We see those “watch for motorcycles” stickers all the time when we’re on the road. Unfortunately, though, those well-meaning stickers can’t ensure anyone’s safety. In fact, 5,286 people died in motorcycle crashes in a single year—a 5.1% increase from the year before.
Even with increased awareness, accidents happen. What you say and how you act afterward can ensure you protect yourself down the road. After a motorcycle accident, you need to remain calm, assess the situation, and take the right steps.
With the following tips regarding what to do after a motorcycle accident, you’ll have an action plan in place that’s best for your health, rights, and any future legal action you need to take. Let’s get started!
1. Check for Injuries
After a motorcycle crash, everything can feel a little disorienting. Before doing or saying anything, take a breath. Then, assess yourself and your injuries.
If you, passengers, pedestrians, or other drivers are injured, call 911 right away.
You might not experience symptoms immediately following the accident. Internal injuries, joint pain, and back pain could present hours later. Don’t delay getting medical attention, even if you don’t think you need it.
Insurance companies will assume you weren’t injured if you refuse or delay treatment.
They might even think you’re lying if you wait too long after the motorcycle accident to receive care. If you’re trying to remember what to do after a motorcycle accident, put this at the top of your list.
You’ll feel an adrenaline rush immediately following the accident. Adrenaline can make you say or do something that might be misconstrued later on. For example, you might feel compelled to apologize, even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Otherwise, you might have a difficult time making a claim.
Instead, focus on moving everyone out of the roadway and into safety.
Leaving your vehicle in the way of ongoing traffic can cause future accidents. If it’s safe to, try to remove any debris as well. Otherwise, you might be held responsible for another injury or accident that occurs as a result.
2. Collect Information
Once everyone is safe, start collecting contact information from everyone involved in the crash. This should include:
- Phone numbers
- Insurance information
- License numbers
- License plate numbers
- Car make and model
Take photos as well. If you can, take a photo before anyone moves their vehicles. Otherwise, take photos of the damage and the area you’re in.
Snap photos from a variety of different angles. If there’s a sign nearby, take photos of the road you’re on as well. You can also add these details to your notes to make sure it’s thorough, including:
- Location of the accident
- Time of day
- Road conditions
- Speed limits
- Direction any vehicles in the accidents were traveling
Documenting the scene can help during a court case or with your insurance claim, so be thorough.
Keep all of your notes organized. If multiple drivers are involved, you don’t want to risk mixing up insurers or vehicles.
3. Call the Police
If you haven’t already called 911, contact the police and let them know there’s been an accident. Make sure you don’t say anything to anyone about the accident until the officer arrives on the scene.
Ask the officer to fill out a police report. That way, you have an official document to support your case. They’ll take note of any property damage within their police report.
Also let the police know if you’ve suffered any injuries.
If you try to recover damage to your bike or for your injuries, an official police report is essential. Their records of the event can help build your case.
Don’t forget to ask for the police report number, the officer’s name, and their badge number. This information will help your attorney follow up to gain more information for your claim.
4. Talk to Witnesses
When deciding what to do after a motorcycle accident, take a look around. Did anyone else see what happened?
Eyewitnesses can help support your case as well.
Try to interview anyone who witnessed the accident. Ask what they saw while it’s still fresh in their mind. You can either write down or record the interview to add to your notes.
Make sure to get their name, phone number, and email so your lawyer can follow up.
5. Alert Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve collected all of this information after a motorcycle accident, contact your insurance company. Provide them with all of the information listed above, including the witness accounts and photos.
Remember not to admit fault, even to your insurance agent.
Sometimes, the exact cause of the accidents remains unclear to everyone. In other cases, adrenaline can impact what you remember. Either way, make sure to only state the facts.
Otherwise, the statements you make following your accident could have legal repercussions down the road.
6. Call a Lawyer
Motorcycle deaths accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2017.
If you or a loved one was in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Even if the accident didn’t result in death, there are a number of benefits to contacting a lawyer. It’s possible:
- You’re innocent but the other party is blaming you for the accident
- You’ve experienced physical injuries and costs as a result of the accident
- Your insurance company denies your claim
- Your damages exceed your policy limits
An experienced lawyer can help you gain the compensation you’re owed for damages.
The Road to Making Your Claim: What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Don’t leave the scene with a damaged vehicle and the blame. Now that you know what to do after a motorcycle accident, you can receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. If you or a loved one recently received injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident, we’re here to help.