Riding a motorcycle may give you a thrill each and every time you get on your bike, but whether you ride as a primary means of transportation or just for fun on the weekends, driving one in California can be dangerous.
Common accidents include those involving blind spots, rear end collisions, driving between lanes or while changing lanes, failure to yield, taking curves too fast, and intersection accidents. Injuries may include amputation, broken bones, paralysis, brain injuries, and in the most extreme cases – death.
Knowing how to handle the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can save lives. As with other vehicle accidents, the first thing you’ll need to do is assess the status of everyone involved. If you are not in need of immediate medical attention move everyone you can to a point of safety, except those who might experience greater injuries due to any movement. If other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians have been hurt, call 911 right away and request an ambulance.
Next, take out your phone and snap pictures of the scene before authorities arrive, as they will likely move things around. Get the license plate number of all vehicles involved, street signs, the position and damage to all vehicles, and images of any possible cause of the accident such as slippery road conditions, fallen branches, debris, etc.
Once you have taken pictures, gather as much information as possible on everyone involved. This includes driver’s license information, vehicle registration, insurance provider, policy number, and license plate numbers (in case the images on your phone are accidentally erased).
Talk to witnesses to get their account of what happened. Take their names and contact information because it may be difficult to get written statements at the scene of the accident. You or your attorney can get in touch with them at some point in the future for an official statement.
Do not discuss the specific events or details of the accident with anyone other than the authorities. And never admit liability, even when speaking to police officers. Explain the facts of what happened without making any subjective statements and let them investigate the specifics to reach their own conclusion. Get the officer’s business card, or take down their name, phone number, and badge number so you can easily contact them to receive a copy of the official accident report.
If you are arrested or taken into custody, do not resist. Do not give statements to any parties until you have had contacted a motorcycle accident attorney. They will direct you on how to proceed.
Otherwise, contact your insurance company to make them aware of the accident.
If an adjuster from the other side’s insurance provider contacts you, do not panic, but do not answer their questions. Explain that it is a bad time and ask them to make an appointment for another day and time. Let your attorney know so he or she can coach you on how to reply, or sit in on the call.
Keep a record of all repair bills, medical expenses, and time off work that has resulted from the accident so that you provide all the paperwork to your insurance provider when filing your claim.