Many people today use motorcycles as their primary mode of transport. They’re a faster way to get to work or any other destination, including recreational joints. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number of on-road motorcycles registered in the US was 8.6 million in 2021. However, with fun and thrill comes the risk of crashing due to poor road conditions and harsh weather.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can be deadly as most motorcycles lack essential safety features. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants. So what do you do when involved in a motorcycle accident? Remember the steps you take can impact your future legal actions and rights. Here are a few steps to guide you.
Get to Safety and Check if Everyone Else is Okay
Your best chance for surviving after an accident is assessing the situation and acting swiftly to avoid further injuries or accidents. Check whether you’re in harm’s way or badly injured. If you’re on a highway, get out of the road as soon as possible to avoid getting hit in case other cars from behind have not seen the accident yet. Check if everyone is okay around you and help them get to safety too. If you’re badly injured, avoid movement, which could worsen your injuries. Instead, seek help from witnesses.
Don’t Remove Your Protective Gear
Your protective gear is what keeps you from getting severely injured in a motorcycle accident. After the accident, you may be in shock, and your adrenaline may prevent you from feeling pain. If you were badly injured, the pain might also cause you to remove your helmet, exposing your injuries to bacteria and viruses.
Call the Police
Once you’re certain you’re safe, call the police. Depending on the time, scene of the accident, and type of crash, someone else may already have alerted the police. However, it’s still quite important to make the call yourself as it can be a vital piece of evidence during the compensation process.
Never Admit Fault
Whether you were lane splitting or made several miscalculated moves, apologizing or taking the blame can get you into serious trouble with the law. You can be sued for injuries, damages, and even death if you admit fault. Remember, the events leading to the accident may not be very clear in your mind at that point. Let the police do their investigations and determine who was at fault.
Seek Medical Treatment
Seek medical attention even if you feel fine. Book an appointment with a health professional to conduct a thorough examination to rule out any internal injuries. Remember, some injuries take time to show symptoms or pain. Early internal injuries can lead to disabilities or even death if not detected.
Inform Your Insurance Company
Let your insurance know that you were involved in a motorcycle accident to start the claim process. Most insurance companies require motorists to report accidents 24 to 48 hours after the accident has occurred. If you are severely injured and unable to make calls, your family members can do it for you. You can also hire a lawyer to help you get full compensation.
Talk to Witnesses and Ask for Their Contacts
Unless the accident happened late at night, there will always be one or several people who saw the accident happen. Find them and ask to get their contact information. In most cases, witnesses do not wait for the police to arrive to give their statements. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak to some of them and get their contact information and call them when needed.
Document the Scene
It’s always important to write down the time, location of the accident, and the motorcycles or cars involved. This critical information helps the police determine who was at fault based on your account. Take pictures and videos of bikes or cars, your injuries, and other areas in the accident scene relevant to the accident, like a big hole, an animal, or a fallen object.