Being involved in a motorcycle accident is a stressful experience, regardless of how severe the collision. These five steps not only help prepare riders for a potential crash but also ensure that the motorcycle accident attorney will have everything they need if a crash results in a court case.
Get to Safety
Before doing anything else, riders should ensure their safety. If the accident took place on a busy road, move away from traffic. The rider should also distance his or herself from potentially hazardous materials, like gasoline leaks or smoldering wreckage.
Once the rider’s safety has been secured, it’s important to check if anyone is hurt. All parties involved should be assessed for injuries, particularly the motorcyclist, as it is very uncommon to walk away from a crash unharmed. Motorcycle accident attorneys recommend calling 911 even if there are no apparent injuries, as some more severe conditions are not immediately identifiable. A medical assessment can also help with personal injury claims. Calling an ambulance does not make the caller legally responsible for the collision.
Document the Accident
So long as the scene is safe to navigate, the rider should begin to document the crash. Photographs of the motorcycle, any other vehicles involved, road conditions, and other environmental factors can be helpful when filing an insurance claim. A motorcycle accident attorney may make use of such photographs during a court case, so it’s essential that the pictures are clear and plentiful. Cell phone pictures are fine, so long as every effort is made to ensure their quality.
Move the Bike
Ideally, the bike should not be moved until photographs of the scene are taken. However, safety comes first, and the presence of debris and wreckage on the road can pose a threat to fellow motorists. This is especially true if the accident has taken place at night or during weather conditions that cause low visibility (a snowstorm, for example).
A local police officer will make an official police report, which will be an essential document when proving details of the case. However, a motorcycle accident attorney can also use any additional information the rider can gather at the scene such as witness statements, vehicle information, insurance information, the police report number and the attending officer’s name and badge number. Though police reports are typically thorough and detailed, it doesn’t hurt to have further information and backup statements to support it.
Remember: being informed is the best defense against litigation and loss. If in doubt, consult with one of our expert motorcycle accident attorneys, who can provide further clarification and legal advice.