What To Do If You Are Involved In A Motorcycle Wreck

By John Fabry

If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in a motorcycle wreck, your adrenaline level will probably shoot up and you may be angry at somebody for causing the wreck. There is also a good chance you will be hurt and might not be thinking clearly. Most riders would rather not think about crashing. However, a little bit of knowledge and planning now could help you avoid a lot of problems later.

Protect Your Health
The number one concern after a motorcycle wreck is protecting your health and the health of everyone else involved. Call 911 for an ambulance if there is any doubt that you or anyone else involved in the crash has anything other than very minor injures. If you are unable to make the call yourself, ask someone at the scene to call for you. Even if you believe that your injuries are minor, it is a good idea to be checked out by a doctor within 24 hours of the wreck. All the adrenaline pumping through your system can cloud your judgment and prevent you from immediately recognizing an injury. If you check out fine, that is good news. If not, your doctor can recommend and initiate proper treatment right away. Some injuries and symptoms can become worse if they do not receive proper treatment in their initial stages.

Gather Information
Do you have a pencil and paper stashed somewhere on your motorcycle? If not, you should make sure you do before your next ride. Write down the name, address, and business, home and cell phone numbers of every person who was either involved in or witnessed the wreck. Do not wait for the police to arrive to get this information. People who have caused a wreck sometimes flee. Witnesses can leave the scene before the police arrive. If you are unable to get the information yourself, ask someone at the scene to help you.

Verify the Police Report Is Accurate
The police have a difficult job when arriving at the scene of a wreck. They have a number of things to do, including taking statements from those involved in the wreck as well as any witnesses. You need to be sure that the police officer records your statement correctly. You should check the police report for mistakes, including the exact location of the wreck and any sketch of the scene included in the report, after it is finished. If you find errors in the police report, it is usually a good idea to contact the police agency immediately and file a supplemental report with corrections.

Preserve Evidence
You should photograph all damage to your motorcycle and gear, visible injuries, and the scene of the wreck as soon as possible. This includes skid and scrape marks on the pavement. The photographs are important for documenting damage as well as reconstructing how the wreck occurred.

Who You Should Talk with After a Wreck
Insurance companies often will try to take a recorded statement as soon as possible after a wreck. At that time, you might be in pain or taking medication that prevents you from thinking clearly. Whatever you say in that statement can be used against you if you make a claim later. If you believe that another driver may be responsible for causing your wreck, and you intend to make a claim against the driver through an attorney, we generally advise that you not speak directly with that driver’s insurance company.

You should, however, notify your own insurance company. This is particularly important if you will be making a claim under your own policy for the damage to your motorcycle, or an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. If you do not notify your own insurance company allowing it sufficient notice to investigate the wreck, you might have problems settling your claims later.

Share this Information with your Friends
Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries when involved in a wreck. You might be injured or unconscious following a crash and unable to do the things suggested in this article for yourself. However, if the friends you ride with have this information, they will know what to do to protect your interests in the event of a wreck.

Claims
We at Bailey & Galyen know that most motorcycle operators are responsible, cautious individuals. Riders know that in any collision with another motor vehicle, the biker usually is the one most severely injured. Consequently, they make an extra effort to ride safely. Even when the rider is not at fault, though, he or she pays the price. If you have been involved in a motorcycle wreck and need help deciding whether to pursue a claim, please call us. Calling Bailey & Galyen to discuss your situation does not obligate you to hire the firm. If you decide to hire an attorney to help you pursue your claim, our last piece of advice is to hire an attorney who actually rides motorcycles. I ride. In conclusion, I hope that you never need any of the advice in this article.

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