Preparation is necessary my friends. If you know what to do when in a motorcycle crash it will go a long way in helping your motorcycle lawyer help you. Read the below and become one with what you need to do (and not do) when in a motorcycle accident – if you know it chances are you may never need it!
1 – ASSESS THE DAMAGE
First of all make sure you are safe. That means slowly make sure you have the capacity to move – do your arms and legs work, do you know where you are, can you move without injury.
Look about and survey the scene. Can you make it to the side of the road safely? Do not stand between vehicles because if there is another crash you will probably get severely injured. If you can make it to the side of the road safely, do so.
Be very careful if there are any electrical lines down on the road. If you are surrounded by downed electrical lines stay still. Once EMS arrives they will safely extricate you from the wires.
If there is gasoline on the road and you are lying in it do not freak out. If you can move out of the fuel do so but move carefully.
If others are injured make sure you are all right first before helping them. If they are surrounded by live wires leave them there and caution them not to move until help arrives. If you can help, provide first aid type of care. Keep people still to avoid spinal injury. If bleeding profusely apply pressure to the wounds. Enlist the help of other bystanders to control traffic and make sure 911 has been called. Call 911 if no one else has.
2 – GET PICTURES – LOTS OF PICTURES (and/or video)
If in doubt whether you have enough pictures get some more. You need pictures of everything and everyone. Here is checklist:
- Lots of pictures of your damaged motorcycle. Consider a video walking around your motorcycle describing the damages.
- Lots of pictures of your damages property with the scene of the crash in the background.
- Pictures of the damage to the other vehicle or vehicles including their tires, windshield, their license plates, and the inside cabin of the car.
- Take pictures of everyone involved – the other driver, you (and your injuries), the police officer(s), the ambulance personnel, bystanders. Consider a video of any witness asking them to describe what happened.
- If you have injuries to your left leg get pictures comparing both legs together. Comparing injured extremities to those uninjured is an easy way to prove your injuries.
- Try to get pictures of the scene of the crash. Get some perspective in the pictures. For example, take a bunch of pictures or a video approaching the point of impact from your perspective and the other driver's.
- If there is construction in the area or bushes or trees that obstructed sight make sure to get pictures of these barriers as well.
- If there are traffic lights at the scene of the accident take a video of the sequences from both your perspective and that of the other driver.
Do not share the pictures with anyone but your attorney!
3 – CREATE A DIAGRAM
Get a piece of paper from the officer or someone and diagram the scene of the crash. Start with the directions; North, South, East, and West. Then draw the streets labeling the lanes; #1 is usually the curb lane, #2 is the next lane moving in toward the middle, etc.
If there are skid marks make sure you get pictures of them and place them on the diagram. If you think of it, pace out the length of the skid marks and write the distance on the diagram.
Do not share the diagram with anyone except your attorney!
4 – GATHER INFORMATION
If the police respond they will get the information of all involved and provide you with a “Driver Exchange Form.” It is important to keep this form because it has vital information on it.
If there are no personal injuries and the wreck is minor the police may not respond. In this case speak with the other driver(s) and get their information including:
- Their name.
- Their address.
- Their phone number.
- The make and model of their vehicle.
- Their driver license number and their license plate number.
- Their insurance information – their insurer, policy number, their agent.
A little trick to make sure they are giving you truthful information is to read back the phone number and purposely misstate one number. If they correct you chances are they gave you the truth otherwise they could be lying.
5 – THE AFTERMATH
Make sure to report the crash to your own insurance company but decline to give them a recorded statement. Ask them about your coverage asking specifically whether you have (1) med pay, (2) collision coverage (and how much), (3) underinsured coverage (and how much), (4) question them about the storage and repair (or write-off) of your motorcycle (and whether you have gap coverage).
Keep a record of all of the expenses that have been incurred due to the accident, including towing fees, repair costs, doctor visits, and rental charges for another vehicle that you have to use because your motorcycle is being repaired, as well as any time that had been missed from work because of the accident.
Do not rush to make repairs on your motorcycle until the damage has been documented, as you may be entitled to compensation for these damages.
You will receive a telephone call from the other person's insurance company. They will ask you to explain the crash “to get your side of the story” and this frankly is a ploy to get you talking. They will ask if they can record the conversation and you should decline. Insurance company adjusters are skilled in posing questions that regardless of how you answer them will be used to show that you are responsible for the crash. What you should do is simply refer them to your attorney.
Speaking of attorneys – you should contact an attorney ASAP after the crash. We need to investigate the crash quickly in order to speak with witnesses and all concerned to nail down the facts of the case. As experienced motorcycle accident lawyers we are well-versed in motorcycle laws at both the state and local levels. We are intimately familiar with Utah's personal injury laws, and we can help you recover monetary compensation for injuries such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain, loss of enjoyment of life, motorcycle damage, and other accident related costs.
Some of the most common injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents include: amputation, broken bones, neck and back injury, paralysis, skull fracture, the fracture of other bones, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury.
Other injuries may result from motorcycle accidents that do not involve other drivers and may be the result of poor roads, bad weather conditions, and poorly posted signs. In these cases, a motorcycle accident lawyer will find out which entity is responsible and present a case on your behalf.
I have been a motorcycle rider for over 30 years and have also been a registered nurse. My law practice focuses on representing injured and killed motorcycle riders and their families. We can help you with medical bills, getting your bike fixed and getting you the money you deserve from the person that caused the crash. Utah Bike Law and its attorneys are licensed to practice law only in the State of Utah and maintain offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. No attorney client relationship is established by simply visiting this website.