Motorcycle accidents are frightening experiences, but all motorcyclists are at risk of getting into one some point in their lives no matter how careful they are on the road. After an accident, emotions are high and it’s difficult to know exactly what to do. However, not taking the proper steps after a motorcycle accident can lead to further injury and legal problems. Here are the most important things to do after a motorcycle accident to protect you both physically and legally.
Take a few moments to calm down and let the adrenaline in your system decrease. Reducing panic and remaining calm will help keep your head clear and lower the risk of making costly mistakes as you continue dealing with the crash.
Get to Safety
Accident sites can have a plethora of hazards such as high cliffs, puddles of gasoline, fires and more. Before you do anything else, get yourself and anyone involved in the accident to a safe location.
Check for Injuries
Look yourself and others over for any significant injuries. Take note of any major injuries anyone may have sustained during the crash to properly inform emergency services. Don’t move anyone that you believe may have a back or neck injury since movement may make the injury worse. If possible, start first aid on anyone who needs immediate medical attention until paramedics arrive.
If you did suffer from injuries during the crash, you may need to contact a motorcycle injury lawyer after you have been properly treated.
If anyone has been seriously injured in the crash, call 911 immediately to receive emergency medical attention. Law enforcement officials can also help direct traffic if the accident scene is blocking the road to prevent further collisions.
If the accident is minor, it’s still a good idea to call for police assistance through the non-emergency line to get official documentation on the accident for both insurance and legal purposes. A thorough police report can be invaluable to your motorcycle personal injury attorney or your motorcycle accident attorney if legal action is necessary.
Exchange Contact Information
If everyone is safe, mostly uninjured and the accident scene is secure, exchange contact information with everyone involved in the crash. The more information you gather, the better, but the most vital details are names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, vehicle information such as VIN, make, model and year, and insurance information. Get the same contact information from any witnesses involved. If you call for police assistance, get the officer’s name and badge number as well as the police report number of your case.
Take Photos of the Accident
Some of the most valuable assets to have when requesting an insurance claim or making your case during a lawsuit are photographs of the accident. Photograph your motorcycle from every angle. Take close-up shots of particularly severe damages, especially if it’s a very valuable part of the bike. With the other driver’s consent, take pictures of their vehicle from all angles. Photograph the road, nearby buildings, street signs and landmarks to establish the exact location of the crash.
Make sure to provide all photographs to your motorcycle accident attorney if you choose to take legal action.
If you suffered from any injuries during the accident, take photos of your wounds. Medical documentation is usually enough for a motorcycle injury lawyer to work with, but photographs can significantly strengthen your case in a lawsuit.
If you notified the police about this incident, you will likely have to provide a written statement about the circumstances of the crash anyway. However, for your own records and to ensure that you have every detail as accurate as possible in the future, take notes about everything that happened during the crash. Important factors to note are the weather conditions, your speed before the crash, road conditions, time of day and your exact location.
Talk with any witness who is open to giving information, and write down their account of the events. If possible, ask them to write down their own notes about what they saw and have them put their signature at the bottom of the document.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon as you are able to do so, contact your insurance company and explain what happened. Provide them with all of the information that you collected at the scene including your photographs, the police report information and your personal notes. Don’t provide them with information on medical bills or damage costs until you have a firm evaluation on the costs from your doctor and mechanic.
Never Admit Fault
Accidents are quick, chaotic and confusing. Many people aren’t clear on the actual cause of a crash immediately after it happens. Even if you believe you’re at fault for the accident, don’t admit or imply that to anyone. Be very careful with your wording when speaking to the other parties involved in the crash, opposing lawyers, law enforcement officials and insurance companies. Even a brief apology could be perceived as an admittance of fault. You could be on the hook for damages, injuries or other offenses that really weren’t your fault, and your insurance company might deny your claim if they even have a slight belief you were at fault. Only discuss the crash openly with a trusted attorney, such as the legal representatives from West Coast Trial Lawyers.
Contact a Reputable Motorcycle Accident Attorney
A professional and reputable attorney can help with a multitude of issues involved with motorcycle accidents. For example, they can prepare a case if you want to file for a lawsuit against the other parties in the crash, defend you if the other parties want to take legal action against you, represent you if you are being charged with any crimes related to the crash and even get you proper compensation if your damages and medical bills exceed your insurance coverage.
Try to specifically get a motorcycle personal injury attorney or a legal team that specializes in motorcycle and other vehicle accident cases. For example, West Coast Trial Lawyers provide these specialized services for clients all over California, located in Los Angeles.