There’s no question that traffic accidents involving even minor injuries are traumatic. Right after an accident, there is disorientation and a flood of emotions, in addition to the physical injuries. Often amid the confusion, people forget to take steps that ensure they will be taken care of down the road. Other times, the injuries are so severe that the person involved in the accident can’t take those steps.

A 59-year-old motorcyclist from Broomall, Pennsylvania, landed in the hospital with critical injuries after being struck by a car over the weekend. The accident happened when the driver attempted to make a turn in the direction the motorcycle was coming from. The impact sent the rider over the car before he landed on the highway.

Police said the car’s driver, a 24-year-old from Westtown, was drunk. Initially, police said, the driver denied drinking before the crash, but later confessed to having had a couple of beers. He was charged with DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, reckless driving and failing to yield the right of way to another vehicle by entering or crossing the road.

The motorcyclist in this case may not seem very lucky, but he was in the sense that police responded immediately and collected information that will allow him to seek compensation for his injuries. Because the motorcyclist was critically injured, he likely wasn’t able to collect any of this information himself. Although the driver in this case stayed at the scene and eventually told police the truth, not all drivers do.

If you’re involved in an injury accident, the first steps are to seek medical attention and contact police. From there, you’ll want to collect as much information as you can, from names and contact information of the other drivers and involved to photographs of your injuries and surroundings. Memories of small details from an accident can fade quickly, but sometimes it’s these details that can make or break a case.

Source: Daily Local News, “Police: Driver in car-cycle crash was driving drunk,” Tom Kelly IV, Nov. 27, 2011