Riding a motorcycle is a unique passion for a lot of people, but it is also one that comes with very peculiar dangers. The slightest accident while riding a motorcycle could very easily result in serious injuries, given the lack of a buffer between bikers and other elements such as the road or cars.
A lot of risks can be mitigated by a motorcyclist being careful and taking some precautions. But statistically, two-thirds of accidents involving a motorcycle and a car are caused by the driver of the car. This means that no matter how careful you are, there is still a chance that you might get into an auto accident.
Prepare for accidents before they happen. You do not want to have an accident with a car only to find that the insurance company refuses to pay, hires a defense attorney, and you have no idea where to even begin.
This article will walk you through the basic steps you should take if you ever find yourself involved in an auto accident on your motorcycle.
1. Call 911
Before you begin to assess the damage to your motorcycle, you should first ensure that you and everyone else involved in the accident is physically safe. In a serious injury, call 911 operators so that emergency treatment is provided. You should call 911 as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not anyone is hurt.
2. Take pictures
Regardless of who is at fault, there is a high chance that both your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company will try to avoid paying any bills. If you get into a dispute with insurance companies or even with the other party to the accident, or perhaps have to go to court, every piece of evidence you have will come in handy.
3. Talk to witnesses
In addition to your pictures, witness statements will be a crucial part of your case. Talk to as many witnesses as you can find, and be sure to record the important details such as their names, addresses, and contact information. If possible, make an audio recording of their statements.
4. Record details of the surroundings
Do your best to create a detailed record of the scene of the accident. This may be crucial in determining who was at fault for the accident in the event of a dispute. Some important details to focus on include: the precise location, the weather, any applicable speed limits, the amount of traffic, and the direction both vehicles were heading in at the time of the accident, etc.
5. Speak to and attorney prior to making an insurance claim
You should speak to a lawyer prior to calling your insurance company. While it is important to call your insurance company as soon as you can to report your accident, YOU SHOULD NOT PROVIDE A RECORDED STATEMENT until you have at least discussed the incident with a lawyer. It’s likely they ask you to provide an estimation of the extent of damage to your motorcycle or injury to your person. However, you should refrain from doing this until you have had a professional assessment. Underestimating the extent of damage may significantly hamper efforts to recover the amount of losses entitled to you.
6. Hire an attorney
Insurance companies frequently will contest your claim. Typically, this involves allegations of contributory negligence on your part. The other party may argue that you are not injured. If this happens, do not fret. You will need to hire a lawyer who focuses on injury accident disputes to represent you and your interests. Hiring a lawyer can be expensive, but many firms charge you only if you win the case.
Motorcycle accidents can happen at any time, and frequently will be completely out of your control. Following the steps outlined here maximizes the chances to make a quick and complete recovery when they do happen.
One more tip: whatever happens, don’t admit guilt to anyone, even the police or your insurance company. By doing so, you significantly lower your chances of winning subsequent disputes.