If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you might feel scared, you could be in pain, but you also might be in shock. No one starts their day expecting to be involved in an accident but being aware of what to do if you do end up getting in an accident is very important. Remember, directly after an accident you will be filled with adrenaline, so try to keep a few things in the back of your mind.
Get out of the road
Whether you have fallen from your bike or been struck by a car, you most likely will find yourself on the ground. Try to get off the road and out of traffic to avoid potentially getting more injured. Do not force any part of your body to bear weight if it hurts.
If you are in serious pain or if the accident caused any damage, contact 911. If you do not feel that there is any immediate danger, call the police.
If you can get to a place to rest your body, whether this is on the side of a road, or in a truck bed of a bystander, take it and sit. You do not need to overexert your body after trauma.
Assess the situation
If you can walk and do not feel incredibly injured when you attempt to stand, then you can assess the scene around you. Be sure to write down any necessary notes regarding what happened. If there is another party involved, be sure to take down their personal and insurance information.
Check if anyone is injured. Is there anyone who needs immediate medical attention? You can also collect information from any bystanders including other motorists, passengers, or pedestrians. These can be people who have witnessed the accident or were involved.
Take photos with your phone if it was not damaged in the accident. You can take photos of the vehicles involved, the license plate numbers, the actual scene and anything else you might think is important. This is the best and most accurate way to later prove what happened.
Do not remove your gear
Your helmet or riding gear could be holding parts of your neck and spine together that are injured. Leave your gear on and wait for the paramedics to arrive.
Stay at the scene
Even if you do not feel as though you have sustained injuries, and your bike is in working order, do not leave the scene of the accident before the police arrive. Not only can you face criminal charges for fleeing an accident, but you also want to have your story documented. Fault and liability will be determined, and these can be raised if you end up going to court.
Seek medical attention
Even if you think you have not sustained life-threatening injuries, you never know. Some serious injuries can show up later, and motorcycle crashes tend to be more dangerous due to organ damage or potential internal bleeding.
You might feel angry if the accident was your fault or upset that you are injured. This is normal, but do not do anything that might put yourself at risk or cause more property damage.
If you wake up in the hospital
In the event you get into an accident and end up waking up in the hospital or an ambulance, then you will be facing a different situation. Unfortunately, besides focusing on healing your body, you will also need to ask a few questions to make sure your health insurance will pay for whichever treatments occur.
Ask questions to find out if this provider is out of your network and if the services are considered emergency services. It is best to contact a health insurance claims representative as soon as you can. You can also have a family member do this for you.
This is important because the last thing you want to be left with is a huge hospital bill to deal with or possible hospital debt.
Contact your insurance
Make sure to contact your motorcycle insurance, as well as health insurance, to let them know you were involved in an accident. Talk to them about what you are covered for and discuss the situation with your bike.
Days following the accident
No matter if you needed to spend time in the hospital, or if you were able to leave the scene directly after you get home you might soon be contacted by an adjuster from the other side’s insurance company.
Do not answer any questions to the opposing insurance company
If you are called by the adjuster from the other side’s insurance company, DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS. These individuals are specifically trained to take your comments and turn them against you.
The opposing insurance company will be looking for any way to pay you less for your injuries. You should also wait to make any repairs to your motorcycle until the damages have been legally documented.
Speak to an accident lawyer
The best way to protect yourself is to speak with an accident attorney right away. Make sure that you do not admit fault, nor sign anything until speaking to a lawyer. Even if the accident was clearly the other person’s fault, insurance companies can twist your words to pin it on you.
In your original consultation with your accident lawyer, make sure to bring your evidence that you collected at the scene. They should be able to help you determine who was at fault, and what you can expect to receive in compensation.
Lampert & Walsh, a Denver motorcycle accident lawyer, will be able to help you understand your rights in the situation you are in. We will help to explain different laws, what to expect from your case, and how much you will need to be involved. Give us a call for more information so we can help protect you.