The warm months in Wisconsin are magical. The gorgeous lush countryside and beautiful weather are a motorcyclist’s dream.
But there is always a degree of risk – and motorcycle accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. In 2020, over 5,500 motorcyclists were killed in the United States – and 112 of these motorcycle accident cases were in Wisconsin.
Motorcyclists do not have much protection during a crash – and most result in severe injuries or worse.
Even if you’re a very safe rider, it’s important to be prepared for the worst when you hit the road. Here’s what to do after a motorcycle accident, whether you’re a motorcyclist yourself or a vehicle driver.
The first thing you should do after a motorcycle accident is get to a safe place – if possible. They get to the shoulder of the road. You’ll put yourself and others at risk for further injury and property damage if you remain in the path of oncoming vehicles.
Be sure to leave your helmet and safety gear on for extra protection while this happens. If you or another party has been injured in the accident, be extremely cautious when moving, and don’t move more than is necessary.
The next step to take after a Wisconsin motorcycle accident is to call for law enforcement and medical care. You’ll want to make sure that anyone injured in the accident gets the best and most efficient medical care possible.
You should still call 911 even if no one has been injured, as you’ll need to cooperate with the police through the investigation. This is because you’ll need a police report to file any insurance claims and move forward with a personal injury case.
Do not talk to any other parties involved in the accident – no matter how high tensions might be. Instead, wait until law enforcement has arrived to engage.
Once the police have arrived and you receive adequate care, you’ll need to collect contact and insurance information from other drivers involved. Even if the damage initially seems minimal, you may need to make or contest a motorcycle accident claim with insurance later on, and you’ll need this information.
You’ll need to collect the other party’s name, phone number or email, and their insurance information. You’ll also want to note down their license plate and the make and model of their vehicle, whether it is a car or motorcycle.
You’ll need to gather evidence in order to build a personal injury case later on. When you work with a motorcycle accident lawyer, this evidence will help them build the case. Your insurance company will also want to evaluate the evidence.
If you are physically able to, take photos of the crash site with your phone. If there were witnesses, ask them to provide testimony.
Of course, if you are severely injured in a motorcycle accident, you may not be able to collect evidence right away. Write down as many details as you can remember when you are physically able to do so.
After you’ve received medical care, make sure to take in the full extent of the damage. Motorcycle accident settlements in Wisconsin are determined by the severity of the damage done and how it has impacted your life.
In addition to assessing the damage to your vehicle and belongings, you’ll also need to assess the damage to your body and mental health. Medical professionals will need to provide an examination. Keep an organized record of your medical expenses and doctor’s notes from your appointments – as this will be crucial information in your injury claim.
It’s possible that the police will contact you after the accident to take an official statement, particularly if you were injured and unable to do so at the time. Do not admit fault unless you are completely sure you were to blame, but do be honest and upfront in your statement.
If possible, talk to a motorcycle accident attorney for guidance before giving a statement to the police. There are a lot of things you can say to law enforcement that can be used against you in the legal proceedings.
Regardless of what happened or who was at fault, you’ll still need to speak with your insurance company if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin.
Your insurance representative will be able to tell you more about who is likely to be held accountable and what type of payout options you may have.
Keep in mind, insurance companies are businesses with an obligation to protect their bottom line – even your own insurance provider. When they speak to you, they are looking for ways to minimize the payout from their end. Like speaking to law enforcement, there are plenty of things you can say that will be used against you in the claims process.
The best advice we can give is to state the facts, nothing more.
Additionally, do not admit fault in any way, shape, or form. Even apologizing for something can imply fault. If you’ve never dealt with insurance companies after an accident, talk to a personal injury attorney first – they will explain in detail what you should and shouldn’t say.
You may need to pursue medical treatment for your own healing – and to get proper documentation of your healing. Your Wisconsin motorcycle accident lawyers will likely use medical records as part of your case.
Some motorcycle accident injuries do not appear right away – like spinal damage or brain injuries, which can take a few hours or days to show symptoms. You’ll want to make sure that you continue to receive adequate care as your symptoms evolve.
Even if you initially feel fine, take your medical care seriously and return to all of your follow-up appointments. Skipping appointments does not look good in the eyes of the court system.
Many motorcycle accidents in Wisconsin happen as the result of someone else’s negligence or misbehavior on the road. In fact, more than a third of motorcycle accidents involve unlicensed drivers. If this was the case for you, you have legal options.
Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer right away to determine your next steps.
Most lawyers offer free consultations to determine if your case is a good fit and guide you through what to do after a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents is three years from the date of the accident.
To prevent the statute of limitations from running out, you should take legal action as quickly as possible. While most motorcycle accident claims are settled in a few months, the process can drag on much longer than that, so you won’t want to wait.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin, you’ll need expert lawyers by your side to represent you.
At Mahony Law, we have experienced Wisconsin motorcycle accident attorneys, and we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations to understand your situation and discuss your legal options.
Our firm operates on a contingency fee agreement. This means if we choose to take your case, we make our fees in the form of a percentage AFTER we win – and you pay nothing out of pocket to hire us.
Call our office at 262-331-3553, email email@example.com, or send us a message online to get started.
Abby is the founder of Mahony Law and devotes her time to representing people who have been seriously hurt due to the negligence of others. Abby has handled injury cases of all types, including birth injury, wrongful death, automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and truck accidents.
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