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.
Given this reality, you should be prepared 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. If someone has been seriously injured, this is something you will want to report to the 911 operators so that emergency treatment may be provided. Whether or not anyone is hurt, you should still call 911 as soon as you can.
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. You will likely be asked to provide an estimation of the extent of damage to your motorcycle or injury to your person, but this is something you should refrain from doing until you have had a professional assessment. If you initially underestimate the extent of damage incurred, this may significantly hamper any efforts to subsequently recover the full amount of losses you are entitled to.
6. Hire an attorney
Insurance companies frequently will contest your claim. Typically, this will involve an allegation of contributory negligence on your part or a contention that you were 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 there are law firms who will charge you only if you win the case.
Motorcycle accidents can happen at any time, and frequently will be completely out of your control. When they do happen, if you follow the steps outlined in this guide, you will be prepared to maximize the chances to make a quick and complete recovery.
One more tip: whatever happens, do not admit guilt to anyone from the other party in the accident, to the police or even your insurance company. Once you do, your chances of winning any subsequent dispute will be significantly lowered.