If you’re a motorcycle rider, you understand the thrill of the wind pressing against your body, the roar of the engine, and the feeling of freedom that comes with riding the open road. But you also undoubtedly know that motorcycle riders are significantly more at risk of injury and death than other drivers. Motorcycles are harder for other drivers to see, and motorcycle riders have almost no protection in the event of a collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015, 88,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries, and motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to be killed in traffic collisions than drivers and passengers of enclosed vehicles.
On top of this, motorcycle riders face significant prejudice when it comes to receiving help after an accident. There is a prevailing attitude that motorcycle riders are asking to be injured and that they are less worthy of medical and legal help when they are hurt or have their property damaged. For these reasons it is especially important that riders do everything they can to ensure the best possible outcome after an accident. Here are seven important steps you should take after a motorcycle accident to protect your rights, and get the compensation that you may be entitled to.
1. Make thorough notes about the scene and the and cause of the accident. Details such as the directions each driver came from, anything that indicates who had the right of way and who didn’t. List injuries and damaged property. Make special notice of anything that may indicate who is at fault. Hopefully, it isn’t you!
2. Record any statement admitting guilt from the other driver. Record statements with an electronic device if possible. Remember that the other driver may change his mind, even if he admits guilt on the scene.
3. Do not attempt to repair any of your protective equipment such as your helmet, gloves, jacket and so on. Replace these items if you must, but leave the things you wore during the motorcycle accident in the condition they were in after the crash. This can be important physical evidence that will help you to get the compensation you need.
4. If you were involved in an accident where surveillance cameras are likely to have recorded the indecent, make a note of the location and direction the cameras were facing. This information can reveal important clues about the facts of the collision. It is difficult to argue with video evidence, and if you are in the right, it will be a great benefit to your case. Don’t forget that anyone recording the event on cell phones can also provide equally valuable information. You should try to get the contact information for anyone who took video of the accident.
5. Be sue to call the authorities- not necessarily to get the other driver in trouble- but because police will make detailed records of the accident which you will be able to request copies of after the fact. You should collect police reports and medical reports as soon as they are available.
6. Take still photos as well as video of the scene. A video is good, but a clear and still image of a critical piece of evidence can be twice as powerful as video in some cases. So after you shoot some video, take the time to get the best still images you can of all the damaged property, skid marks on the road, pertinent street signs and so on.
7. Take statements from all of the witnesses who are willing to give them. As mentioned, you should get their contact information so that they can be contacted by the court or your attorney should they have a valuable testimony for your case. Taking a statement from them on the scene will tell the police, the court, and your legal representative whether or not pursuing further testimony from them would be worthwhile.
Having done all of this, should you be entitled to any compensation for your losses due to another driver’s negligence, you will stand a very good chance of collecting what you are owed. Finally, securing legal representation is an important step to getting the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you love has been in a motorcycle accident, take all of the steps listed above to ensure that justice is done and contact the personal injury attorneys at GOM Law for your free consultation and to find out what your rights are after a motorcycle accident.