What to Do if you’re in an Accident on a Motorcycle

May 3, 2024 | Motorcycle And Bicycle Accidents

Have you ever wondered why motorcycle riders often have close-knit communities? It’s not just about the love for the ride; it’s also about the shared understanding of the risks involved. A motorcycle accident can happen in a split second, but the aftermath can affect you for a lifetime. Knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident can significantly impact the recovery process, both legally and medically. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the critical moments and decisions following a motorcycle crash.

Understanding the Devastation that Can Occur After a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accidents can be particularly traumatic due to the exposed and vulnerable position of the rider. The physical and psychological impact of these accidents can be severe, with long-lasting effects. Here are some of the health conditions that may arise from such traumatic events:

  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries, including concussions
  • Spinal injuries
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Long-term emotional distress
  • Chronic pain from injuries
  • Long-term disability
  • Neurological damage

What to Do Minutes After a Motorcycle Accident

The minutes following a motorcycle accident are crucial for your safety and for protecting your legal rights. Here’s what you need to do immediately:

Ensure Safety

Move to a safe location if you can do so without causing further injury to yourself or others. This might mean moving off the road to avoid staying near traffic or in the path of potential harm. Either way, the point is to make sure that you and others are safely away from further risks, such as oncoming vehicles.

Check for Injuries

Assess your condition and that of any others involved in the accident. If there are any serious injuries, prioritize medical attention by calling emergency services. Immediate medical attention is crucial, not only for health reasons but also as part of the documentation needed later for insurance and legal purposes.

Call the Police

It’s essential to have a police report, even for minor accidents. The report can be a critical piece of evidence for insurance and legal purposes. A police report officially documents the incident and provides an impartial third-party view of the accident, which is invaluable during insurance claims and any legal proceedings.

Exchange Information

Swap contact and insurance information with the other involved parties. Be sure to get names, phone numbers, addresses, and license plate numbers. If commercial vehicles are involved, note down the company names and any identifying details on the vehicle.

Document the Scene

Take photos of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and road conditions. These photos can provide crucial evidence for your insurance claim or legal action. For example, document skid marks, street signs, weather conditions, and any obstructions or hazards.

Witness Statements

If there are witnesses on the scene, be sure to get their contact information. Their accounts can be vital in establishing the facts of the accident. Moreover, witnesses can provide an objective perspective on the accident, which can help clarify discrepancies in the accounts provided by the involved parties.

Protect Your Rights

Always be careful of what you say while at the accident scene. Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as admitting liability. These comments can be used against you in insurance claims and legal actions.

Preserve Evidence

Keep all evidence intact, including your helmet, clothing, and any personal belongings damaged in the accident. Do not repair your motorcycle immediately, as it is part of the evidence from the crash.

What to do in the Hours, Days, and Weeks Following a Motorcycle Accident

In the hours, days, and weeks following a motorcycle accident, taking the right steps can significantly impact the recovery and claim process. Here’s how you should manage the aftermath:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine initially, it’s crucial to undergo a thorough medical examination. Injuries like internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries can have delayed symptoms.
  • Follow-up on Medical Care: Adhere to all prescribed treatments and attend follow-up appointments. This not only aids your recovery but also provides a documented trail of your injuries and response to treatment, which is essential for any claims.
  • Call Your Insurance Company: Let your insurance provider know about the accident as soon as you can. Be factual about the details, but avoid admitting fault or giving detailed statements until you have consulted with an attorney.
  • Keep Detailed Records: Maintain a detailed file containing all accident-related documents. This should include medical bills, repair receipts, a copy of the police report, correspondence with insurance companies, and a diary noting any pain or difficulties you experience during your recovery.
  • Rest and Recover: Allow yourself time to recover both physically and emotionally. The impact of a motorcycle accident can be severe, affecting more than just your physical health.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Deciding whether to hire a personal injury attorney is a significant decision in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. Here are some considerations that suggest you might need legal representation:

  • Severity of Injuries: If you’ve suffered severe injuries, an attorney can help you understand the full scope of potential compensation, including for long-term care and loss of earnings.
  • Complexity of the Case: Motorcycle accidents often involve complex legal questions about fault and liability. An experienced attorney can navigate these complexities and help protect your interests.
  • Dealing with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often attempt to settle claims quickly and for less than they are worth. A skilled attorney can negotiate with these companies to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
  • Legal Deadlines: Personal injury claims are subject to statutes of limitations, which are deadlines by which you must file a lawsuit. An attorney can help ensure all paperwork is filed on time.

Ensuring a Smooth Road to Recovery

The bottom line is that after a motorcycle accident, the road to recovery can be fraught with challenges, both physically and legally. Ensuring you have the right support and guidance is crucial. Whether it’s managing the complexities of medical treatment, dealing with insurance claims, or ensuring your legal rights are protected, each step is important. Remember, you don’t have to face this journey alone.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Kent, Washington, or the Puget Sound area, consider reaching out to Greaney Scudder Law. Our experienced team is dedicated to supporting you through this challenging time, offering the expertise and empathy you need to seek the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact us today, and let’s get you on the path to recovery.

How do you deal with a motorcycle accident?

After a motorcycle accident, prioritize your safety by moving to a secure location if you can, then call emergency services. Capture photos of the scene, including all vehicles involved, road conditions, and any injuries. Exchange information with other parties and gather contact details from witnesses. Seek medical attention immediately, even if injuries seem minor, and consult a lawyer to discuss potential compensation claims.

What not to do after a motorcycle accident?

After a motorcycle accident, avoid admitting fault or discussing details of the accident with other drivers. Do not leave the scene until it’s appropriate to do so. Refrain from signing any documents or making recorded statements to insurance companies without consulting your attorney. Also, avoid delaying medical evaluation, as this can affect both your health and any potential injury claims.

Should I get back on a motorcycle after an accident?

Deciding to ride a motorcycle again after an accident is a personal decision influenced by physical recovery and psychological readiness. Consult healthcare professionals to ensure you are physically capable. Consider additional training or safety courses to regain confidence. Reflect on your comfort and readiness, and make the decision that feels right for you.

How long does it take to recover from a serious motorcycle accident?

Recovery time from a serious motorcycle accident varies significantly based on the nature and severity of the injuries. Minor injuries might heal within weeks, while more severe cases involving surgeries or rehabilitation can take months or even years. Emotional recovery is also a factor, as some riders experience ongoing anxiety or PTSD that requires professional support.