As a motorcyclist, you hope you will never be involved in a crash, and you take all possible safety precautions. But if a crash does happen, do you know what to do afterwards? The actions you take in the immediate aftermath of a crash can have a huge impact in the event of a lawsuit somewhere down the road, especially if another motorist is involved as well. Our quick guide talks you through the basics of what to do after a motorcycle accident.
Immediately after a crash, the first thing you should do is call 911. If you are able to do so, check yourself and others for injuries and relay this information to the dispatcher. Your safety and the safety of others should be your primary concern. If your injuries are severe, focus on getting help as soon as possible. Don’t worry about other concerns unless your injuries are minor enough to allow it.
Take Pictures of the Scene
If you are able, take pictures of damage to your motorcycle and the placement of vehicles at the site of the crash. Get pictures of everything you can from multiple angles. This will be valuable evidence to corroborate your version of events for insurance claims and potential lawsuits. Once the accident has been cleared away, you will never have another opportunity to gather this firsthand evidence. If you are too badly injured to move around the scene, get a friend or family member to take the pictures if someone has come to the scene to assist you.
If possible, make sure to exchange insurance information with anyone else involved in the crash. If they don’t have a copy to give you directly, make sure to write down all the pertinent information. Note their insurance provider, policy number, the make and model of their vehicle, and any other information provided on the insurance card. Make sure also to get their name and contact information. If the police are called, make sure to get a number for the police report. Any and all information you can gather at the scene may prove helpful in the future.
Get Witness Contact Info
If there are any witnesses to the crash other than those directly involved, get their names and contact information. Eyewitness accounts of the events of the crash can prove invaluable in the event of a lawsuit.
Go to the Doctor
See a doctor as quickly as possible after the crash, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Injuries from a crash can take sometimes take hours or days to fully manifest. Make sure to keep any follow up appointments and don’t hesitate to go in again if you experience new or worsening symptoms. Document your injuries, and be sure to keep a record of all doctor visits.
File an Insurance Claim
As soon as you are able, you should call your insurance company to file a claim. Tell the person taking the claim the facts of the accident. Do not accept or place blame. Just explain what happened. If they ask you to make a formal statement, decline. You don’t have to make a statement, and you should not do so until you have spoken to an attorney. Also do not give any statements to the other party’s insurance company. Filing the basic claim is all the contact you should have with any insurance company at this point. Any statements you give could be used against you later on.
Speak to an Attorney
You may think it will be easier to deal with the insurance companies yourself, but you should always consult an attorney about any crash where a claim is filed, especially if there are injuries. You can be sure the insurance companies have lawyers working for them, trying to ensure they pay as little as possible for claims. You should have an attorney who specializes in motorcycle cases on your side as well. Motorcyclists are subject to prejudices and stereotyping, and it’s important to have someone who knows the facts to represent you.
Geoff McDonald and Associates are ready to assist you with your motorcycle crash case. Contact us today for a free consultation.