The actions you take immediately after a motorcycle accident, as well as the days following the accident are extremely important. These important actions may decide your compensation for personal injuries, bike repair costs, and more.
You may not think of the small stuff, because let’s be honest, a motorcycle accident is scary. The fatality rate of motorcyclists when compared to cars is 28 percent higher, according to a 2017 report by the Governors Highway Safety Association.
When involved in an accident on your motorcycle, know you have a lot of rights and the actions you take are vital. Stay clear-headed and follow the below four important actions after a motorcycle accident.
1. Ensure You Are Uninjured And Others Are Also OK
The first immediate action to take after an accident is to ensure you have not suffered any serious injury, and others are uninjured as well. Then call emergency responders immediately.
Even if the motorcycle accident was not serious, call emergency responders to ensure police and other emergency responders properly record the accident. This is absolutely important to ensure you are covered legally.
You simply never know what will happen if you leave the scene without calling emergency personnel. The other party could file a lawsuit against you. Without legal documentation at the scene, you are at serious risk of liability costs, even if you are not at fault.
2. Utilize Your Phone And Take Plenty Of Images
Once you have called for emergency help, look around and ensure the scene of the crash is safe. Many secondary accidents happen at the scene of a crash. Other vehicles not paying attention and striking the vehicles and people at the accident scene are potential dangers.
Once you feel that the scene is safe, whip out your mobile phone and take as many pictures of the scene as possible. Do not move your motorcycle or let the other party move their vehicle, unless the vehicles are in an unsafe place.
These pictures are very important to have. They document the accident and can serve very useful to legal professionals if legal action is needed. This could be legal action against the other party of the accident, or something more vital.
Legal action against the actual motorcycle manufacturer or seller is often the case in motorcycle accidents. In fact, improper motorcycle construction is common and can be the cause of your accident. The images you take can back up your story in court.
3. Get All The Information At The Scene
Never rely on anyone else, even the police and other emergency responders, to get the important information you may need for a future legal case. This is kind of aligned with taking as many pictures of the scene as possible. Be your own investigator and victim advocate.
The police will be doing their own report and gathering details, but begin gathering some details of your own. You can get this information:
- The information of witnesses, like name, phone numbers, emails, etc.
- Get vehicle information, such as VINs, make, model, year, license plate, etc.
- The information of the police officer is important, as well as medical personnel at the scene
- The contact information of the other party of the accident
- Insurance information of the other drivers
Get as much information as humanly possible, if you can. If you are injured, do your best, but do not put yourself in harm’s way to get the information.
4. Call A Professional Accident Personal Injury Lawyer
The first call should be to emergency personnel and your second call should be to a lawyer. There are a lot of variables involved in motorcycle accidents, and a lawyer can address a lot of those immediately after an accident. This makes having one in mind prior to an accident important too.
If you can give them the information at the scene, that is great. If they are not able to get to the accident scene, then gather your information, contact witnesses and the police to get their information, and hand it off to your lawyer once you meet.
It is important to have your motorcycle assessed and all information gathered prior to handing off anything to an insurance agent or company. In fact, it is best to let your lawyer make the decision after the accident to protect you legally and potentially get you the best outcome in a legal case.
What you do after you get into a motorcycle accident is important. It could be the difference between legal case success and being liable for accident damages that you are not faulted for. Vital steps after an accident, like ensuring you’re uninjured, calling emergency personnel, calling a lawyer, and documenting the scene increase your options exponentially. Know what to do after an accident!