Motorcycles remain a popular mode of transportation, but riders are also prone to deadly accidents, especially on major highways. Unfortunately, bike accidents are rising in number. Many states in the US have recently seen record-high numbers of fatalities and injuries in these crashes, especially in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Colorado. Data shows that motorcycle fatalities in Colorado reached their highest level (149) on record in 2022; a cause of concern for bikers.
In case you get caught in a bike accident, here’s what you should do:
- Ensure your safety first
Make sure you’re out of harm’s way. Move away from the traffic and assess your injuries. But don’t move your bike from the crash site and avoid removing your gear until paramedics arrive. That’s because removing your helmet may worsen your injuries. Avoid retrieving the broken pieces of your motorcycle as well. Just limit your movement until the authorities arrive at the crash site.
- Contact a lawyer
It’s not easy to get justice after being in a motorcycle accident. The offending party may blame you for the whole fiasco and refuse to pay a dime in compensation. Also, negotiating with the police, the other party’s lawyers and the insurance companies can be a headache for a layperson.
That’s why bikers in Colorado should hire experienced accident attorneys to take on their lawsuits. Consider Ride Justice, a law firm serving motorcyclists for the past 25+ years in Colorado. Remember that Ride Justice supports bikers in Colorado – even if you’re just passing through the state. They’ve won millions on behalf of their clients who were injured by negligent drivers on Colorado highways.
- Call emergency services
Call emergency services (or have someone else call them) whenever it’s safe. When you come out of the shock of the accident, dial 911 and help will arrive soon at the crash site. Usually, people who witness an accident suffer from the bystander effect; they freeze when an accident occurs nearby. So, you have to signal them to come and rescue you or call emergency services.
- Seek medical attention
Motorcycle accidents can be a terrifying experience. Many riders sustain serious injuries and even face long-term health risks. Data shows that more than $82,500 motorcyclists sustained injuries in 2020 in different roadside accidents. So, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Even if you think there’s nothing wrong with you, get a thorough checkup; let a doctor evaluate your injuries and decide how long it’ll take you to recover.
- Take pictures of the site
Assess the situation mentally and check if you’re capable of gathering evidence or not. Bikers will suffer from physical and emotional shock after being in a crash. The emotional shock manifests after all that adrenaline begins to drop, so you feel agitated or distressed and start trembling. The physical or hypovolemic shock will appear in the form of rapid breathing and nausea or vomiting.
The moment you overcome this shock, take a few pictures of the crash site. Document your wounds. Capture some photographs of your bike as well to strengthen your insurance claim.
- Gather relevant evidence
Gather evidence from the crash site once you’re well and moving. You should also talk to witnesses; some of them may corroborate your version of how it all went down. Take their contact information if they’re willing to testify. Most importantly, exchange information with the other party if they’re up to it. However, don’t force the other party to share their contact details with you. Ask them for their insurance information. If they’re not cooperating, then let your lawyers deal with their lawyers in the future.
- Cooperate with authorities
When the police arrive, cooperate with them and answer their questions accurately. Try to get a copy of the police report from them; it will make your insurance claim even stronger.
There’s nothing wrong with describing your version of the accident in front of cops. However, you shouldn’t admit fault or agree that you were responsible for the crash right away. But do hand over any pics or videos that you’re recorded of the incident to the police for their investigations.
- Avoid useless statements
Don’t admit guilt with other parties or issue any unnecessary statements. Even talking to the insurance guys without a lawyer present can harm your lawsuit. You shouldn’t even talk about the crash online.
That’s why you should stay away from social media for a while too. Don’t post anything on Facebook; the insurance people will use these posts against you.
- Keep detailed records
Strengthen your claim for compensation by keeping detailed records of your injuries, treatment, lost wages, and other damage. Document your living expenses and the cost of post-crash rehabilitation to make a strong case against the offending party. This evidence will allow your lawyer to negotiate maximum compensation for your losses.
Save all receipts from now on and, if possible, keep a journal where you’ll write down your daily routines. Journaling is a great way to document your sufferings and the fallout of a bike accident.
- Inform the insurance guys
Report the accident to your insurance company and provide accurate details. But don’t admit fault or incriminate yourself; otherwise, they will use your word against you and avoid paying.
Understand the legal timeframe in which you should claim compensation, i.e., the statute of limitations after which you won’t be able to seek justice. You have to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires. Talk to your lawyer and learn how many years you have after the bike crash to file a lawsuit.
Follow the instructions mentioned in this blog to navigate the aftermath of a bike accident. Ensure your safety, avoid moving the bike from the crash site, call the police immediately, and contact your lawyers ASAP too. Gather relevant evidence from the crash site, avoid using social media for a while, and file a claim before the statute of limitations expires. Your lawyers will help you navigate this whole process successfully.