So you were just in a motorcycle accident, what do you do now? It can be a scary experience, especially if this is your first accident while riding. First, try to stay calm and take the situation step-by-step.
Seek Medical Assistance
Once you make sure you’re calm and collected, then check yourself for any injuries. Some injuries will be obvious, but others can hidden or obscured by the rush of adrenaline that kicks in during and after an accident. Even if you feel no pain, you’ll want to visually inspect yourself, because you may not feel pain until much later when you’ve completely settled down. If in doubt, call 911 and have a medical professional check you out. Once you know you’re not injured, check with anyone who was riding on your backseat as well as any other people in other vehicles that were involved in the accident.
Assess the Damage
If your motorcycle, or any other vehicle in the accident, was damaged substantially you should also call the police. Many states require accidents that involve major damage to be reported, and your insurance company may also want a police report. The authorities can also help sort out who is at fault, collect any relevant evidence, and help deescalate any disagreements between the parties involved.
If you are at fault, or don’t know if you are at fault, also consider if you should hire an attorney. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. So, you do not have to answer any questions that the police ask, if you don’t want to. Of course, telling the police you don’t want to answer questions and that you want an attorney, is likely going to raise some eyebrows and complicate the process, but you should know that it is your right and an option. Even if you don’t want or need an lawyer to help defend yourself, you should consider hiring a motorcycle accident attorney to make sure you get all of the monetary reimbursement that you deserve.
Make sure to exchange photos of each party’s driver’s license and insurance card. Before you get started, if it’s safe, you should also move the vehicles off the road so that traffic can continue to flow and no one gets injured further by a passing motorist or biker. If the police are on scene, they will help with this process, and will likely collect each person’s information and a statement as well. Use your cellphone to take pictures of every vehicle involved, making especially sure to include shots of all damage and the license plates.
Get Your Bike Fixed
If the other party was at fault, their insurance should cover your medical bills and the cost to repair your motorcycle. If you were at fault and you have motorcycle insurance, you should report the accident to them, and they will help you with the next steps to getting your motorcycle fixed. If neither of those apply, unfortunately you’ll likely be responsible for any costs you incur fixing or replacing your bike. Regardless of who is paying, make sure you seek out a reputable repair facility. The last thing you want it subpar repairs on your motorcycle, because this can put your life in danger when you ride in the future. An authorizing motorcycle dealer is always a good first stop, but they will also not be your cheapest option. Look for other mechanics or repair shows with good reviews or that someone else can vouch for.