Being involved in any type of auto accident can be a frightening experience. However, the panic and trauma may be increased if the accident involves a motorcycle. This is because, although motorcycle riders wear protective gear, they do not have the added protection of being enclosed in a vehicle.
If you are a motorcycle rider, you may be wondering what you should do if you experience a motorcycle accident. While each scenario is different, there are some basic steps that you should take in the aftermath of an accident. What you do both immediately and later on will have an impact on the outcome of your case.
What to Do at the Scene of the Motorcycle Accident
Although you may not have recently experienced a motorcycle accident, it is good that you are looking this information up beforehand. In the aftermath of an accident, being prepared will help you take the right actions which would protect your legal rights.
There are some steps that you should take and avoid while still at the site of the motorcycle crash. The following list highlights some of these steps.
Move to a safe area
First, remain calm. Then, as soon as possible, it is best to leave your bike where it is after the motorcycle crash and move yourself to a safe area.
This will prevent you from being hit by other drivers passing by. Also, if you attempt to move your motorcycle, you may worsen any injuries that you may have suffered and compromise vital evidence.
Do not flee the accident scene
While moving yourself to a safe area is a must, leaving the scene entirely is not what you should do. Perhaps you may be thinking that the accident is minor. Nevertheless, leaving the scene before speaking with the other driver or the authorities may constitute a hit-and-run. As such, you could find yourself facing criminal charges if you leave the scene too soon.
Do not move yourself or anyone who suffered serious injuries
If you or any passengers have suffered a serious injury, it is best to remain where you are. Attempting to move yourself or others who are badly hurt and need medical attention may only worsen their conditions or cause further harm. This is especially true for victims with head, neck, or back injuries.
Seek immediate medical attention
Whether you are able to move to another location or not, you must call 911 right away for emergency services and seek medical attention. The quicker the medical professionals can provide assistance, the better it would be for your well-being.
This is vital even if you may be feeling fine. You may be in a high emotional state, which may mask serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, or other internal injuries.
Contact the police
Your 911 call for medical assistance should also trigger an alert for law enforcement to arrive on the scene. If not, call or ask someone to call the authorities. When the officers arrive, they will investigate the motorcycle accident scene and speak to witnesses.
It is important that you speak with them to give them your side of the story about the accident. What is written in the police report can have a direct effect on the outcome of your claim.
While awaiting the arrival of the police, exchange information with all other parties involved in the motorcycle accident. Make sure to obtain the other driver’s name, insurance information, driver’s license number, the license plate number of the other vehicle, and the make and model.
Do not admit fault
When speaking to the other driver, do not admit fault, even if your motorcycle crashed into the other vehicle. While it may appear that you were to blame, an investigation may reveal other factors that were the cause. These may include weather conditions, poorly maintained roads, or even a faulty motorcycle part.
Also, while waiting for the authorities to arrive, gather as much evidence as possible. Use your phone to take plenty of pictures of any visible injuries, property damage, hazards on the road, skid marks, street signs, and the position of the vehicles involved in the crash.
Beware that memory fades fast with time. Write or record on your phone your version of what happened while it is still fresh in your mind. Video the entire accident scene.
Obtain witness information
If there are any witnesses to the motorcycle accident, kindly ask them to provide a statement about what they saw. Record their contact details, such as names and phone numbers, for future use. Potential witnesses may include other drivers on the road at the time of the crash and any pedestrians around the area. Witness statements can later be used to determine liability.
What to Do After You Leave the Scene of the Accident
Once your injuries have been attended to and you leave the crash scene, there are some additional measures that you should take to protect your rights. The following are a few basic steps you can take to build your case.
Visit your doctor, a clinic, or the hospital
Even if you suffered minor injuries that were attended to by the paramedics at the accident scene, you should follow up with a visit to a medical facility within a few hours.
There may be internal injuries requiring medical treatment that were not detected by the paramedics at the scene. Also, visiting a medical facility will provide your lawyer with a written record connecting your injuries with the motorcycle accident.
Write down the details of the accident
If you did not have a chance to do so at the scene, when you arrive home, write down all the details that you can remember from the motorcycle accident.
Every little detail, such as the weather or debris on the road, is important. In some cases, a small detail can make a big difference in the outcome of a motorcycle accident claim.
Do not handle the claim yourself
Some people choose to handle their motorcycle accident claim on their own. However, it Is always a smart decision to get legal help as soon as possible after being involved in a motorcycle accident.
A lawyer who is experienced in handling personal injury claims will know how to fight to get you fair compensation for your losses. An experienced attorney would also initiate legal action against the at-fault party by means of a personal injury lawsuit if needed.
Contacting your insurance provider
Whether you were the at-fault party or not, it is not advisable to speak with your insurance company to initiate an insurance claim. Neither the insurance company of the other party nor your own may not have your best interests at heart.
Insurance adjusters are primarily focused on saving money for the company. So they might intend to use any statement you make against you later. Therefore, it is highly recommended to let your lawyer contact your insurance company for you.
Get a copy of the police report
Stop by the police department and get a copy of the police report once it is prepared.
Review the report, being sure to check for any errors, such as with the time, date, or location. If you find something that is not correct, speak with the officers about correcting the errors before you leave the police station.
Get an estimate on the damages done to your motorcycle
Your insurance company may arrange for your motorcycle to be moved to a repair shop. The mechanics will analyze in detail the damages done to the motorcycle and will print a report. It is important to keep a copy of the report and any receipts.
Keep copies of all paperwork related to the motorcycle accident
Make sure to obtain and keep copies of medical bills, medical records, lost wages, and any receipts for expenses related to the motorcycle accident. You should also document your emotional state immediately after the accident and throughout the process. This is important because it will help to establish amounts for compensation.
Do not ignore medical appointments or treatment
Following any medical treatment plan outlined by your doctor will help you to recover quickly. Medical care for recovery may include medications, follow-up visits, and physical therapy. Do not skip appointments or attempt to go back to work too soon. Doing so will not only hinder progress but may also weaken your claim for compensation.
Do not post information on social media
Before your claim gets settled, it is the course of wisdom not to post anything on social media about the motorcycle accident. Opposing parties and their insurance companies may use your posts to devalue or deny your claim.
Hire an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases as soon as possible is the best way to protect your rights. A motorcycle accident lawyer is prepared to manage the entire claims process of gathering evidence, calculating total loss for damages, and fighting with difficult insurance adjusters to get you your compensation.
It simply does not make sense for you to try to juggle meeting deadlines and making excessive calls to insurance companies or healthcare providers while trying to heal at the same time. Leaving the legalities in an attorney’s hands will lessen any emotional distress and allow you to focus on your recovery.
The lawyers at Kiley Law Group, LLC, have over 40 years of experience helping families receive fair compensation for their losses.
Our lawyers will work to get you every penny you deserve. Call us at (888) 435-1321 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. We only collect payment if and when you get your compensation.