Everyone who has ridden a motorcycle has had the thought, “What if I get into an accident?”
This fear is actually what keeps so many people from riding in the first place. When you ride a motorcycle, there’s a sense of freedom you don’t get when you’re in a car. It’s literally just you, the bike and the open road. You can feel the air on your hands and the wind as it passes through your clothes. It’s an experience unlike many others.
But the fear of a motorcycle accident is real, and it can be intense.
Fortunately, the most common cause of a motorcycle accident –unsafe lane changes— is almost completely preventable. When you learn the right safety precautions and how to change lanes properly, you can drastically reduce your risk of an accident. With this, you also must learn to avoid driving in another driver’s blind spot, as their unsafe lane chance can affect you.
But if the worst does happen and you get into a motorcycle accident, here’s what to do.
Check yourself and others for injury
Always do a quick check of yourself to see if you’ve been injured. Remember that adrenaline can reduce or eliminate pain in the moment, so pain isn’t always a reliable factor. Think about what you’re feeling, but also do a quick visual check for blood or signs of broken bones. If you can safely move, check on any other passengers you may have. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 right away. If you cannot locate your phone, try to flag down another driver and ask them to call.
As soon as the accident happens, it’s likely that anyone who saw it will stop to see if you’re okay. In the heat of the moment, you may not have the most reliable view of what just happened, so ask this person what they saw. If possible, get their contact information and ask if you can pass it along to the police and/or insurance company. It’s tempting to wave anyone off when you’re feeling fine, but it’s always best to get their info when they saw the accident go down.
Take photos of the damage
Assuming you’re okay, take photos of any damage that has been done to your motorcycle or to yourself. If you have injuries you can record with photo evidence, you can do this now too. You’ll also want to take photos of the injury every day for about a week. Most of the time, physical injuries take a day or so to reach their peak bruising and inflammation. This is when you can really see the extent of the injury.
Call your insurance agent
At this point, your goal is to let the insurance company know that you’ve been in an accident. Talk about the accident without discussing fault. Avoid making a recorded statement. Your agent will tell you it’s protocol, but this isn’t something you have to do. And you may end up saying something they can use against you later. Remember, even though you pay the insurance company, they don’t actually work for you. The company’s job is to make (and keep) as much of their money as possible. We’ve all heard horror stories of people getting denied on legitimate claims to help with their healing, so err on the side of caution here.
Call an attorney
In the case of a motorcycle accident, the best thing you can do is call an attorney. A motorcycle accident lawyer will help ensure that your claims are handled and you don’t have to end up paying out of pocket for any expenses. And many personal injury lawyers today work on a contingency fee, meaning that they won’t get paid unless you recover money from the insurance company for your case.
No one wants to think about being in a motorcycle accident, but it’s important to know what to do if it happens. Have you ever been in a motorcycle accident?