This time last year, I was involved in an accident that I was blessed to walk away from. I was traveling through a green light, when a car made a left turn in front of me, and came to a stop in the middle of the intersection. And just like that, my bike had t-boned into the car’s passenger door and I hit the ground. As I picked myself up, there were a few things that went through my mind. I immediately gave thanks for still being alive. My second thought was, “What do I do next?” Here are some basic tips that can help you after the crash:
Secure the Scene
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, remain at the scene unless you require immediate medical attention. If you are able to do so, check those involved in the accident for injuries and administer first aid. Call an ambulance and the police, if necessary. Try to notify oncoming traffic to proceed with caution by placing flares or using vehicle hazard lights.
Obtain Information from Driver(s)
Write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals involved in the accident as well as their, vehicle license plate, drivers license, and registration numbers. Obtain their insurance information (company names and policy numbers).
In addition to obtaining the personal information of the other drivers involved in the motorcycle accident, write down the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses at the scene, and try to get their written statements detailing what each saw.
Making Comments and Statements
Do not discuss the accident with anyone except the police officer investigating the scene. Do not admit liability, even to the officer. Any statement you make could be used against you later, so you want to make sure you stick to the facts and let the investigation determine who is at fault. In the case of an injury accident, reserve any statements for your motorcycle accident attorney.
Ask the investigating officer to provide you with his or her business card and the incident number so that you can obtain a copy of the accident report.
If you are arrested and taken into custody, do not resist. An arrest does not automatically constitute civil liability. Once again, refrain from making any statements until you contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Notes and Pictures
While the events are fresh in your mind, write down the significant details of the accident, including where and how it occurred, road and weather conditions, whether or not traffic control devices were present, and posted speed limits. Draw sketches or take photographs of the motorcycle accident scene to record skid marks, the position of the vehicles involved, and other physical evidence that is likely to disappear after the accident.
When to Leave a Motorcycle Accident Scene
Unless you are seriously injured and require immediate medical attention, remain at the motorcycle accident scene to assist others who may be injured. Call an ambulance, if needed. Secure the area and contact the police. Once you have cooperated with the police and collected the necessary personal information from other drivers and witnesses, you may leave the scene. See your doctor immediately. Even serious injuries may not be apparent until well after the accident.
Notify Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company of the accident immediately. Make sure you document this notification. If you fail to alert your insurance company of the accident, it may have grounds to deny any accident claims you file. Do not make any statements without first consulting your attorney.
Any insurance claims made against you should be referred to your insurance company. Forward all insurance papers you receive to your insurance company. Under no circumstances should you pay or promise to pay any claimant, nor sign any documents prior to consulting with an attorney.