What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

One minute, you are experiencing a thrilling motorcycle ride; the next, you are on the ground in pain.

The absence of protection like seatbelts and airbags makes motorcyclists vulnerable. Even the most minor accident can lead to life-changing injuries.

You may recover compensation after a motorcycle accident. The fairness of your settlement may depend on your actions after the crash. Everything can play a role, including collecting evidence and following your doctor’s advice. 

When you contact a Long Island motorcycle accident attorney, they can explain the steps to strengthen your case. Following their lead increases your chances of receiving the money you deserve. 

Take Care of Your Health

More than 80,000 people sustain injuries in motorcycle accidents annually. The number of motorcycle fatalities, meanwhile, increases every year.

After a motorcycle accident, prioritize your health and well-being. Even if you feel fine after the crash, seek medical attention immediately.

Some injuries may not immediately appear, and a medical professional can identify and treat them promptly. Medical care addresses any injuries and establishes a documented record of your injuries and treatment. This record can make a strong case for recovering compensation.

Even if you start feeling better, you must follow your doctor’s advice and adhere to the recommended treatment plan until you recover. Doing so will aid your physical healing and may strengthen your legal claims. Neglecting your health or disregarding medical advice could weaken your case. Contact a doctor immediately, even if some time has passed since the accident.

Call an Attorney

Evidence From a Accident Scene

One of the most important tasks you can perform after a motorcycle accident is to contact a skilled motorcycle accident attorney. Legal representation can protect your rights and maximize your chances of achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

A motorcycle accident attorney possesses the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of motorcycle accident claims. They understand the laws and regulations pertaining to motorcycle accidents, insurance coverage, liability, and damages. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, explain your rights, and advocate to increase the likelihood of fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Delaying contact with an attorney can be detrimental to your case. The longer you wait, the more challenging it becomes to gather crucial evidence and witness statements. Memories fade, physical evidence may change or disappear, and witnesses may become difficult to locate.

Promptly contacting an attorney allows them to take immediate action to preserve evidence, visit the accident scene if necessary, and gather crucial information to strengthen your case.

The Statute of Limitations

Do not delay your conversation with an attorney because of the statute of limitations: the legal timeframe for filing a lawsuit or claim for your injuries. Delaying legal action could cause the statute of limitations to expire, barring you from seeking compensation. Each jurisdiction has its statute of limitations, which varies depending on the type of claim and the state where the accident occurred.

The time you have usually varies from one to six years, though some exceptions exist:

The Discovery Rule

One common exception is the discovery rule, which applies when the injured party could not have reasonably discovered their injury or its cause until later. In such cases, the statute of limitations may begin at the moment of the injury’s discovery or when reasonable diligence would have discovered it.

Minors and Mental Incapacitation

Some states allow for the tolling of the statute of limitations for minors or individuals with mental incapacities, suspending the countdown until they reach the legal age or regain mental capacity.

Other Exceptions

Other exceptions may include cases involving fraud or the at-fault party leaving the state, meaning you can’t notify them of legal action.

Promptly contacting an attorney allows you to benefit from their legal knowledge, experience, and resources to build a strong case. They can guide you through the legal process, handle communications with insurance companies, negotiate on your behalf, and, if necessary, take your case to court.

With their skills and experience, they can navigate the complexities of the legal system and maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and other damages.

Collecting the Evidence

Evidence plays a significant role in the success of your motorcycle accident case. It supports your right to damages and helps establish liability.  

An experienced attorney can handle most evidence collection, taking care to minimize their chances of missing crucial pieces. The different types of evidence that can play a vital role in a motorcycle accident case are:

Evidence From the Accident Scene

Immediately after the accident, your powerlessness to gather information from the scene is understandable.

Your attorney can, however, visit the scene and collect essential evidence for you. They can obtain the police report, which contains important details, such as any issued citations and the accident’s date, time, and location.

Other evidence your attorney can gather includes skid marks, debris, or photos of road conditions that may have contributed to the accident. These pieces of evidence increase the chances of establishing negligence and liability.


Visual evidence is precious in a motorcycle accident case. Your attorney can take photos of the accident scene, road conditions, and damage to your motorcycle. These photographs can recreate the accident and support your claim.

Document any injuries you suffered. Take detailed photos of your injuries, capturing visible wounds, bruises, or scars. These images can prove the physical harm the accident caused.

Witness Statements

Witness statements can significantly strengthen your case. If there are any witnesses to the accident, the attorney can locate and interview anyone who could improve your case.

Witness statements can provide valuable insights into the events leading up to the accident and help establish fault. An experienced attorney can effectively record witness statements and use them to support your claim.
You may also need the help of expert witnesses. These are professionals (usually doctors) who could confirm your right to compensation. Your attorney can hire these witnesses and collect their testimony.

Medical Bills and Reports

The financial effect of a motorcycle accident can be considerable. To receive compensation, you need to keep track of all medical bills, prescriptions, and invoices relating to your injuries.

These documents prove your economic damages, such as medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Doctor’s reports detailing your injuries, treatment plans, and prognosis can also strengthen your case. 

Remember that your attorney can handle most evidence collection for you. They have the knowledge, resources, and experience to gather and preserve crucial evidence. Entrusting this task to an attorney lets you focus on your recovery while they endeavor not to overlook or lose any vital evidence.

Assessing Your Damages

After a motorcycle accident, your lawyer can assess the damages you have incurred due to the incident. Their understanding of the different types of damages can maximize your settlement. 

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the tangible financial losses you suffered from the motorcycle accident in New York.

These easily quantifiable damages typically include:

  • Medical expenses: These are all medical bills relating to your injuries, including hospital stays, surgeries, consultations, medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. 
  • Lost income: If the accident caused you to miss work, you may deserve compensation for the income you lost during your recovery period. This income can include salaries, bonuses, and other employment benefits you could not receive due to the accident.

If the accident damaged your motorcycle or any other personal property, your lawyer can seek compensation for the repair or replacement costs. Repair estimates and receipts can support your claim.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages are more subjective and compensate for the intangible losses you have experienced.

They can vary from case to case and include:

  • Pain and suffering: This is the physical and emotional distress you have endured due to the accident. It can include pain, discomfort, anxiety, depression, or loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Emotional trauma: If the accident has caused you significant emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression, you may be eligible for compensation for these non-physical injuries.
  • Loss of consortium: If the accident has influenced your relationship with your spouse or family members, resulting in the loss of companionship, love, affection, or sexual relations, you could recover damages for loss of consortium.

Proving your right to noneconomic damage recovery is more complicated, as the evidence backing these damages isn’t always tangible. Your attorney’s work with this evidence can be vital to the success of your case.

Punitive Damages

The system awards punitive damages for the at-fault party’s willful, malicious, or grossly negligent conduct. Unlike economic and noneconomic damages, punitive damages don’t compensate the victim but punish the defendant and deter similar behavior.

To accurately assess the damages you have suffered and determine appropriate compensation, you need to speak to an experienced attorney. They can evaluate your case, review all relevant factors, and seek a fair amount for your damages. Legal representation gives you peace of mind knowing it can protect your rights and pursue fair and just compensation.

Negotiating With the Insurance Company  

Dealing with insurance companies can be a complex and challenging process. Taking the right approach can maximize your settlement and prevent emotional distress.

Be Prepared

Before speaking with an insurance adjuster, gather all the necessary documentation relating to the accident, such as police reports, medical bills, and property damage records. This documentation can improve your chances of presenting a strong case and maximizing your compensation claim.

Know Your Rights

Understand the terms of your insurance policy and be aware of the coverage it entitles you to. In some states, such as no-fault states, motorcyclists may first have to seek compensation from their personal injury protection insurance. Familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your state to increase your awareness of your rights and obligations.  For example, in New York, there is typically no no-fault coverage for motorcycles.

Stay Organized

Keep a detailed record of all communications with the insurance company, including the names of the adjusters, dates and times of conversations, and summaries of the discussions. This record can track your claim’s progress and hold the insurance company accountable.

Negotiate Fairly

When negotiating with the insurance company, present your case clearly and concisely. To support your claim, provide all the necessary evidence, including medical records, photographs, and witness statements. Be persistent and assertive, but remain professional and respectful throughout the negotiation.

Matthew H. Bligh, motorcycle accident lawyer in New York
New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Matthew H. Bligh

Doing all of the above without legal assistance isn’t just highly challenging: It’s nearly impossible. The chances of achieving a fair settlement from an insurance company without an attorney acting on your behalf are low. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can present your case to the adjuster while countering any arguments they may have against you.

If the negotiations fail, you can take the case to court. Your motorcycle accident attorney can advise you on further action and defend your rights before the judge and jury.

The Importance of Staying in Control After a Motorcycle Accident

Keeping a cool head after a motorcycle accident can direct you toward the best possible outcome. Immediately contacting an attorney means delegating legal issues to a professional and gaining time to tend to your injuries.

Be ready to face resistance from the at-fault party, insurance company, and anyone else interested in minimizing your settlement. With an attorney, you can overcome all the obstacles and attain the money you deserve.

Filed Under: Motorcycle Accidents

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Practice Areas

Our Long Island Injury Lawyers Have Experience In

Truck Accidents
Accidents on the highways can be lethal events
Bicycle Accidents
Riding a bicycle should not be unsafe
Car Accidents
If you have been seriously injured, call our firm
Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injury
Medical Malpractice
Medical mistakes can cause death ruin lives
Wrongful Death
When negligence results in the death of a loved me
Premises Liability
When hurt in a location, someone has to take responsibility
Brain Injury
Brain injuries can have long term severe effects
Dog Bites
Dog bites can cause serious injury


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