What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Gainesville, FL.

February 16, 2024
Jack Fine

Motorcycle riders are often unfairly stereotyped as reckless. In reality, most motorcyclists are responsible and cautious on the road. However, accidents can occur when other drivers fail to exercise the same level of caution. 

If you find yourself injured in a motorcycle accident, there are specific steps you should take immediately at the accident scene to protect your rights and help facilitate the process of building a legal case.

Step 1. Get to Safety

The very first thing you should do is get yourself out of harm’s way. This means getting off the roadway and out of the flow of traffic. Although it may be tempting to check on your motorcycle, retrieve broken pieces, or assist in clearing the scene, it’s generally not advisable for several reasons:

  • Avoiding Further Collisions: Staying at the crash site can put you at risk of being involved in another collision with other road users who might not have noticed the accident in time. 
  • Preventing Additional Injuries: Attempting to move your motorcycle or objects involved in the accident can worsen your injuries. 
  • Preserving Evidence: Leaving the accident scene undisturbed is essential for preserving evidence that may be crucial in determining fault and liability in the accident. This evidence can be valuable for your insurance claim or any potential legal actions.

By moving yourself to a safe location, you not only protect yourself but also ensure the integrity of the accident scene for any subsequent investigations or claims.

Step 2. Call 911

Once you are safely away from traffic, you should call 911. When speaking to the dispatcher, be sure to provide them with the following information:

  • Your location: Clearly state where the accident occurred, including street names, landmarks, or mile markers if available.
  • Injuries: Inform the dispatcher of any injuries sustained by you or others involved in the accident. If you are uncertain about your injuries, it’s better to mention this so that paramedics can assess your condition on-site.
  • Number of vehicles involved: Specify the number of vehicles involved in the accident, including your motorcycle.
  • Additional assistance: If there are any hazards at the scene, such as leaking fluids, fires, or blocked traffic, make sure to mention them so that the appropriate response can be coordinated.

Provide a Statement to the Police

Per Florida state law, you are required to contact law enforcement after an accident if the crash resulted in injuries, death, or over $500 in property damage. When a police officer responds to the scene, you will want to provide them with a statement. 

This will be the first official record of the accident, so it’s important to be accurate and truthful. Describe the events leading up to the accident and any other details that may be important for your claim. 

Your statement will be used by your insurance company and attorney to establish liability.  Remember not to place blame or admit fault in the accident as this can negatively affect your case. 

Step 3. Get Medical Attention

Motorcycle accidents can result in more severe injuries compared to other types of motor vehicle crashes. In fact, motorcycle accidents have an 80% injury or death rate compared to 20% for car accidents. 

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for riders to downplay their injuries immediately after the accident due to the rush of adrenaline. However, the reality is that many riders begin to feel the full extent of their injuries within hours, and the situation may only worsen from there.

Seeking immediate medical attention is paramount for several reasons:

  • Prompt Treatment: Getting medical attention promptly ensures that your injuries receive the necessary treatment right away. This can significantly reduce the risk of complications down the road. 
  • Tying Injuries to the Accident: Seeking medical attention establishes a clear connection between your injuries and the motorcycle accident. The medical records and documentation from your treatment can serve as vital evidence in demonstrating that your injuries were a direct result of the accident.
  • Preventing Insurance Disputes: Waiting too long before seeking medical attention can give insurance companies the opportunity to argue that your injuries are related to something other than the motorcycle accident. This can complicate your claim and potentially reduce the compensation you’re entitled to.

Step 4. Exchange Insurance Information

The next step following a motorcycle accident in Gainesville, FL is to exchange insurance information with the other parties involved. Begin by exchanging basic contact details, including names, phone numbers, and addresses. 

Additionally, obtain the other driver(s) insurance information, including the insurance company’s name, policy number, and the contact details of their insurance agent. This information will be useful in initiating and facilitating the insurance claims process quickly and effectively. 

Step 5. Take Photos & Witness Statements

Gathering evidence is a critical step in building a strong case after a motorcycle accident. Here’s what you should do: 

  • Take clear photographs of any physical injuries you or others have sustained as a result of the accident. 
  • Document the damage to your motorcycle and any other vehicles involved in the accident. 
  • Take pictures of the accident scene from various angles. Include images of traffic signs, signals, skid marks, and other relevant road conditions. 
  • If there are witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and inquire if they would be willing to provide a statement about what they saw. 

These pieces of evidence can help establish the facts surrounding the accident and support your case in demonstrating liability and seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.

Step 6. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

In Florida, motorcycle accident law is similar to car accident law; however, there are some differences to take into account. For instance, motorcyclists are not required to carry personal injury protection insurance coverage. This may affect your ability to secure coverage for medical expenses unless you seek the assistance of an attorney. 

Additionally, Florida law does not require all bikers to wear a helmet as long as you are 21 years of age or older and carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. So, even if the accident occurred due to another driver’s negligence and you were not wearing a helmet, you are still entitled to compensation

Regardless of your unique circumstance, the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A. are here to help. We will guide you through the complexities of your case and will be able to tell you which laws specifically apply to you.  

Step 7. File an Insurance Claim

The last step to follow after a motorcycle accident is to file an insurance claim. You should only proceed with filing an insurance claim after you have consulted with an attorney or made the informed decision to not engage one. 

The insurance claim process can be complicated as insurance companies may not always act fairly. Many insurance adjusters may hold biases against motorcyclists and try to pin a portion or all of the blame on the rider. Without the guidance and expertise of a personal injury lawyer, you risk receiving less compensation than you rightfully deserve. 

If you do choose to work with an attorney, they will manage all communication with the insurance company on your behalf. Any statements you make to insurers can be recorded and used against you. Your motorcycle accident lawyer is well-aware of this and can protect your rights, ensuring you receive the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.  

Things Not to Do

Understanding what actions to avoid is just as important as knowing what to do following a motorcycle accident. Here are some key points to remember:

1. Do Not Post on Social Media

Resist the urge to share details about the accident or your injuries on social media. Insurance companies and opposing parties may search social media platforms to find information that contradicts your claims. Anything you post can potentially be used against you in legal proceedings. 

It’s wise to limit your social media activity related to the accident until your legal matters are resolved. You may also want to consider reviewing and adjusting your privacy settings for an added layer of protection. 

2. Do Not Give Statements to Insurance Unless You Consult an Attorney

When communicating with insurance companies, be cautious and factual. Anything you say could affect your claim. Avoid speculating about the accident’s cause, apologizing for your actions, or discussing your injuries in recorded statements. 

Insurers may use your statements to avoid paying for damages. Sticking to the facts helps protect your rights and ensures you receive fair compensation.

3. Do Not Skip Medical Appointments

Attending all medical appointments is essential. Follow your doctor’s guidance and attend all follow-up appointments related to your injury. Skipping appointments or attempting to return to work prematurely can jeopardize both your health and your legal recovery. Adhere to any lifting or movement restrictions advised by your doctor and only return to work when you receive medical clearance to do so. 

4. Do Not Accept Insurance First Settlement

The primary objective of insurance companies is to minimize their payouts. When you receive an initial settlement offer, it may appear sufficient, but it might not adequately cover your ongoing medical costs, property damage, pain and suffering, and other expenses. Before accepting any settlement offer, it’s best to consult with an attorney. They can assess the fairness of the offer and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the claims process.

5. Do Not Destroy Evidence

While it’s understandable to want to repair your motorcycle promptly, resist the urge to do so right away. Your motorcycle is an important piece of evidence that can demonstrate proof of negligence and the extent of damage resulting from the accident. To protect this evidence, our attorneys can ensure it is thoroughly documented through photographs and securely stored until your case goes to court. 

Florida Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations 

The statute of limitations serves as a time frame for the parties involved in a motorcycle accident to file a legal claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents is set at two years from the date of the accident. A motorcycle accident victim can file a lawsuit within this timeframe as long as their injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence. 

If a motorcycle rider tragically loses their life in an accident, surviving family members have the right to pursue damages through a wrongful death claim. In these cases, the family members have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to take legal action. 

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents can seriously disrupt your life, not just from physical injuries, but also from the financial and emotional toll they can take. Whether it’s medical bills, lost wages, or the emotional aftermath, you deserve the opportunity to recover damages. 

At Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., our seasoned motorcycle accident attorneys have successfully obtained compensation for numerous clients in similar situations. With our expertise and resources, we are committed to helping you rebuild your life after a motorcycle collision. 

We will assist you in navigating the claims process and negotiating with insurance companies, while advocating for your rights every step of the way. Reach out to a motorcycle accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation, and take the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve. 


The 2023 Florida Statutes: 316.065 Crashes; reports; penalties. | The Florida Legislature

Motorcycle vs. Car Accident Statistics | J.D. Power