The most pressing concern is always your own safety and the safety of others involved in the motorcycle accident. You should always make sure that everyone involved gets immediate medical treatment if necessary. Another concern that is commonly overlooked is the evidence or information that is gathered at the accident scene. This information or evidence will have a large impact on the outcome of any legal claim resulting from the crash. Following an accident, it is easy to make mistakes and forget to note critical information. Most people don’t carefully detail the accident scene and it ends up hurting their lawsuit. Make sure you aren’t caught off guard directly after a motorcycle accident and hurt the chances of your financial recovery. Our skilled attorneys at The Clark Law Office have put together a list of basic suggestions about what you should do following a motorcycle accident.
- Secure The Scene of The Accident
- Gather Critical Information From All Involved
- Find and Identify Any Witnesses
- Making a Statement To Police
- Take Pictures and Note Anything Relevant
- When You Can Safely Leave The Scene
- When To Notify Your Insurance Company
- Insurance Claims
Secure The Scene of The Accident
If you do not require immediate medical attention, you should remain at the scene of the motorcycle accident and help others involved if you are capable. If nobody has done so already, you should contact the authorities for both an ambulance and for the police. If the accident is stopping or slowing traffic, you should try to notify all oncoming traffic with safety hazard lights or even flares if available.
Gather Critical Information From All Involved
Now you should start to gather as much information from the other people involved in the accident. Make sure you write down ALL of the names, street addresses, and phone numbers. You should also collect information about the vehicles and their corresponding insurance. Get the vehicle model and make, license plate number, registration numbers, and the insurance carrier and policy # from their proof of insurance. Take your time during this stage as it can be easy to overlook details considering that you’ve just been through a traumatic event.
Find and Identify Any Witnesses
It’s very important to also collect information from ALL potential witnesses. Make sure you obtain their names, phone numbers, and addresses for all witnesses at the accident scene and also attempt to obtain their written statements regarding what they saw.
Making a Statement To Police
You must be cautious here. Do not discuss any elements of the accident besides for the law enforcement officer that is investigating the crash. While you should speak to the officer, you should never admit any liability and ask to speak to an attorney first. You must remember that any statement that you make here can be used against you in a court of law. For this reason, stick to the basic facts and let the future investigation determine what happened and who is at fault. If you have any doubt whatsoever just tell them you would like to speak to an attorney. Make sure you also note the name of the officer along with his/her contact information so that you can easily have access to a police report. Do not make any statements to anybody but the police officer and don’t admit liability. Call an attorney before making any statements.
Take Pictures and Note Anything Relevant
These notes and pictures are for you own benefit so you should write down everything you remember. It’s best to do this immediately following the accident as the events are still fresh in your mind. Essentially recreate the accident from the beginning. Where did it occur? How did it occur? What is a left turn collision? What is it a head-on collision? Was there an unsafe lane change or failure to yield? What were the weather conditions? Was it dark out? What was the speed limit? Was there much traffic? Were you wearing a helmet? It’s also very helpful to take photographs of the scene for your own record. If you have a smartphone with a camera just take as many photos as you can. Get pictures and video footage of both vehicles, skid marks, the position of the vehicles, and anything else that might become an issue when potentially filing a lawsuit. It’s also important to note that you should NOT post any of the media gathered on social media or the “cloud”. Keep this files in your own possession and keep them in a secure location.
When You Can Safely Leave The Scene
If you have determined that you do require medical attention, remain at the scene as long as possible. You can assist others at the scene and continue to gather more information, pictures, and footage. At this point you have already notified authorities for medical treatment and police for an accident report. You have also secured the scene and gathered valuable information. Once you confirmed w/ police that you are free to go and gathered all necessary information from drivers and witnesses you can leave. You should always go to see your doctor following an accident even if you feel fine. Many injuries may take some time to become apparent and in many instances adrenaline levels can also cover up many injuries in the short term.
When To Notify Your Insurance Company
You should immediately notify your insurance company of the accident. You should also document and take record of your notification. Some insurance companies can deny your claim if you do not notify your insurance company. Make sure that you do not make any statements to your insurance company regarding the accident. You should always talk to one of our attorneys at The Clark Law Office before making any statements.
Michigan has no-fault insurance law, but motorcycles are specifically excluded as a “Motor-Vehicle” under the Michigan No-Fault Law. Because of this exclusion, motorcycles are unable to purchase a normal no-fault auto insurance policy. Instead, motorcyclists are only required to purchase minimal liability coverage. The payout of motorcycle claims is largely determined if the motorcycle was in an auto accident with another INSURED “Motor-Vehicle”. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and need help receiving financial compensation, call our experienced motorcycle attorneys at (517) 347-6900 for a free consultation.