According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcycle crash accidents have decreased slightly in the last few years, but motorcycle riders are still five times more likely to be injured than passenger car occupants. That means driving on two wheels comes at a greater risk every time you ride.
All motorcycle riders should be familiar with the steps that should be taken immediately after an accident involving an injury.
First and foremost, you should always call the local authorities when a motorcycle accident occurs. Emergency medical care can help prevent more serious injuries from occurring and a police officer will write up an official report. That report will be vital when you file a claim with your insurance and if you decide to take legal action against the at-fault driver.
Get Information at the Scene
At the scene of the accident it’s important to gather information that will be needed for insurance claims and making sure you’re properly covered.
- Name and contact information for the other driver
- The insurance policy number of the other driver
- Other driver’s license number
- The other vehicle’s license plate number
- Make, model, year and color of the other vehicle
- Name and contact information of any witnesses
You’ll also want to take pictures of the scene and the damage. This helps serve as concrete evidence and documents information you may otherwise forget.
Hire an Attorney
If you are injured in the accident it’s in your best interest to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. Personal injury lawsuits can get complex and the other driver’s insurance company will have a team of attorneys working on their side.
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process and provide guidance on what to request for compensation. Too often, injured parties accept an insurance company’s first offer, which may not take long-term costs or pain and suffering into consideration. A lawyer can also help gather together the necessary documentation and get copies of the police report for your insurance claims.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You should call your insurance company as soon as possible to inform them that you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. Since some insurers put a timeline on when you can file a claim, it’s a good idea to do so immediately.
Provide your insurance agent with all of the information you gathered, including the photos that were taken and the police report. Give the agent a detailed account of what you remember happening. Your agent should explain what type of coverage is provided under your policy and what should be covered by the at-fault driver. He or she can also contact the other insurance company to help move things along and resolve disputes.
Track Your Medical Care
If you were injured during an accident your primary focus is probably on recovery. Every doctor visit, every prescription purchase and every treatment should be carefully tracked. You’ll need to make copies of all your medical bills, and it also helps to keep notes about how the injury is impacting your physical health, mental health and quality of life.
All this information is used by your insurance company and attorney to ensure you are adequately covered and compensated. It’s the type of black-and-white evidence that’s hard for the other party to argue against.
Refrain From Talking to the Other Party
Unfortunately, many injured individuals make the mistake of talking directly with the other driver or their insurance company. During these conversations you may say something that’s taken out of context or make a statement that doesn’t conform with what was previously said.
These small discrepancies could be enough for the other driver’s insurance company to argue that you were at-fault and they aren’t required to cover your bills. Whenever possible your lawyer or insurance company should do the talking.
Getting your life back after a serious injury is usually a long process that could take years. For some people life will never be exactly the same as it was before. That’s why it’s so important to take action quickly to protect your best interests and quality of life after a motorcycle accident.