According to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, motorcycle fatalities decreased by 7.1 percent in 2013. This is great news, considering that there are more cyclists on the road today than ever before. Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, however, and accidents with injuries are common. If you should get injured in a motorcycle accident, these steps will help you resolve the issues in a satisfactory manner.
Be Sufficiently Insured
Having the right insurance is vital to protecting yourself after an accident. Insurance requirements vary from one state to another. The Insurance Information Institute provides a comprehensive guide on what types of insurance are available for motorcyclists. You must meet the minimum requirements for insurance in the state where the accident occurs, regardless of the laws in your state of origin. Notifying your insurance company is the first thing to do after the police arrive.
Get Medical Help Immediately
DMV.org, a driver information website, states that a delay in getting proper medical attention can hurt your case. Your injuries may seem trivial immediately after the accident, but you should seek professional medical assistance right away. Some types of injuries, such as concussions, may not be obvious right away, but turn out to be devastating hours or days later. Your best protection is to go to an emergency room immediately after the incident for a complete examination.
Witnesses and Photos
Make a list of witnesses and how each one can be contacted later. If possible take photographs of the accident scene and conditions. Look around the area and identify any security cameras that may have captured the event as it happened. The more you are able to document what happened, the better your case will be if it goes to court.
Protect Your Rights
Contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Do not discuss the details of the accident with others at the scene. Avoid the temptation to confront the other driver because your actions and statements can be used against you. Limit your contact with other people to making sure that everyone is okay and exchanging insurance information. Getting a police report on file is essential, and you should never leave the scene of an accident until an officer has told you it is okay to do so. This may not be possible in the event of serious injuries, in which case your statement can be taken at the hospital.
Keep Accurate Records
Document any treatments or medications you are given for your injuries. Keep track of all correspondence with insurance companies, law enforcement, or medical professionals. Keep a journal of your recovery process. If you are not sure whether a specific item is connected to the accident, document it anyway.
Hopefully, you will never need to follow these helpful steps. For most motorcyclists, accidents are a constant fear but a rare occurrence. The important thing is to make sure you know what to do if the unthinkable happens, and how to protect your rights.