The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be quite traumatic. In a moment, a motorcyclist can go from enjoying the ride to dealing with the pain of injuries and serious damage to the bike.
In the midst of dealing with both of those motorcycle accident problems, there are also future legal proceedings to keep in mind—which can be incredibly difficult at a chaotic accident scene. In addition to medical bills and bike repair, pedestrians may also receive compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering resulting from a motorcycle accident. This checklist can help any motorcyclist get through the moments, days, and years after a motorcycle accident (and receive fair compensation).
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
___ Stay in the same spot (safely).
If it is possible to say safe doing so, try to stay in the same place after an accident (the bike too). The placement of the bike and all parties involved can be an important part of determining fault.
___ Call the police.
As soon as possible, contact the police. While waiting for them to arrive, don’t make any statements to the other involved parties or bystanders. Even small statements, such as “I don’t know what happened” or “I shouldn’t have…” can be misunderstood as an admission of fault.
___ Collect photos and information.
While at the accident scene, collect as much information as possible. Motorcyclists should collect insurance and contact information from other parties involved and bystanders. In addition, motorcyclists should take photos of the scene, nearby buildings and landmarks, injuries, and motorcycle damage.
___ Seek medical care.
Some accidents are visible and obvious, requiring immediate medical attention. Other accident injuries are not as evident right away and may take days for symptoms to appear. No matter what the type of injury, motorcyclists should always seek medical care as soon as it is obvious there is a problem. This could include a ride in the ambulance at the scene or a visit to a clinic days after. Motorcyclists should always keep all documentation (i.e. medical and bills) from the appointments for later reference.
___ Keep all motorcycle accident documentation on file.
After a motorcycle accident, motorcyclists receive documentation for bike repair, hospital and clinic care, chiropractor appointments, insurance matters, and any other accident matters. Even receipts for medications can be helpful when seeking compensation for injuries from a motorcycle accident. All of this paperwork can be an important part of future communications and proceedings.
___ Contact the insurance company.
Motorcyclists should always contact the insurance company that covers the bike, but should always keep in mind that communications are not confidential. As in all statements at the scene, motorcyclists should not admit fault to insurance agents and representatives.
___ Talk to an experienced lawyer.
After many motorcycle accidents, motorcyclists may receive offers from insurance companies that may not cover all the expenses caused by the accident. Even if the initial offer sounds fair, it can still make sense for a motorcyclist to contact an experienced local lawyer to get information about compensation specific to the case and Wisconsin shared fault law, which means that the fault of each driver is calculated and parties are responsible for their share of the expenses. An experienced personal injury lawyer can give you advice on how to proceed to receive fair compensation.
How to Prevent Future Motorcycle Accidents
- Wear visible motorcycling gear (including bright clothing and a helmet reflector).
- Make sure other drivers see you when driving.
- Don’t drink and ride.
- Drive safely.
- Wear safety gear when riding (including a helmet, goggles or helmet shield, long sleeve jacket, long pants, and motorcycle boots).
- Purchase a quality helmet.
- Pay attention to the weather before and during riding.
- Watch the road closely for sand, potholes, and excessive gravel that can cause an accident.
- Take a Wisconsin motorcycle safety course.
- Look twice at intersections, proceed once.
- Most importantly, drive safe and enjoy the ride!