Calling the aftermath of a motorcycle accident stressful would be an understatement. Between assessing damage to your bike and tending to personal injuries as well as legal issues that are likely to follow you’re liable to have a full plate in the wake of a motorcycle accident, including the legal issues that arise.
And with close to 90,000 motorcycle accidents each year it pays for any motorcyclist to consider how they should react following the unwanted but all-too-common accidents that occur.
And for motorcyclists the chances of injury are considerably greater than with motor vehicles given the lack of protection and the speed motorcycles can travel. They are, put simply, ‘deadlier’ than motor cars, as one motor vehicle insurance body noted.
Being prepared for an accident, including the question of compensation, is something that will become a top priority should you fall victim to any such accident.
The longer you wait to seek restitution, the more difficult doing so is liable to prove and to achieving a satisfactory outcome in terms of compensation is something that should be made a priority.
The priority items suggested by the lawyers are as follows.
Get Yourself to Safety on the Double
In the wake of a motorcycle accident, your immediate safety should take precedence over all else. So, if you’re in the middle of the road, take care to get yourself to a safe location on the double.
Additionally, as much as you may wish to protect your bike, you’ll need to leave it where it is if it can no longer be driven. Attempting to rescue a bike that isn’t operational is likely to place you in harm’s way and result in further injuries – or worse.
So, regardless of how precious your bike is to you, it’s important to remember that your personal safety is infinitely more important and you need to do everything possible to ensure you are taking the right steps to preserve yourself in the wake of the accident.
Photograph Personal Injuries and Bike Damage
Once you’re in a safe location, set to work photographing any injuries you incurred as a result of the accident. These can prove of very significant evidential value later.
Next, provided you’re able to do so without placing yourself – or anyone else – in danger, get some photos of your bike, as well as any damage done to other vehicles or the surrounding area. These photos will help you make your case to both law enforcement and any insurance companies that you will inevitably be having to deal with.
Exchange Information with the Responsible Party
Since this is likely going to be a matter that’s settled between insurance companies, you’d do well to swap insurance info with the responsible party before leaving the scene.
Furthermore, it’s important to understand that motorcycle insurance and cheap car insurance are two very different things. If the party in question is uncooperative or doesn’t have insurance, simply wait for the police to arrive and make them aware of the situation by providing all necessary, relevant information regarding the accident.
You’ll need to make law enforcement and emergency services aware of the accident ASAP. In fact, depending on where you’re located, failing to inform the police of an accident that’s caused vehicle damage, property damage or personal injury may constitute illegal activity.
Getting in touch with the police also ensures that there will be an official accident report, which can prove helpful to your efforts at seeking restitution.
Having emergency services on the scene ensures that any injuries you’ve incurred will be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner by seasoned professionals. You’re liable to be high on adrenaline in the immediate aftermath of an accident, and this can have a large impact on the way you perceive certain injuries.
For example, an injury that’s quite severe may seem fairly minor until such time as you’ve come down from all the adrenaline. As such, emergency services may be needed to help you realize the full extent of your injuries.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
If insurance companies are continually giving you the runaround or you’re interested in pursuing legal action against the motorist who caused the accident, consider enlisting the aid of an experienced attorney to defend your rights. Having an attorney that has a background in motorcycle accidents is important in as much as their experience and knowledge of handling the insurance companies, let alone the courts, will be a potential life-saver when it comes to getting decent compensation.
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be an absolute whirlwind. Dealing with insurance companies, obtaining bike repair quotes and receiving treatment for personal injuries stands to eat up a sizable amount of your time and resources.
Any motorcycle accident will often involve a raft of confusing legal and insurance jargon, including low-ball offers from insurers as well as local tort law requirements, criminal laws and other issues relating to the nature of the compensation that might be available.
It is best to not accept the first offer made or agree to give statements or to sign anything provided by an insurance company until you have good legal advice.
Fortunately for accident victims, there are numerous steps they can take to make the process less overwhelming and stressful.