Each time you take a ride on your motorcycle, you’re at risk of getting in an accident. Regardless of distance or duration of your trip, accidents are unpredictable and can happen when you least expect it. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle the situation should you ever be involved in one.
It’s normal to feel confused and overwhelmed after a collision, especially as a motorcyclist. But the more you’re informed about what needs to be done, the easier it will be to deal with the aftermath.
Follow these steps to guide you through the process in case you’re ever involved in a motorcycle accident.
Check For Injuries
As a motorcyclist, you’re more vulnerable to experiencing severe injuries compared to other types of vehicles. Statistics from 2017 show motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants.
After an accident, examine your body before moving and determine how you feel. If there is too much pain, stay put and wait for help. The nitty gritty paperwork involved with the accident can be worried about later if your injuries are severe, so focus on seeking medical attention.
If you’re okay after the accident, then stay at the scene and find out if anyone else was hurt. Make sure to leave possible rescues or medical treatment to the professionals, and don’t move anyone if they are severely injured.
After assessing the situation, call the police. You should file a police report no matter how minor the collision. Allstate says it’s legally required in some states, so always make the call to be safe.
Take Pictures of the Scene
After making sure everyone involved is okay, it’s time to examine the scene. Start documenting the aftermath of the accident while waiting for police to arrive.
Take photos of your motorcycle’s damage, possible debris laying around and other vehicles involved. Make sure to capture the licence plates and any obstacles that were hit or or damaged. At this point, you’ll also want to record information with others at the scene. Exchange insurance cards, driver’s licenses and make sure to take note of where the accident took place.
Photos are one of the most important things you have after an accident. It gives you proof of damage that was caused and prevents other parties involved from incorrectly reporting information about the vehicles involved.
Start Collecting Information
There’s still more information you’ll have to take note of that will help you recoup any losses and deal with your insurance claim. Take in everything at the scene to gather an idea of what happened, but don’t discuss too much with the other people involved.
The Balance says the only people you’ll want to discuss the accident in full detail with are the police, medical professionals and your insurance company. Be careful not to disclose too much of what happened if another person is involved with the accident. If you admit any fault or give them too much information, they could use that against you and leave you responsible for the damages caused in the accident.
To make filing an insurance claim easier, here’s all the information you’ll need to collect at the scene:
- The names and insurance information of any drivers or passengers in every vehicle
- The makes, models and licence plate numbers of vehicles involved
- Contact information from possible witnesses of the accident
- The exact location of the accident
- The direction everyone was traveling at the time of the collision
- Visibility and weather conditions
- Names and badge numbers of the responding police officers
The police will definitely ask you about what caused the accident. Give them as much information as possible and make sure they get your full side of the story. The more details the better, especially since you might forget small things later on when retelling about the incident.
Deal With Your Insurance Company
After taking note of the incident and talking with the police, you’ll have to file a claim with your insurance company.
The faster you contact your insurance company after the accident, the better your description will be. Just like your discussion with the police, you’ll want to give them as many details as you can filing your claim. Don’t leave out any information since the company will ultimately decide how much of your damages will be covered. The insurance agent will then talk to you about the next steps and what will happen now that your claim has been filed.
Contact An Attorney
If your accident wasn’t too critical, you might not feel it’s necessary to recruit an attorney. There are plenty of reasons why you should consider it anyway.
An attorney will represent you in the aftermath of the accident. They’ll deal with your insurance company and any point of contact regarding the accident, so you wouldn’t have to deal with everything yourself.
Some accidents might result in serious injury or death, which are cases that you’ll definitely want to have an attorney on your side. They’ll work to protect you during this difficult process and fight on your behalf regarding damage compensation, medical care and be an advocate for your side of the story.
Accidents can be a grueling situation that goes on long after it actually took place. It can take months or even years for some people to collect money from insurance, so contacting an attorney can make the process easier and hopefully more fair.
You should be sure to take care of yourself after a motorcycle accident and be extra mindful each time you head out on the road. Some people might be more nervous to drive or conflict long-term injuries that have to be taken care of. Acknowledge how you feel and seek help from the right people — such as medical professionals, driving instructors or even a therapist — who can help deal with it the best you can.