A motorcycle accident is a scary thing.
They’re more severe than car accidents because you’re literally being thrown off your bike. Hence it goes without saying that, some of the things you can do after a car accident, you might not be medically capable of doing after a motorcycle accident.
Having said that, if you’re in a less serious accident and can think clearly, here are list of things that you should do – or have someone else do on your behalf:
- Get the other driver’s information – name, address, insurance company, policy number
- Call the police and ambulance (the fire department is often first to respond)
- Get the name and number of witnesses who are first on the scene. Even if they didn’t witness the accident, they may have witnessed the aftermath of the accident and might be able to verify if you were coherent, conscious, etc. This could be important information down the road.
- Often people will say ‘I’m okay’ by default or instinct, only to start feeling the problems later that day or the next day. My advice? If an ambulance is called, get checked out. Never refuse the first responder’s medical assessment. If you refuse medical treatment – even if you’re not seriously injured – it erodes your credibly in a later trial. Allowing the treatment protects your rights to access compensation. If they say go the hospital or want to take you, let them. The emergency doctor may opt to put you on a head injury protocol. Let them.
- Take pictures, if you can, of the damage on your bike. Sometimes the insurance company will take pictures later as they’re appraising the damage, but try to get your own at the scene. Think of it like this: A picture is worth 1000 words. You can describe to a judge what happened, but if you show a picture of your bike laying under the car, for example, it’s impactful. If you have visible injuries (road rash, scrapes, etc.) take pictures of them too.
- Contact your own insurance company as soon as you can, and within 24 hours. Be open to their questions; they’re there to help you and will send you the forms you’ll need for accident benefits to cover treatment and partial wages (up to $400 per week) so talk to them first.
- If you are feeling odd after the accident and you haven’t gone to the hospital, GO. Even if you felt ok at the accident, GO. Head injuries are often felt a few days after the accident. No doctor is going to look at you funny if you come in a few days after an accident because you have a headache. This is not a normal circumstance, you are not making a mountain out of a molehill. Always err on the side of caution.
- Make an appointment to see your family doctor within a few days to make them aware of the accident to allow them to monitor you from the beginning. This is super important again because of the risk of head injury.
- If you can’t work, your doctor will fill out a form for your employer. And this should go without saying but, if your doctor says you need to take a few days off, you must follow their advice.
- It’s always a good idea to call a lawyer. More often than not, the motorcycle isn’t at fault, so do talk to a lawyer about your legal rights.