As thrilling as a motorcycle ride can be, especially for adrenaline junkies, they are just as dangerous. In fact, motorcycle accidents are 27 times more frequent than accidents in any other vehicle. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported similar results where in 2016, out of a total of 120,172 vehicle crashes, 2,386 involved motorcycles.
It is also evident that when in a crash, a motorcycle rider is more likely to suffer injuries than the driver of the other vehicle. So there is no denying the fact that bike rides are unsafe. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, the first steps you take, especially at the site of the crash, can have critical long-term consequences.
Negligence or lack of preparedness to deal with the situation when the time comes is all too common in bike crashes. Most crash victims regret not being prepared to deal with it before.
No matter how confident you are in your driving skills, it helps to know what to do when you do experience an accident, and the following are some steps you should not forget to take:
1. Seek medical attention immediately
The first and foremost response should be to get medical assistance as soon as possible. Even when the symptoms seem minor, don’t neglect professional help because many such symptoms later escalate to chronic pain and long-term problems.
Generally referred to as delayed injuries, these are equally important to report and document if you intend to involve the legal authorities.
A thorough medical check-up is a crucial step in identifying any such problem caused by the crash. These must be reported when you involve a motorcycle accident attorney Denver to seek legal compensation.
Often adrenaline, confusion, or shock may not let you feel the pain of major injuries that can later surface. Not getting timely medical assistance worsens the problem and reduces your chances of being compensated.
2. Call the police to report the accident
Filing a police report is crucial; this step helps ensure that your side of the story doesn’t go unheard and that the legal authorities can access an official report of the accident when dealing with a personal injury claim. By involving the police, you can make sure that an official report is generated and that thorough information is obtained from all parties and any witnesses involved.
When you are filing a report and sharing your side of the story, make sure not to admit fault, and it is better not to accept blame until you have spoken to your attorney and the insurance company.
Many vehicle accidents, unfortunately, go unreported; the Denver Police Department documented 19,000 motor vehicle accidents since 2013, but many other accidents might have gone unnoticed by the authorities.
3. Report all medical injuries
When reporting to the police, the EMT, medical staff in the hospital emergency room, and other officials, ensure that you include all symptoms you are experiencing, even the minor ones. Even minor issues count after an accident, as many major problems are masked at the time of the accident.
A detailed record also helps ensure you get complete compensation when you file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Common bike accident injuries you should look out for include contusions, lacerations, fractures, strains, and abrasions.
If you experience swelling, stiffness, or bruising in any joints might indicate a fracture even if you don’t feel as much pain.
4. Collect information from all parties involved
While it is true that the police will gather vital information from the other driver and the witnesses, you should play your part lest the driver flees the scene. If you can, collect the names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance information, car models and number plates, license numbers, and vehicle descriptions from all drivers involved.
5. Gather evidence
While you wait for the police to officially document everything, try collecting as much evidence as possible. This evidence is of vital importance for legal as well as insurance purposes. Taking photos and making videos of the site of the crash is one way to do this.
If you can’t do it yourself because of your medical condition, ask anyone else present over there to do it for you. Include everything at the scene, the bike, the other vehicle, the roadway features, and anything else that could have contributed to the crash.
Evidence may include roadway skid marks, road signs, obstructions in the field of view, gravel, etc. If you can get a recording of the accident from a nearby video camera or security system, it would greatly help the authorities.
There can be multiple causes of a bike crash – from distracted driving, overspeeding, unsafe lane changes, weaving through traffic, etc. – but it might also be the other driver at fault. In case you are innocent, such evidence is essential in proving it.
6. Talk to your lawyer before giving any statements
If your insurance adjuster or defense lawyer demands any information from you, don’t do so unless you have talked to your lawyer first. When an insurance claim adjuster or a defense attorney approaches you, their goal is to get you to admit fault or minimize the injuries you report.
Later, when you file a lawsuit, they may use these statements against you to prove that the injuries you report are false or not tied to the accident. The insurance company may use these statements to reduce or deny your demanding compensation. If anyone insists on taking a statement, make them talk to your lawyer instead.
Be wary of this tactic even when an adjuster wants to assess the damage to your vehicle.
7. Seek legal assistance
Don’t let go of the motorcycle crash incident without seeking legal compensation if you were not at fault. If you sustained personal injury and property loss because of the other party’s negligence, you could demand financial compensation for the costs sustained.
For this, you would need the help of an attorney specializing in motor vehicle accidents, specifically bike accidents. Lawyers specializing in personal injury or vehicle accidents must also have expertise in motorcycle accidents.
Vehicle crashes can be traumatic experiences, but your first response to the accident can have significant implications in the long run. Make sure you are prepared in advance to deal with any such situation.
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, get medical assistance, report all injuries, call the police and file a report, gather information, be careful about the statements you give, and seek legal help as soon as possible. These steps are essential for any legal action you intend to take later.