Riding a motorcycle is unlike anything else. It’s undeniably bad-ass, utterly freeing, and just plain fun. Plus, not just anyone can do it—riding requires a certain physical and mental skill set that’s not needed when operating a four-wheeled, perfectly balanced vehicle.
And speaking of balance—you can’t have all the excitement of a bike without assuming a little risk. Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous, and a motorcycle accident isn’t out of the question, no matter how cautious you are. The Insurance Information Institute cites 82,000 reported injuries in 2018 and 4,985 fatalities, all from crashes.
If this situation were to happen to you, are you prepared? A plan of action can keep you protected, legally and otherwise, among other things.
Keep reading to be an informed rider.
1. First and Foremost—Call 911
This step is one of the most important ones and should be done regardless of the severity of the accident. Even minor accidents benefit from having a police record on file.
Why? In some cases, injuries don’t reveal themselves right away (thanks to a little thing called adrenaline), and you might realize you’ve suffered an injury that needs medical care—and the motorcycle accident wasn’t even your fault. If you let the other person leave the scene, your options are severely limited.
It’s also a good way to protect yourself, should the other person want to sue you for any reason.
Of course, it’s especially necessary to call 911 if any party needs immediate medical attention and/or assistance moving off the road.
2. Document Everything
In step three, we discuss getting an attorney. Step two involves collecting documentation from the scene of the accident, which will significantly benefit you should you need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer.
If you have a smartphone with you, take photos—of the scene, any injuries, the state of your vehicle, and the other drivers’. Record the street name and location, time of day, and even the weather (which could influence the situation). It’s also important to gather contact information from the other driver.
Step one—calling 911—means a police officer will likely arrive on the scene, and you can prepare an official police report through them that contains this information.
3. Obtain a Motorcycle Accident Attorney If Necessary
In the unfortunate event that your motorcycle accident requires legal help, it’s important to hire a lawyer sooner than later. Doing so expeditiously, and even before the other party, makes for a swifter resolution—and keeps you within the statute of limitations, depending on your state. If the other driver caused the accident, and it caused you bodily harm or body damage to your bike, this step might be necessary.
Not sure when you need one?
Have a consultation with a local firm and review whether you have a case. Many lawyers do free consultations, and some even forgo payment until they win your case. Prepare a list of questions about these fees and logistics and bring them to a potential attorney before hiring them.
Don’t Let a Crash Wreck You
Instead, have a plan of action.
Know who to call—from your attorney to your doctor—what to say, and what actions to take—before you get into an accident. As we’ve outlined, being prepared ahead of time can save you a lot of hassle.
Our page is full of other advice like this for all kinds of drivers and riders. Keep scrolling for more—and ride safely!