Motorcycles are fun and exciting vehicles. They provide great freedom and independence. Unfortunately, they also pose some risks. If you get involved in a motorcycle collision, you might face serious medical bills.
In addition, you might be required to pay compensation to the other party involved.
What is a Motorcycle Accident?
A motorcycle accident is any collision between a motor vehicle and another object that causes injury to one or more people. The most common types of accidents involve motorcycles colliding with cars, trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, and animals.
Other less frequent but still dangerous scenarios include collisions involving motorcycles hitting each other, falling off the road, crashing into objects on the side of the road, and hitting an animal.
Motorcycle accidents are common. According to the National Safety Council, motorcyclists have accounted for nearly 15% of all traffic fatalities in recent years. It makes them the second leading cause of death for young adults in the United States.
Being involved in a motorcycle accident requires legal representation from a reputable lawyer such as Florida Personal Injury Lawyer. You may not be confident about what to do next.
This guide will help you understand how to handle a motorcycle accident.
How to Handle a Motorcycle Accident
Getting involved in a vehicle accident can be difficult. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when dealing with insurance companies, doctors, and lawyers. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you through this process. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Ensure Your Safety
The first thing to do if you get involved in a motorcycle accident is to ensure you’re safe. Check yourself for injuries, and don’t forget about your passengers. If you’re traveling with others, check on them too. Ask them if they’re okay.
Remember to keep your protective gear on even after you have checked yourself for injuries. Don’t move your bike even though you think you’re fine because you could injure yourself further. It’ll also serve as evidence later.
Remain Calm and Assess Yourself
After making sure you’re safe, you should assess the situation. Try to remember everything that happened before the crash.
- Was there anything unusual about the road conditions?
- Did you see anyone else involved in the accident?
- Were you distracted during the collision?
Answering these will help you determine whether you were responsible for the accident. You might be emotionally shocked and confused after the accident. That’s normal. But don’t panic. Remember to remain calm and let the adrenaline subside.
Gather Pieces of Evidence
After making sure you’re mentally able to assess and convey what happened, gather information about the accident. Note everything you remember about the incident, including the time, date, location, weather conditions, and details about the other driver.
If possible, note the license plate number of the other party involved. Take pictures of the accident site and the vehicles involved. Keep track of the names of the other people and witnesses involved. All these details will come in handy later when you file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company and seek legal help.
Call the Police
While still at the scene, contact the police immediately. Tell them everything that happened. Describe the location of the accident and the surrounding area and give them details regarding the type of bike, driver, and passenger information.
It might seem inconvenient, but calling the police immediately can save you time and money later. For instance, if you don’t call the police right away and cooperate with them, you could end up paying higher premiums for your insurance.
Remember, you don’t have to wait until you get home before contacting the police. If you’re not badly hurt and can still make phone calls, you can call 911 while at the scene.
Get Medical Attention
After you report the accident and cooperate with the authority, you should go to the hospital. Even though you may not think so, getting checked out by a doctor is necessary.
You might be wearing a helmet but can still suffer head injuries. Make sure you tell the doctor everything you remember about the accident. They’ll want to check your body for signs of trauma.
Don’t forget to ask the doctor whether they think you should see a specialist. Some injuries require immediate attention. For instance, if you hit your head hard enough to cause bleeding inside your skull, you should seek emergency care.
You should also document everything related to your treatment. It includes the name of the doctor, hospital, and pharmacy where you received care. Keep copies of all medical records, including x-rays, lab results, and prescriptions.
Cooperate With Your Insurance Company
After receiving medical attention, you need to start cooperating with the car insurance company. You’ll want to give them all the information you can so they can begin processing your claim.
In most cases, the insurance company will send an adjuster to investigate the accident. This person will ask you questions about the accident and collect any documents related to the case. They will also request copies of your medical records and bills from your doctor. Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance. You could face charges with fines or even jail time if you didn’t present it.
Be prepared to answer questions regarding your injuries and explain why you believe you were at fault. Ask if your policy covers motorcycle accidents. If so, ask whether your insurer has assigned a lawyer to represent you.
It’s also best to file your insurance claim within 24 hours of the accident. Otherwise, you risk losing valuable evidence.
Insurance claim processes vary depending on the policy you purchased. Most policies include a form called ‘Proof of Loss,’ which you must submit within 30 days of the accident. This form asks questions about the damage caused by the accident, how much your vehicle was worth prior to the crash, and any expenses incurred due to the collision.
In some cases, you’ll need to pay a deductible before you receive reimbursement from your insurer. A deductible is a small amount of money that you pay upfront to cover the cost of repairs. Your deductible depends on the coverage level you choose when purchasing your policy.
File a Claim Against the at-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
Now that you’ve cooperated with the insurance company, it’s time to file a claim. Your goal is to convince the insurance company that you’re entitled to compensation for your losses.
To prove that you deserve compensation, you must show that the other party was negligent. Negligence means that the other party failed to act reasonably under the circumstances.
The best way is to obtain expert witness testimony. An expert witness has experience investigating accidents and knows how to evaluate evidence.
Get Help From an Experienced Attorney
You should always seek out experienced attorneys who specialize in personal injury law. These professionals are trained to deal with these situations and know exactly what to expect. They can give you expert legal advice about your options and help you navigate the complex world of insurance claims and lawsuits.
When you hire an attorney, you no longer need to worry about filing paperwork, collecting evidence, and negotiating settlements. Instead, your lawyer handles all of that for you.
Your lawyer will also handle any legal issues arising during the lawsuit. For example, if there’s a dispute over the amount of damages you are owed, your lawyer will negotiate with the opposing counsel.
How Can an Injury Lawyer Help?
The best way to ensure you get the most money possible from your insurance company is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer has the expertise and knowledge to help you recover compensation for your injuries. They know how to investigate the details of your case and use those findings to build a strong argument on your behalf.
Personal injury lawyers can also help you prevent costly mistakes. For example, if your car was involved in an accident, your lawyer can help you determine whether the other driver was negligent. In some cases, you’re allowed and can settle your case without hiring a lawyer.
But if you decide to pursue a lawsuit, your lawyer can ensure you get fair compensation for your injuries. Remember that before you sign anything, ensure you understand your rights and obligations under the law. The more information you have, the better off you’ll be when dealing with your insurance company.
Prevent Motorcycle Accidents From Happening
Motorcycles are popular because they’re easy to ride and fun to drive. Unfortunately, riding motorcycles comes with risks. You can avoid getting involved in vehicular accidents by taking note of these simple safety tips.
- Wear Proper Gear: Wearing protective gear like gloves, boots, goggles, and helmets can reduce the risk of serious injury.
- Ride Safely: Slow down and stay alert while driving. Riding too fast or going through intersections too quickly increases the risk of crashing.
- Never Ride Intoxicated: Don’t drink and ride. Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs puts everyone around you at greater risk.
- Always Observe Traffic Laws: Follow the road rules and obey posted speed limits. Make sure to stay away from blind spots and stop signs.
- Drive Defensively: Always watch out for cars, trucks, and pedestrians. Keep your distance from vehicles approaching from behind. If you see someone coming up fast, slow down and move into another lane.
- Know Your Limits: Know your own physical limitations and don’t exceed them. Never drive if you feel tired, sleepy, or sick.
- Motorcyclists face many dangers on the road. That’s why it’s essential to wear appropriate gear, follow traffic laws, observe safe driving practices, be aware of your surroundings, and always stay alert.
Riding a motorcycle can be exciting and fun but it can also be dangerous. Make sure to follow the steps given in this article for you to know what to do when an accident happens.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Content Creator / Editor
Fred Felton is a copywriter, editor and social media specialist based in Durban, South Africa. He has over 20 years of experience in creating high end content. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. Currently Fred specialises in the motorbiking adventure space, focussing on all types of biking both on and offroad. He is also a keynote speaker and has presented talks and workshops in South Africa.