Did you know that motorcycle bikers are 27 times more likely to experience a fatal accident than car drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)?
The very nature of motorcycles makes them more of a risk to drive. They are faster than cars and offer significantly less protection from the road and external forces. If the driver fails to wear a helmet the accident could turn deadly; but regardless, bodily injury is almost guaranteed.
According to Denver motorcycle accident lawyer Lampert & Walsh, other risks associated with motorcycles include:
- Inattentive drivers: The greatest threat to a careful motorcyclist is a distracted passenger car driver. If a neighboring driver is on the phone or under the influence, then you must be on alert and protect yourself from potential harm.
- Driver inexperience: High-risk riders that lack experience but engage in risky behavior can crash more often.
- Road conditions: Motorcycles don’t absorb bumps or surface changes as well as cars. For example, debris on the road can affect a bike more easily.
- Less stability: Fewer wheels and less machine stabilizing means that bikers must drive more carefully to avoid slips and unsafe movements.
- Lower visibility: Motorcycles have a smaller body than cars, making them easier for other drivers to miss on the road.
- Weather: When riding a motorcycle, you are more exposed to the outside elements. On a foggy or rainy day, bikers do not have wipers or other car functions to help with visibility. They only have a single beam light to propel them forward.
If you recently acquired a motorcycle or are simply looking to stay informed on possible outcomes if you were to get into an accident, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to handle things after an accident from the moment it occurs to the days and weeks afterward.
1. Check Yourself and Others for Injury
You just got into a motorcycle accident. Perhaps it was with another biker. Maybe it was with a vehicle on the road. You could have crashed into someone or they could have crashed into you.
Perhaps even nobody else was involved and you made a sharp turn into a ditch or hit a pole.
Whatever the circumstances, the point is that you are alive, which is the most important thing. Do a scan of your body and make note of any pain points. If you have the ability to do so, check on the other individual(s) involved in the accident and assess their condition.
If you feel that an ambulance needs to be called for you or anyone else, be sure to call 991 and do so right away. Every second counts in these situations.
2. Take Photos
The next step while you wait for law enforcement and the potential ambulance to arrive is to document the accident. Don’t move your vehicles or touch anything just yet. If you have the technology available, such as a cell phone or a camera, take pictures from a variety of angles.
Documenting the surrounding environment may prove helpful with insurance or during a court case.
This can include damage such as:
- Physical bodily injuries
- Damage to the motorcycle
- Damage to the vehicle involved
- Any poles, signs, etc.
- Any infrastructure that was hit or damaged
- Any debris caused by the accident
3. Clear Up the Road
Now is the time to clear the road and remove yourself from any oncoming passengers. Do so as soon as it is safe to and do your best to clear any large debris that could interfere with another driver on the road.
The last thing you want is to have another vehicle or person involved in the accident because they did not see the debris.
4. Gather Information
Now that everything is documented and everyone is out of harm’s way, exchanged contact information with the other individuals involved. Make note of any license plates if applicable.
Next, contact your local police department. A police officer will arrive at the scene of the accident to draw up a police report detailing the events that led up to the accident. They will listen to both sides impartially. This will act as an important official document when proving details of your case.
Protect your legal rights and potential compensation for your damages by gathering important information. Speak with witnesses, passengers, other drivers, and the police officer.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company and an Attorney
Once you’re home and settled, contact your insurance company to report your accident and file a claim. This will be integral to you getting the financial support needed after the accident.
It is also important to get in contact with a local attorney that specializes in motorcycle accidents.
6. Take Time to Heal Mentally and Physically
Now that you have gathered all the information and set the claims and legal processes in motion, it is important you take some time to heal both physically and mentally. Overcoming the emotional shock of an accident can take some time, just as any physical wound.
Be patient and remember that you are alive and that is the most important thing.