Unfortunately, if you ride a motorcycle, you know that accidents involving these vehicles occur all the time. In general, it’s inevitable that you will have an accident at one time or another if you ride a motorcycle. This is largely due to the design of the bike, as well as the negligence of the rider and the drivers of cars, trucks, and other vehicles that share the road with you. While all methods of transportation carry some level of danger, motorcycles are particularly vulnerable. Even professional motorcyclists are unexpectedly involved in such motorcycle accidents. These accidents are so unfortunate that it could cause severe injuries, disabilities, and even your life. This is why one should be prepared for such circumstances.
It is our immediate action following the accident that significantly decides how such an accident will impact you on a physical and psychological level. If you do get into an accident, there are certain necessary steps or precautions you must take afterward.
Immediate Steps to Take after a Motorcycle Accident
Just as with any other road accident, you need to take crucial steps after being involved in an accident while riding a motorcycle.
The Steps are as follows:
Check yourself and others:
The very first thing you should do is check yourself and others (if you are riding with someone) to ensure that you are safe and able to move. If anyone requires assistance, you should assist him or her if you are physically able to until an ambulance arrives. You should also move off the road if you can safely do so. If the vehicle you were riding isn’t in working condition, then keep your distance from the vehicle. It could be on fire or leaking gasoline, right? So, the very first thing to do is get to safety.
After you have ensured that you and all other parties involved in the accident are okay and safely cleared from the road, you should exchange information with the other driver or drivers who were involved in the accident. Start with basic things, such as collecting names, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, and insurance information and provide them your information as well. Make note of the vehicles as well, including their make, model, and license plate numbers. You can also take note of your surroundings. This may be difficult for you since you were involved in a motorcycle crash and could be seriously injured. But, if possible, try to collect important information like road conditions, speed limits, weather conditions, or the other involved vehicles, etc.
Call 911 for medical attention:
Even if you feel perfectly fine and everyone else insists they do as well, it is still wise to call 911 to summon medical attention to the scene of the accident. Road accidents result in adrenaline surges, so you might not notice that you actually have an injury until hours later. It would be wise to be checked out by medical professionals at a hospital just to be on the safe side. You can also get copies of your medical records later, if it is determined that you have, in fact, sustained an injury in your motorcycle accident.
Call the police:
Calling the police is mandatory if the accident has resulted in substantial property damage, personal injury, or death. It is imperative that you speak to the police and make sure that they make a police report. This is especially important if you plan on filing a personal injury claim against the person at fault for your accident or against their auto insurance company.
Do not leave the scene:
After filing the police report, it is important that you do not leave the scene if there are major injuries that need to be treated with the utmost priority. But, if the injuries aren’t that serious or are minor in nature, then you should stay at the scene and exchange relevant information such as property damage and vehicle information with the involved parties or enforcement officials.
Take photos of the scene:
If you are physically able to do so, take photos of the scene of the accident with your smartphone. Make sure you get pictures of your motorcycle, the other vehicles involved, skid marks on the road, damage to other property, road signs, and anything else pertinent to the accident. You should also take notes if you can.
Speak with witnesses:
If you are well enough to do so, speak with anyone who was a witness to your accident. Ask them what they remember seeing and take down their names and phone numbers at the very least. These witnesses can be vital if you plan on filing a personal injury claim later. You can ask them to write down what they saw or even record their comments if they are all right with it.
Avoid saying too much:
If you speak with other people involved in the accident, above all else, you should refrain from saying too much. Most especially, do not admit to being at fault or even apologize. Simply saying, “I’m sorry” can land you in hot water, even if you were not at fault for the accident. What you say can be used against you, so it’s best to avoid saying much at all.
Contact your insurance company:
Get in touch with your insurance company as soon as possible. It’s important to alert an insurance adjuster of your motorcycle accident and inform them of the damage to your vehicle and of your injuries. If anyone from the insurance company asks about your injuries or damage to your vehicle, tell them once you have had your injuries assessed by the doctor and motorcycle’s damaged assessed by a mechanic, then you can properly provide details. Otherwise, provide the agent with the relevant information that you collected at the scene.
Contact a motorcycle accident attorney:
If you have suffered injuries as a result of the accident, getting in touch immediately with an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer is a must. A motorcycle personal injury attorney can give you helpful advice and assist you in every step of the way in preparing a personal injury claim against the party who was responsible for your accident.
It’s worth noting that when you get in touch with an insurance company, you should answer all of the adjuster’s questions concisely but honestly. Never lie or even exaggerate your answers and above all else, you should avoid giving the insurance company a recorded statement. It is also best to allow your motorcycle injury lawyer to do the legwork when it comes to dealing with an insurance company. A motorcycle personal injury attorney has the experience and knowledge necessary to effectively deal with all of the tactics for which insurance companies are famous. Your motorcycle accident attorney will not accept a settlement amount that is less than fair to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Although many of the most crucial steps you should always take after a motorcycle accident may be difficult if you have sustained an injury, they are important. However, it’s also wise to acknowledge that first and foremost, your safety and well-being should be the most important thing.
After you have tended to your injuries and are physically well enough to meet with a skilled motorcycle personal injury attorney, you should schedule an appointment so that you can discuss your options regarding initiating a lawsuit. Hiring a lawyer after a motorcycle crash can determine whether the best course of action is filing a claim against the other party’s insurance company or against the person themselves. Your attorney will fight to get you the best possible compensation you deserve.
In a nutshell, motorcyclists are more vulnerable than automobile drivers are. Due to their structural design, motorcycle riders don’t have any protection around them when riding and are less visible than car drivers are. Even the experienced ones can be involved in a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were approximately 5,286 motorcyclists killed in traffic collisions during 2016, which, by the way, is 5.1% more than the prior year. However, these fatalities reduced by 5.6% during 2017, but motorcyclists are still vulnerable.
The decrease in fatalities could be the result of the widespread use of protective motorcycle helmets, which play a significant role in the decreased numbers. So, it would be a smart decision to wear a protective safety helmet and motorcycle riding gear in order to keep riding safely.