As with any motor vehicle accident, having a motorcycle accident can leave you disoriented and in a terrible emotional state. It’s important to remain as calm as possible, try to make sense of what has happened and be prepared to take some necessary actions. How you react after a motorcycle accident can have an impact on possible liability. It’s best to say as little as possible and not take any action that could be interpreted as admitting guilt. Here are five guidelines to follow after a motorcycle accident. Statistics are showing that the number of motorcycle accidents is decreasing slightly since 2016, but the severity of those accidents has increased.
- Immediately check yourself and any others involved for injury and call 911 if you, passengers or other drivers are hurt. Doing so wouldn’t be an admission of guilt. Calling for help is the responsible thing to do.
- Take photos. Make certain the scene is safe and under control enough to take pictures and that doing so won’t cause more damage or place you or others at risk. Documenting the condition of the motorcycle and the surroundings can help the insurance company in its investigation. If you have a smartphone, take pictures at various angles. If you happen to own an iPhone, and it gets damaged in the accident, you likely can get it repaired. Just search on Google for an iPhone 6s screen replacement, and you can find authorized repair service near you.
- Move your motorcycle off the road. After you have taken pictures, or even if you’re not able to take any, move the motorcycle off of the road when it’s safe to do so. You want to avoid causing another accident by leaving your bike in the way of oncoming traffic. Other drivers likely won’t be aware that the accident has happened until they come upon it. If accident debris, vehicles, or other hazards are in the road, another accident can happen. If this occurs, you may be held liable.
- Call the police and begin gathering information if you didn’t have to call 911. A police officer will complete a report that will be a key document for providing accident details. This information may be used to protect you legally and help you receive appropriate financial compensation if warranted. Speak with witnesses, passengers, other drivers to gather as much information as possible including contact information for all witnesses, basic information about the vehicle(s) involved, especially license plate numbers, the name and badge number of the investigating officer, contact information and driver’s license number of the other driver(s), and the insurance information from the other involved parties.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible after the accident to share with them all of the information you have gathered. This will ease their investigation. Don’t admit guilt and don’t behave in a way that could be interpreted as admitting guilt. Also, the same is true when dealing with your insurance company. Don’t offer any admission of guilt to them and tell them you reserve the right to visit a doctor to make certain no latent injuries can show up. Also, don’t accept a financial offer to repair your motorcycle until you have gotten an estimate from a professional repair facility or mechanic. If you underestimate the damages or don’t get yourself checked for possible injuries, this might reduce the amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
It’s always possible that you’ll need an attorney to represent you after a motorcycle accident. Others may claim you were at fault when you weren’t, or the insurance company might refuse to pay for some reason. Different states have different liability laws regarding accidents. A California motorcycle accident lawyer may be required to take certain steps that are unique to California but not required in other states. A good accident attorney will represent you if you encounter denial of your claim, if you exceed the dollar limit on your policy, or if you have an injury that requires medical attention and has out-of-pocket expenses. An experienced accident attorney will work to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.