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What to do after a motorcycle accident in Arizona

man falling off motorcycle.jpegIn Arizona, there are nearly 180,000 registered motorcyclists. Although less than 2 percent of riders in the state are involved in crashes in any given year, there are still far too many accidents.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, the seriousness of your injuries and the steps needed for your complete recovery may be overwhelming. However, there are certain actions that you should take --and others you should avoid -- in order to get the medical treatment and long-term care you need.

If your accident was caused by another's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, pain and suffering. Here are tips that may help you in the aftermath of a serious accident:

Provide factual statement only

Be mindful of the statements you make at the scene. What you say and do may be used against you. After an accident you may be inclined to rehash the details with the other party, law enforcement, and insurance adjusters. You are not obligated to speak to the other party or anyone from their insurance company. If a law enforcement officer asks you for a statement, be sure to give a clear and concise accounting of the events that occurred to the best of your ability, but avoid adding emotional statements. Later, after things have settled down and your mind clears, you may see things very differently. Specifically, don't admit fault, regardless of who you might believe is to blame.

Call your insurance company

Notify your insurance company that you were in an accident as soon as possible. Your insurance agent will need to know the following information:

  • Precise location of the accident
  • Name of the responding law enforcement agency and the name or badge number of the officer
  • Incident or police report number
  • Names and insurance information of other involved motorists and witnesses
  • Extent of property damage
  • Description of your physical injuries
  • Name of any treating medical professionals

Again, explain the crash as objectively as possible. Don't talk about who you think was at fault. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't guess. This includes any questions about physical injuries too. Don't assume you or others involved are "fine," as you may experience delayed symptoms. Most importantly, keep in mind that insurance companies are not on your side and will try to pay as little as possible on your claim.

Don't agree to settle your claim without a lawyer

After a crash, you may be offered compensation directly by the other party or by his or her insurance company. Perhaps there isn't much damage, and you are worried about a black spot on your record. Maybe you are sympathetic to his or her situation and are content to just let them pay for the minor repairs.

Don't do it. Not only will you be forfeiting the right to future claims with your own insurance company, but you could be violating the laws of your state by not reporting the crash. Not to mention the guilt you would feel if the person who caused the accident does the same thing again to someone else.

There are many nuances of the law when it comes to protecting your rights and freedom after a motorcycle accident. Seek the help of an attorney who is experienced handling personal injury claims involving motorcyclists.

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