Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be a horrifying experience. With less protection than motor vehicle users, motorcycle riders are highly likely to sustain serious injuries. Even worse, it’s unfortunate that motorbikes have considerably higher occupant fatality rates than other types of vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 5,014 motorcycle riders died in crashes in 2019.
Now, if you ever get involved in a motorbike accident, and you are hurt as a result of bad road conditions or injured by a careless driver, there are steps to follow to ensure your own safety and safeguard your compensation claim.
Step 1: Check yourself, the passenger, and other road users for any injuries
The first advisable thing to do after an accident is to make sure that you have not sustained any serious injuries. Remember that after an accident takes place, your body will have experienced an adrenaline rush. This rush can result in poor judgment whether you have been hurt, as it can veil the physical pain of the injuries.
Assess your body to be sure that you are not severely affected. If you find that you’re injured or feel something is wrong with your health, you should remain calm as you wait for the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) to arrive. Remember to report if there is a passenger, driver, or passerby who has also been hurt in the accident.
Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Road burn
- Leg injuries
- Head injuries
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
Regardless of the severity of these injuries, it is worth having yourself checked by a medical professional to ensure nothing serious is overlooked.
Step 2: Contact the authorities to make an accident report
Another vital step to take following a motorcycle accident is to call 911. Actually, many states have laws requiring you to call the authorities once an accident results in injuries, death, or property damage. Failure to do so may result in fines or penalties and make it more complex to recover what you might be entitled to.
At times, calling the police after an accident may seem like an inconvenience, especially if the accident looks to be minor. But there is always a possibility that property damage or injuries incurred will be more serious than you may think. Therefore, doing so is a critical step that shouldn’t be ignored.
Additionally, when the authorities are called to a motorcycle accident scene, they will generate a formal accident report. Usually, this report can be a handy resource as you proceed with your accident claim.
Step 3: Collect contact information
Police will gather information from witnesses and drivers when they arrive at the accident scene, but sometimes they may omit something important.
While waiting for them to come to the scene, use that time to gather relevant info from those involved in the accident. Ask for addresses, names, email, and phone information from passengers, drivers, fellow motorcycle club memberswho may have been driving the same route, and any witness who was at the scene. Also, take photos of the scene, including any visible injuries and property damage.
What’s more, ask for insurance details from drivers and note down the license plate numbers of any motor vehicle involved. In some instances, motorists get antsy and may try to flee the accident scene, particularly if they realize they caused the accident or are serial traffic offenders. Gathering information early, therefore, may shield you from such incidents.
Lastly, avoid discussing the facts of the accident with anybody at the scene. Admitting fault also is not advisable. It might be used against you to devalue your injury claim.
Step 4: Call your insurance agent
Contact your insurance agent immediately or when you can, after your motorcycle accident. Be ready to provide them with all the details you have collected for a streamlined experience. Again, do not admit liability to anybody, including your insurance agent.
If your agent asks you about the damage caused or the extent of your injury, maintain that you will offer this information after you have consulted a professional mechanic and visited a doctor. Underestimating your damages (injuries and pain sometimes appear days after the accident) may reduce your rightful compensation.
Step 5: Contact a motorcycle accident attorney
You might need to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer for several reasons after an accident:
- If you’re blameless, but the other party alleges the accident was your mistake
- If your insurance refutes your claim
- If your damage goes beyond your policy limits
- If you have sustained serious physical injuries and related costs
Call an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in your locality to help you get your rightful compensation for damages.
As we had said earlier, being involved in a motorbike accident can be a dreadful experience. However, if you follow the proper steps, you have more chances of making the best out of a terrible situation.
Keep in mind, your priority after an accident must always be your health and wellbeing. Thus, you should seek timely medical attention and engage an experienced attorney as soon as you can.
Author information: Holly Klamer loves to write on issues related to memory care facilities for seniors, assisted and senior living, and retirement and is a frequent contributor on many blogs and online publications.