There are a few things you may not be thinking about right after you are involved in a motorcycle crash. I recommend to my biking friends and clients to print this page and put it in their saddle bag. I recommend this because if you are injured probably the last thing you are thinking about is taking pictures--but your friends can.
Here is what you need to do to make sure your case for damages is better prepared.
1: Make Sure Everyone is Safe
Get out of the roadway or downed power lines. Alert other traffic coming down the road. Survey and take the necessary precautions to make sure you do not get injured more or you can render help with getting hurt yourself. Then engage in first aid if you
2: Render First Aid
Whether trained or not you know the basics. ABCD bothers and sisters--airway, breathing, circulation, deadly bleeding. Make sure the injured person is breathing and if not start arterial breathing. Do they have a pule - if not, start chest compressions. Is there bleeding - apply pressure, preferably with a clean cloth but use your hand if there is nothing else. Always, always, always have somebody call EMS.
3: Collect Information
Once the injured person or persons are being cared for and EMS has been called start gathering information. Get the name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license numbers for all drivers. Take a photo of the vehicles, and write down the license plate numbers, car make and models, and a description of any vehicles involved in the accident.
You might also want to draw a rough map of what happened and write down your immediate thoughts about how the crash occurred.
Once the police arrive give a statement and describe what happened. If the injured person is in dire straights and the ambulance people are looking after him gather as much information as you can. This includes the driver exchange forms from the police--at least get the case number, the name o the officer and maybe his badge number or contact information.
4: Gather Other Information
Make sure you have the answers these questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Include such things as the road conditions, speed limits, weather, lighting, the direction of travel any vehicles involved.
When taking pictures make sure you are not too close so that there is perspective in the picture. For example, if you are taking a picture of a fender of car start from some distance so you can determine which fender it is, then get closer and take more pics.
People that witness the crash are always important. We recommend that you do a little interview and record the conversation or better yet video the conversation as you ask them what they witnesses. If you cannot record the conversation at least get them to write down what they saw.
Do not forget to get their contact information in case you or your lawyer need to interview them later.
6: Admit Fault - NEVER!
First of all, simply blurting out that you are responsible for the crash, even if you think you are, you may be wrong. We once had a case where our client went through a red light. The light was red but there was a malfunction on the timing of the street lights and all were red. As it turned out the city knew the lights were malfunctioning and were tardy in fixing them.
7: Get a Lawyer
I know, you were probably expecting this - right? Look, insurance companies have teams of lawyers working for them trying to minimize your injuries from the get-go or worse, blame you for the crash when you are innocent. Shouldn't you have a lawyer on your side?
Utah Bike Law is a motorcycle injury law firm and its lawyers who ride are dedicated to representing injured motorcycle riders and their families. If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle crash anywhere in the United States we invite you to call for a free confidential consultation. There is no obligation and you are not charged any fees whatsoever unless we recover money for you.