the Accident Scene with Your Smart Phone
If it is possible to safely do so, take photos and video of the accident scene from different angles before vehicles are moved. Try to capture images showing the position of vehicles, markings on the roadway, weather and lighting conditions, and any obstruction or hazards that may have contributed to the motorcycle accident. Also photograph any visible scrapes, dents, or damage to the vehicles involved.
Having photographic evidence can help reconstruct how the crash happened and pinpoint liability. Witnesses' memories fade, and conditions at the scene change quickly, so documentation immediately after the accident is invaluable. If your injuries prevent you from taking photos yourself, ask a witness or first responder to do it.
Exchange Information with the Other Person
Get contact and insurance information from the other driver(s) involved in the motorcycle accident. You'll want to get their name, address, phone number, driver's license number, license plate number, and insurance details including their provider's name and policy number. Having this information is required for insurance claims and can assist in liability investigations later.
Don't admit fault or assign blame. Simply stick to exchanging essential information. You should also provide the other driver with your name, contact details, driver's license number, insurance information, and motorcycle registration. If available, take down information from eyewitnesses as well who saw the accident happen.
Report the Accident to Insurance Companies
Alert your motorcycle insurance provider about the accident as soon as you are able to do so. There are often very tight deadlines for submitting accident notices. Providing prompt details about the crash can help streamline the claims process.
Be prepared to give your insurer basic information about the accident including the time, location, parties involved, witness accounts, and which police department responded. Ask what documents, photos, or other evidence you should submit to support your claim.
If you were struck by another driver who was at fault, their liability coverage should pay for your losses. Contact that driver's insurer as well to open a third-party claim. Refer to the other driver's statement to police and accident report to demonstrate their responsibility.
Consult a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Experienced attorneys such as Tom Schimmerling have successfully represented countless motorcycle crash victims in Greater Binghamton and Upstate NY and has secured millions of dollars in financial compensation for motorcycle enthusiasts. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer is advisable to protect your rights and obtain full and fair compensation. Here's a few key reasons why:
- They can conduct a detailed independent investigation of the accident to prove fault when liability is disputed.
- They determine all liable parties - not just the other driver but also manufacturer, mechanic, government entity, etc. if applicable.
- They calculate all past and future economic and non-economic damages stemming from the motorcycle crash.
- They aggressively negotiate with insurers to demand top-dollar settlements on your behalf.
- They are ready to take the case to court if fair compensation is not offered during settlement talks.
- They understand complex NY insurance laws and legal processes related to motorcycle accident claims.
Do not give any formal statements to insurance companies before consulting an attorney, as what you say can be used against you. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will handle communications with insurers to build leverage for the strongest recovery possible.
Don't Forget to Focus on Healing
The aftermath of a motorcycle crash can be highly stressful. There are so many concerns flooding your mind - medical bills, lost wages, motorcycle repair costs, and more. When you have an expert attorney fighting for you, it takes much of that weight off your shoulders so you can focus on healing and restoring your quality of life.
With the proper protections in place, you have the peace-of-mind that your legal rights are being advocated for appropriately. A reputable lawyer will help you recover maximum compensation so you can move forward after a devastating motorcycle accident.
Don't Delay After a Motorcycle Crash
Being injured in a motorcycle accident can derail your life in an instant. While you can't undo the crash, you can take proactive steps to protect your health and future security during this difficult time. Seeking medical care, collecting evidence from the scene, hiring a top motorcycle accident attorney, and promptly reporting the crash are all key actions to take. With the right help and Binghamton attorney Tom Schimmerling by your side, you can emerge from this ordeal with fair compensation, accountability, and closure.