Riding a motorcycle can be fun and thrilling. Racing along with the wind whipping at you and the scenery blurring together can be freeing in a way that riding in a car never quite is. Unfortunately, this thrill, this freedom comes with risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 there were 4,502 fatal motorcycle accidents; in fact, motorcycle related fatalities have increased 55% since 2000 (n.d.).
While being involved in a car accident is certainly scary, being involved in a motorcycle accident can be downright terrifying. Since there is little between you and the open road there is a much greater chance for injury. If you are in a motorcycle accident, what should you do? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Again, motorcycle accidents can be terrifying. However, it’s important for you to be as calm as possible and to try to think about the situation clearly. Being calm will help you assess the situation, collect the necessary information from the other parties involved, and get important information from witnesses. However, directly after the accident, assess your physical well being. If you believe you are injured, wait for medical personnel to arrive on the scene.
Make Sure Your Safe
Shut off the engines of the vehicles involved in the accident and turn on hazard lights to alert other motorists of the road hazard. Once you have done that, move away from the road so that other travelers don’t strike you.
Don’t Leave The Scene
After an accident, do not simply drive away no matter how minor the damage seems. Fleeing the scene of an accident may very well land you in legal hot water.
Connect With Witnesses
The point of view of a witness can be very valuable especially if there will be a criminal or civil case. Unfortunately, witnesses may leave the scene of an accident (or not stop at all) if they don’t want to get involved, believe they can offer no value, or have somewhere else to be. If you are uninjured, speak to witnesses and ask them to stay until authorities arrive.
Talk to the other parties involved in the accident and exchange pertinent personal and insurance information. At this point, you may also want to take some pictures of the scene of the accident including any damage. For example, if the condition of the road caused the motorcycle to skid, be sure to take clear photos.
Get The Authorities Involved
Contact the police so that an official report of the accident can be compiled. This may be very valuable to you when dealing with insurance companies or the legal system.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company or insurance agent as soon as possible to get your claim filed.
Accept Medical Attention
Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should get yourself checked out by medical professionals. What seems like a minor crick in the neck right now may turn into chronic pain down the road. Documenting the incident right way may help you get reimbursed later on.
Seek Legal Advice
If you are concerned about the motorcycle accident you have been in, whether you think you’ll be running up some serious medical bills or think the other individual involved will try to sue you, find a lawyer who is well versed in handling motorcycle accidents.