Chances are, you’re an experienced rider. You know how to stay safe on the road. But you also know that what happens on the road isn’t up to you—unaware or distracted drivers are a major concern, but so are weather conditions, debris and trash that fall out of vehicles, and so much more. Defensive driving is everything . . . but sometimes it’s not enough.
When a motorcyclist like you ends up in an accident, they often find that they’re still on the defensive. The other driver might say that the motorcyclist appeared out of nowhere, or a police officer responding after the accident may be ready to believe that a motorcyclist was being irresponsible. Insurance companies also consider motorcyclists at fault before they’ve heard or seen any evidence. It’s not fair. But it is a scenario you’re likely to face.
Here’s what NOT to do when that happens:
1. This is NOT the time to figure out what type of insurance you have.
Let’s be honest—most of us don’t recall what type of insurance we bought. We know we’d need something that would cover us in case the worst happened. But we’re all also likely to try to spend less of our hard-earned money on something we’re actively trying to avoid.
Before you hop back on your bike this new season, make sure to double-check your insurance coverage. Maybe you’ll want to step up what you already have—it’s often a fairly low price for a lot more coverage. If you’re confident that what you already have is enough, then the next step is to check your deductible so that you know how much is going to come out of your pocket in the event of a motorcycle crash.
2. Do NOT leave the scene until you have ALL critical information.
So you are late to work or whatever. It’s critical you get as much information at the scene as possible. Witness information, telephone numbers, other driver information, pictures of the vehicles, where they came to a stop, driver’s license, insurance cards etc. Protect yourself by gathering this information before you leave the scene. You’re the only one that can speak up for your side of the accident. Once you leave, it may be impossible to get this information again. If you think you’re treated unfairly, we here at the BikerLawyer.com are here to help you in any situation.
3. Do NOT forget to record witness information.
After a crash, someone may stop to help. Take them up on it. Ask if they saw it, where they were, what they saw and if helpful, record it by using your cell phone. Ask for name, address, cell number and email. If able, photograph their driver’s license and car license. Eye-witness accounts are just one piece of a puzzle in making sure you get a fair shake.
4. Do NOT wait to take pictures.
Accidents often have to move out of the flow of traffic. If you are uninjured and are able to walk, make sure to take pictures as soon as possible—especially if the vehicles have to move. Here’s what you need to capture ASAP:
- Skid marks
- Impact points on your motorcycle and on the other vehicle
- The street where the accident took place
- Drivers licenses
- Insurance cards
And take pictures of anything else that may be important to remember exactly as it stands.
5. Do NOT forget to call your insurance.
Motorcycle crashes can leave you rattled. You can easily forget details about the accident, and you can forget to follow up after the accident in the right ways. That’s why you need to remember to call your insurance and make your own claim and statement.
Your insurance’s job is to help you. Unfortunately, they aren’t always as helpful as they should be. Most of the time, even your own insurance will likely try to offer you less than you are owed. So make your claim, but if you have any questions about whether or not you’re getting a fair payment, just call the Biker Lawyer. We’ll tell you if you’re getting what you’re owed.
6. Do NOT forget to record statements made about you, and by you.
Listen, many cases revolve around how much you can get recorded. If someone is making a statement about you, record it. When you give your statement to the police officer, record it. You never when something significant is said or done, so get as much information as you can to keep yourself safe.
We hope you never need a motorcycle lawyer—but when you do, you need someone who understands what it’s like to ride and how to defend a rider like you. Even if the police report says you’re at fault, give us a call. Even if you got in an accident a year and a half ago, give us a call. We’ll make sure that the right thing is done the right way.