Protect yourself when documenting a motorcycle accident
In this month’s blog series, we’re covering the importance of recording details and taking photos after any accident on the road. When documenting a motorcycle accident, there are a few special considerations to remember:
Never admit fault
While this advice holds true in all accidents, it’s an especially important reminder for motorcyclists.
Accidents involving motorcycles often occur as the result of several factors outside of the motorcycle driver’s control. If the other driver failed to yield, cut you off in traffic, or ignored posted signs, for example, he or she could be at fault for the accident. So, even if you believe you might be at fault, don’t say anything at the scene.
ConsumerSafety.org reiterates this advice:
“Many motorcyclists who experience a motorcycle crash assume that they will be blamed, or that they do not have any legal recourse. However, you may be able to recover damages that will help you pay for injuries, medical care, lost income, and other costs related to your crash in cases where the other driver failed to follow the rules of the road.”
Give officials time to gather all the facts, and talk to your personal injury attorney first. At the time of the accident, focus on gathering information.
Review recent recalls
The consumer site above points out an interesting consideration for motorcycle drivers. In some instances, a recalled part on your vehicle could lead to unsafe driving conditions:
“Defective or malfunctioning parts can lead directly or indirectly to accidents. If a part breaks down or stops working while someone is operating a motorcycle, it could lead to a loss of control and possibly even a crash that results in severe injury or death.”
To avoid malfunctions on the road, have your motorcycle serviced regularly. It’s also important to maintain updated registration to ensure that you receive any recall notices.
Record all details of the accident
If you are physically able to do so, record the facts of the accident at the scene. If not, ask a bystander to help you gather details, including:
- Names and contact information for the other drivers
- Photos of any vehicle damage
- Injury details and photos
- Pertinent details about the scene of the accident, including photos
This documentation will help you as you seek insurance reimbursement, medical care and more. If your case goes to court, these photos and notes will help establish fault and other key facts.
Seek medical attention
Even if you feel fine at the scene, a motorcycle accident can lead to serious injuries or complications. Signs and symptoms of some injuries, such as brain injuries, aren’t obvious right away.
Seeking medical attention right away can help document your injuries for the insurance company, your attorney and/or a judge. Have a medical professional assess your condition immediately after the accident. Later, visit your doctor again if any new symptoms appear or if your injuries worsen.
Prevent future accidents
To prevent future accidents, stay up-to-date on safety laws and best practices while riding your motorcycle, including:
- Take a motorcycle driving class and obtain your motorcycle license
- Brush up on skills by taking a motorcycle safety class
- Maintain your motorcycle and make any repairs
- Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the handlebars at all times
- Explain safety protocols to any passengers
- Wear a helmet and fitted clothing that protects your skin
- Consider bright clothing or reflective material to increase your visibility on the road
- Follow all traffic safety laws
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free case evaluation.