For many people, motorcycling is a lifestyle. There is simply no denying the adrenaline rush that comes from zooming past scenic landscapes on a motorcycle! Thrills aside, motorcycles also offer multiple practical benefits. Think fewer hours stuck in traffic!
That said, motorcycles can be extremely dangerous. According to the NHTSA, motorcyclists incur fatal or near-fatal injuries in more than 80% of all reported crashes. And, when it comes to Utah, 12 of the 101 summer road fatalities this year were motorcyclists.
Like most accidents, motorcycle crashes are entirely unpredictable. Since you cannot see them coming, it’s always good to prepare yourself for the worst. Learning how to respond to a motorcycle accident can help you protect yourself both physically and legally.
Let’s explore the nine steps you should take immediately after a motorcycle accident. With these helpful tips, you’re more likely to obtain substantial compensation for your losses.
1. Get to Safety
Before you stop to check yourself for injuries, be sure to get out of harm’s way. Remove yourself from traffic as quickly as possible. Also, see if anyone else involved in the crash needs assistance. Get them off the road and to safety. Be sure to remain at the scene of the accident till the authorities arrive. Do not run or walk away. Doing this may draw negative attention and cast doubt on your intentions.
2. Run a Quick Physical Check and Document Your Injuries
After the accident, the adrenaline may be preventing you from feeling pain. Nevertheless, take note of any visible injuries. Are you bleeding from anywhere? Do you suspect broken bones? In case you do, try to move as little as possible to avoid aggravating the wounds.
Bear in mind that not all injuries are external. Concussions and hemorrhages can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Do not assume you’re fit to ride before seeking help from a medical professional. Moreover, from a legal standpoint, visiting a doctor will help get your injuries on paper, thus strengthening your claim.
3. Contact the Police Immediately
Once everyone is safe and sound, call 911 to get in touch with the police. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may also have to request paramedics.
When talking to the police, remember to stay calm and answer all questions factually. The police will assess the incident and create their records. Their neutral view of circumstances can act as an invaluable reference point for your case. In fact, you can request a copy of their official report as evidence.
In this regard, remember to take down the officers’ names and badge numbers. This will help your motorcycle accident lawyer get in touch with them for more information.
4. Be Careful About What You Say
Despite the stressful situation, you need to be careful about speaking your mind at the scene of the accident. This is especially if the exact cause of the crash is unclear. Anything you say may be used against you in court.
Ideally, you should refrain from blaming the other party unless there is enough evidence to prove their offense.
More importantly, do not apologize under any circumstances, as it may be taken as an admission of guilt. In other words, if you take blame for the accident, it will be difficult to recover damages.
When in doubt, wait to consult an expert motorcycle accident lawyer before submitting your statement. They can coach you on exactly what you should say to avoid jeopardizing your claim.
5. Talk to Eyewitnesses
Eyewitness accounts can easily make or break your case. If possible, try to interview everyone who witnessed the accident first-hand. Record their testimonies on paper or your phone.
Talk to as many bystanders as you can while the incident is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Also, ask them for their names and contact information to keep in touch. This is because your motorcycle accident lawyer may need to follow up with the witnesses when building your case.
6. Take Pictures
Because accident scenes are cleared up quickly, you only have one chance to capture it as it is. Photograph the location/scene of your accident and any property damage from multiple angles. Be sure to get pictures of the other vehicle as well.
Other things you may want to record include:
- Color and number plates of both models
- Weather conditions (wet roads and fog, among other things)
- Road quality (rocky roads, cracked roads, potholes)
Apart from eyewitness interviews, collecting photographic evidence can also play a vital role in your claim. Not only will this show the severity of the crash, but also explain how the accident took place.
7. Talk to the Other Driver
If you are looking forward to filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company after the accident, you will have to identify them first. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are traumatizing, and there is a chance you may not recall all the details until it’s too late.
To avoid uncertainty, make note of the driver’s:
- Full name
- Contact information
- Insurance company
- Policy number
- Driver’s license registration number
- License plate number
- Year and model of the vehicle
After the accident, you’ll have enough to worry about. You can count on your motorcycle accident lawyers to do the work for you. Attorneys from reputable motorcycle accident law firms will fight for your rights and protect your best interests.
8. Contact Your Insurance Company
Regardless of who is at fault, you must let your insurance company know about the accident without delay. Check your policy to know the deadlines for such reports.
Note that reporting an accident is different from filing a claim. Much like a police complaint, you can use this report as evidence for your claim later on. Again, remember to never apologize or admit fault, not even in front of the insurance agent.
That said, if the other driver does not have insurance, you may choose to file a claim to cover certain damages.
9. Get in Touch with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
As an injured motorcyclist, you should know that insurance companies are not your friends. They will use every trick in the book to resolve your claim for as little money as possible. Unless you have the legal know-how to counter their schemes, you may end up accepting a lowball offer. This is where a motorcycle accident injury lawyer can help.
Attorneys from reputable motorcycle injury law firms can use their experience, legal expertise, and extensive training to get you the compensation you deserve. Needless to say, they can speak the insurance adjuster’s language far better than anyone else out there. Having a motorcycle injury lawyer on your side can help level the playing field between you and the insurer.
Even if the insurance company refuses to oblige, the motorcycle personal injury lawyer can take them to court on your behalf. They will always work with your best interests in mind.
The Bottom Line
Besides being traumatic, motorcycle accidents can affect your financial health in significant ways. Between expensive medical bills and lost workdays, there’s a lot of money at stake. A motorcycle accident attorney can help secure the settlement you need to rebuild your life. With a seasoned attorney on your side, you can finally focus on getting better.
At Carlson Injury, we know how expensive motorcycle accidents can get. This is why we take your personal injury cases personally! From providing free consultations to analyzing the details of your case, why we do everything in our power to get you your dues. For more information, feel free to contact us today!