WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
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Many of us think it’ll never happen to us or anyone we know. Well whether it is our fault or theirs, we should always be prepared. Trying to avoid an accident by driving safe is the best way to avoid it, but accidents do happen.
So what do you do after an accident?
Is everyone okay? The first thing you need to do is ensure that everyone is okay physically, even the car driver. Take note, that even if you think you’re fine, it might be later that you discover that you are not fine.
It’s advisable to call for medical help, unless of course it was only a small fender bender. But if you have been flung to the ground, your adrenaline is preventing you from knowing that you may have cracked a rib or elbow, or worse. Even if you had on proper riding gear, with jackets, full body armor and helmets, you might still have problems and you just don’t know it yet.
In many cases, it’s wise to call in the cops, but you need to judge the situation. If the police do show up, ask them to fill out an accident report. This will help you with your insurance company.
You can never take too many photos…
When you can, take out a camera or better yet, a smartphone that can take photos, and take several photos from different angels. The reason I say smartphone, is because most of them have a built-in GPS that records the exact spot. Handy if things go South afterwards and you end up in court. Take photos from different angels, distances and make sure you get the license plates. It also helps making photos of bystanders.
Now that you have recorded the accident spot from several angels you can ….
Clear The Road
If at all possible, move your motorcycle away from the road, and if possible, help the other vehicle off the road. Obstructions on the road are dangerous for you and other road users. Others might not be pleased with a traffic jam and seek ways to speed through, endangering you and others.
So clear the road as quickly as you can. The photos you took will help prove where all vehicles where and in what shape, so no worries there.
Exchange Contact and Insurance Info
Make sure you get the other person’s contact details, preferable from something like a driving license or ID card. Get the other person’s insurance details (hoping that they have insurance).
Write down their names, address, phone numbers, license plates and if you have witnesses, their names, addresses and phone numbers.
In many countries, you can fill out an accident form supplied by the insurance company. The form only gets filled in if both parties agree, if not, you fill out your own form.
Draw A Diagram
Whether you use a specially supplied insurance form, or just on paper, make a diagram of the accident, including names of the street. Note where each vehicle was, and where it was going.
If you do end up in court, it’s not going to be the following day, but months from now. Your memory will be hazy, so the more you have written down the better for you.
NEVER, EVER Admit Guilt
Even if it was your faulty, you never, ever, admit to it. If you do, your insurance company may (and probably will) not cover your expenses. You will be out of pocket, and the costs can be very high.
You may think it was your fault, but the insurance company’s lawyers may not. If you admit to the fault, there’s nothing they can do, so they will disown you.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As quickly as you can, preferably right after the accident, or even when you are still there, contact your insurance agent or company. Each insurance company has its own deadlines by when you need to report an accident, but the faster the better.
If you call them while you are still on the scene, they will still be able to give you instructions what you need to do.
After the Accident
If you have been knocked off your motorcycle, you may want to get on one as soon as possible. Even if your bike is badly broken and needs to be repaired, borrow/rent a bike. If you let it rest for a few days you may develop a fear that will prevent you from riding ever again. When you’ve fallen from a horse, best is to get back on one immediately. The same applies to motorcycles.
So let’s hope you never have to follow these instructions, but you never know.