Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2018 and overall, motorcyclists are overrepresented in accident victims. Motorcycle crashes are ten times more likely than motor vehicle crashes to result in severe injuries and the cost of motorcycle injuries is twice as much as passenger car crashes.
Because of the likelihood of severe injuries and the high cost of motorcycle accidents, you may want to seek compensation after an accident, especially if you were not at fault. The steps you take post-accident can determine how successful your case is. Read on to learn more about what you should do after an accident.
1. Check for Injuries and Get to Safety
Try to remain calm after the crash and check yourself for any injuries. If you don’t have serious injuries and are able to, try to get away from the crash scene and to a safe place, especially if there is other traffic going around the scene. Don’t move the motorcycle, as you will want the police to document the accident when they arrive.
Check for injuries on anyone else involved in the accident as well. If anyone has serious injuries, do not move them. Wait for paramedics to arrive. If the accident is blocking traffic, try to secure the scene as much as possible before the police arrive so other drivers know there is a hazard in the road.
2. Call the Police
Call the police and/or 911. Your best bet is to call 911 as they can send the police as well as paramedics to the scene. Most states require you to report an accident if there are injuries or property damage, so it’s wise to err on the side of caution and call the police even if the accident seems minor.
Your insurance company also will want a copy of the police report, so make sure you get information on how to get a copy of the report. Write down the name and badge number of the responding officer as well, in case your insurance company or attorney wishes to speak to them later.
3. Take Photos of the Crash Scene
As long as you are not severely injured, use the time you are waiting for the police to arrive to document the accident scene and any damage. Using your cellphone, take photos and videos of your damaged motorcycle, any cars that were involved, and the immediate scene of the accident, including any road hazards, damaged sections of the road, or other things relevant to the accident.
Make a note in your phone and document all of the details you can about the crash, including the date and time, which direction you were traveling in, the other cars involved (especially if there were multiple cars) and what they were doing, and any other relevant facts you can remember. Make a note of the weather as well. Do this as soon as possible so you don’t forget anything.
4. Collect Insurance and Contact Information
You also want to collect the insurance information of the others involved in the accident. Legally, they are required to provide their insurance details, so get their policy information and number, the insurance company, and their name. The police will gather this information as well, and it will be in the accident report, but get it for your own records at the accident scene.
If there were multiple vehicles involved, be sure to keep the details and information organized so your attorney or insurance company can easily identify who owns what vehicle as they are determining who was at fault.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Even if the injuries were not severe, paramedics will often accompany the police to an accident scene. If your injuries are not severe or if you don’t think you’ve been injured at all, you don’t have to receive medical care at the scene. However, it is smart to seek medical attention after the accident in case you have injuries that haven’t emerged yet.
Some injuries, such as whiplash, take a few days to fully develop. Others, such as internal bleeding or soft tissue damage, aren’t readily apparent but can be very severe if left untreated. Most primary care doctors will not treat car accident victims, so your best bet is to go to the emergency room.
Document all of your medical care as that information will be needed for your insurance company and your attorney, should you hire one. Make sure you follow all of the recommendations of the doctor as well, or you could jeopardize your insurance claim or potential lawsuit.
6. Contact Your Insurance Company
Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you still need to contact your insurance company. The other driver may not have insurance, in which case your insurance company will pay, or you may live in a no-fault state, where your insurance company will pay as well. They make also choose to go after the insurance company of the other driver(s), particularly if they were at fault.
7. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
In some cases, the insurance company may try to get you to settle for an amount that is much lower than what you deserve based on the damage to your motorcycle and your injuries. They are out for their bottom line, which means that they want you to settle for the lowest amount possible and will often offer lowball settlement amounts shortly after the accident.
Don’t accept any settlement they offer. Instead, contact a personal injury attorney who can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and who can advise you on what type of compensation is reasonable based on your circumstances.
Help Yourself Successfully Recover from a Motorcycle Accident
Given the high cost of motorcycle accidents and the high likelihood of severe injuries, you want to take steps after an accident to ensure that you are putting yourself in a position to receive adequate and fair compensation for your injuries. Stay calm and document everything after an accident and don’t ignore any injuries, whether they seem minor or not.
When you are ready to speak to an attorney, we are waiting. Our attorneys at Sweet Lawyers are experts in personal injury cases and will provide a free case consultation. Contact us today.