Motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in automobile and motorcycle accidents than occupants of passenger cars. They were also five times more likely to be injured on the road. In 2013, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in motorcycle accidents. That same year, 4,668 people died in motorcycle accidents. Whether or not you’ve been in a motorcycle accident before, it’s important to be aware of the steps to take immediately following motorcycle accidents. The actions you take after your accident could shape the amount of compensation you receive.
The first six steps to take following motorcycle accidents
- Step One: Call 911
As soon as you’re able to find your feet again, call 9-1-1. Even if no one has been hurt in the accident, the police need to be informed to help document the event. If you have any hope of getting insurance coverage or receiving punitive damages from the accident, you’ll want a full police report. This is the best way to insure accurate documentation and witness accounts that could be helpful in court later on. When the officer arrives, make a note of his or her name and bade number as well as the number of the police report he or she will be filing.
- Step Two: Document
If no one is severely injured, try to get down all possible information about the other driver(s) and vehicle information. Swap insurance and personal contact information with other drivers or pedestrians involved. Record the make, model, license plate number and VIN of any other vehicles involved. If you have a smart phone or camera handy and the scene is safe, take pictures of the scene. Try to capture images from a variety of angles. Having images of your motorcycle, other vehicles involved, and the environment at the scene of the accident could help later on with insurance claims or any auto accident lawsuits that are filed.
- Step Three: Move your bike to safety
As soon as it’s safe to do so, move your bike off the road. Having your motorcycle in the road poses a hazard to other traffic and if a second accident results because of it, you could be found at fault and held responsible for punitive damages. Also try to collect any debris from the accident.
- Step Four: Call your insurance agent
As soon as possible following any motorcycle accidents, contact your insurance agent. He or she will likely ask for the information you gathered. Whatever you do, don’t admit to being at fault to anyone, not even your insurance agent. If your insurance agent requests information about injuries you sustained or damage to your motorcycle, insist on waiting until after you’ve seen a doctor and had your bike evaluated by a professional mechanic. Inadvertently taking blame for the accident or underestimating the injuries or damages you incurred could reduce your chances of receiving fair compensation.
- Step Five: Keep records of all expenses
When you do visit a doctor and mechanic, make sure you keep a close record of all expenses you incur. This includes medical and mechanic bills, rental charges if you need a replacement vehicle, and any time you were forced to miss work as a result of the accident. Ask for receipts or copies of reports whenever possible.
- Step Six: Contact a auto accident attorney
Last but certainly not least, following any motorcycle accidents it’s prudent to contact an auto accident lawyer. Personal injury law, the branch of law governing automobile accidents, is complicated. An auto accident attorney will be well-versed in the laws and regulations governing personal injury law. He or she can help ensure you receive fair compensation from other drivers’ or you won insurance agency as a result of any damages you incurred. When awarded punitive damages, the average lawsuit awarded an amount of $50,000. Likewise, an auto accident lawyer can help you avoid paying punitive damages to other parties if you were unfairly accused of being at fault.
There is no denying the fact that motorcycles are dangerous. No matter how safe of a driver you are, accidents happen. You wear a helmet and proper gear to protect yourself from harm in an accident; follow these six steps to protect yourself from further financial harm after motorcycle accidents.