All motor vehicle accidents are upsetting, but if you are in a motorcycle accident, you are probably even more upset. Immediately after the accident, after you have gotten up and brushed yourself off, it is important to stay calm. Remember that the steps that you take immediately after the motorcycle accident could affect a potential lawsuit or settlement later.
Keep these steps in mind after a motorcycle accident:
#1 Check for Injury
Obviously, a motorcyclist is fully exposed and is more likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident. You should check yourself and any passengers on the motorcycle to determine if there are injuries. You should call 911 immediately if anyone involved in the accident is hurt.
On a related note, go to the ER after a motorcycle accident to be checked out. If you have any injuries, it is good to have them on the record as soon as possible if you need to make a claim later.
#2 Get Out of the Road
If you can, move all of the vehicles involved in the crash off the road. Use flares, hazard lights and/or a flashlight to warn traffic of the accident. If you were on the motorcycle, it is especially dangerous to stay near your bike if it is still in traffic. Many serious and fatal injuries can occur after an accident when traffic causes another accident. Remember – you can replace your motorcycle, but you are priceless.
#3 Collect Contact Information
Exchange contact information with all drivers involved in the motorcycle accident. Get names, phone numbers, insurance information, and license numbers. Also get the contact information for eyewitnesses. Note that the testimony of neutral eyewitnesses is usually critical to determine liability.
#4 Call Police
If anyone is hurt and/or there is serious property damage above $500 or $1000, you are generally required by state law to call the police. In any case, you should nearly always call the police after a motorcycle accident. The police report is a very valuable piece of information that can determine who is ultimately blamed for the accident.
#5 Note Surroundings
Depending how seriously you are hurt, try to note the conditions immediately after the accident. Note the weather, location of crash, road conditions, speed limits, lighting and direction of travel of all vehicles in the accident.
#6 Speak to Witnesses
If you are not badly hurt, try to speak to witnesses after the accident. Memories of the accident fade fast. This is another reason why it is important to call the police: They can get witness statements when the memory of the accident is fresh.
#7 Never Admit Fault
In many cases, the cause of the accident is not entirely clear. People are often tempted to admit they were at fault after the crash, but this is a big mistake. You could have serious injuries and property damage and the other driver was at fault. But if you admit fault at the scene, the claim or lawsuit could be greatly complicated. Anything you say about the accident to anyone at the scene should only be factual. Do not give any opinions and never admit fault.
#8 Talk to an Attorney
Many motorcycle accidents are serious. You may not know you are hurt until the next day. So, you should usually talk to a personal injury attorney to determine what your possible legal steps are.