1. First, Escape any Imminent Danger
You probably have read that the first thing you should do after an accident is to record the state of the scene using video or photographs. This only applies if there aren’t any immediate potential dangers that may put your life at risk. Your life is too precious to be lost just because you wanted to increase the chances of winning a lawsuit.
If you get hit by an oil tanker truck, for instance, and it swerves off the road only for the flammable load it is carrying to start leaking, you should probably move away fast as an explosion may be imminent. Other potential dangers you should immediately escape from include weak eroded cliffs, falling debris, and vehicle fire.
2. Check for Injuries and Call for Medical Help
A motorcyclist is 5 times more likely to get injured in an accident than drivers of passenger vehicles. As soon as you are out of any imminent danger, you should assess if you’ve sustained any injuries. If you can move without grossly worsening any injuries you’ve sustained, check in on the other people who are involved in the accident and make sure they are okay and are out of immediate danger.
You should then call an ambulance. Not all accident injuries will be immediately apparent. It might take hours for some injuries to reveal symptoms.
3. Call Law Enforcement
If nobody is injured and you don’t call an ambulance, you should definitely call a local law enforcement agency to manage the situation. This is especially necessary if the accident has disrupted traffic flow.
Having a record of what happened by way of a police report and statements from all the people involved in the accident is always a good idea.
4. First of Several Legal Steps: Take Photos
You will probably have your phone with you. Use your phone to record the state of the scene from all the angles you can. You can take photos of injuries, damages to all vehicles involved in the accident, their position relative to the road, registration numbers, insurance certificates displayed on the vehicles, and any other details you think may be useful in a court of law or insurance claim process such as scattered food which may indicate that the driver of the other vehicle may have been distracted while eating.
5. If There Are Witnesses, Get Their Statements
If there are witnesses at the scene of the accident, get their statements. Note down all the pieces of information they are willing to give you including names, phone numbers, and addresses. Their statement should include a description of how they remember the accident unfolding. These statements will prove useful in case you take the case to a court of law or when any other person involved in the accident sues.
Naturally, witnesses should give you only the information they want to freely give. Don’t coerce the witnesses to record something they don’t want to record.
6. Exchange Information with the Other People Involved in the Accident
Politely ask for important information from the other people involved in the accident. You should also be free to give them the information they need, within reason. You should exchange the following details:
- Official names appearing on government-issued IDs
- Driving license number
- Phone numbers
- Insurance details
- Vehicle license plate numbers
- Their current mailing address
If a police officer comes to the scene of the accident, note down their badge number and the police report number.
7. Contact Your Insurer
You should contact your insurance company and offer them all the material information about the accident. It is best not to detail the extent of the damage of the accident on your physical health until you have been examined by a qualified doctor.
You don’t want to undercut yourself by underestimating how much damage the accident has caused you. Since you can’t reopen an insurance claim after it has been settled, it is in your best interest to get things right from the word go.
8. Protecting Yourself: Do Not Admit Liability
Do not tell a police officer, witnesses at the scene of the accident, your insurer, or any other party something that may be interpreted to mean that you were at fault for the accident. Your statements should still be truthful, though. If you think you can’t speak about the accident without implicating yourself, refer all questions to your attorney.
9. Contact an Attorney
A good motorcycle accidents attorney can help you navigate the legal issues surrounding the accident. With a good attorney, you can get adequate compensation for the damages you may suffer from the accident. If you are at fault for the accident, an attorney can help reduce your legal exposure.