Thousands of motorcycles accidents occur in the US every year. In fortunate cases, only the vehicle and some personal property may be partially damaged or even untouched. Some accidents are minor, and both parties can drive away after properly documenting what happened.
But in the unfortunate event that you do experience a devastating motorcycle accident, it’s important not to panic. Knowing what steps to take after an accident is crucial to staying safe and protecting your interests in the heat of the moment.
The most urgent step to take after a motorcycle accident is to seek medical care if necessary. Determine the extent of the damage, and be sure neither party needs urgent medical assistance. Take your time and assess how you feel. In 2018, 3,463 people in California died in motor vehicle accidents and many more suffered severe injuries. Brain injuries and concussions can vary in severity, so it’s important to be positive you don’t need to go to the hospital. As with any situation, “better safe than sorry” is a good rule of thumb. If you accrue any medical expenses resulting from a no-fault accident, you may be entitled to compensation for hospital costs, wages lost, and any future medical care that’s deemed necessary.
If You’ve Been in a Motorcycle Accident, Stop and Get to Safety
If there are no pressing medical injuries, the first thing to do is stop. Remain calm and present. Never leave the scene of the accident, even briefly. Regardless of how minor the damage may seem, stay present. If you leave the location of the accident you may face criminal penalties, regardless of which party was at fault. Stopping after an accident and properly documenting the situation is a legal obligation.
Stopping involves moving to safety. Stay at the scene of the accident but be sure to take steps to keep others on the road safe. Keep your headlights on, if possible, and stand far away from any traffic. This can prevent other accidents and be sure that other drivers are aware of what’s happened. It’s smart to keep a flashlight in your glove compartment, in case the damage to your car prevents your headlights from working.
Always exchange contact information with the other party involved. Do not admit any fault and limit your conversation about what happened. Document the crash as best as possible with photos of the damage and any injuries sustained. Take well-lit pictures from multiple angles to demonstrate any damage done to your vehicle. If there is any inclement weather such as snow, ice, or torrential rain, take photographs of any conditions that could have contributed to the accident happening. Take pictures of any street signs that dictate the speed, such a speed limit signs, signs to reduce speed, or even school zone signs.
After taking adequate pictures, be sure to document eye witness testimonies and collect any possible contact information from witnesses on the scene. The more reliable witness accounts available, the easier it will be to prove the fault of the other party in court.
As with any motorcycle accident, call the police and file a report. It’s best to have thorough documentation of the events so that you can advocate for your innocence in court. Our team of Costa Mesa personal injury lawyers are accustomed to the many variables of car and motorcycle accident cases, and with a solid set of evidence, can help demonstrate the liability of the other party in court.