Right after a motorcycle accident it is hard to know what to do. This motorcycle accident might be the first accident you have ever been involved in or the first in which you have ever been injured. As a motorcycle accident lawyer, I represent injured motorcycle riders across North Carolina regarding their claims with the insurance company of the driver at fault. When I say claims, I am talking about a motorcycle rider’s injury claim, their property damage claim for motorcycle repairs or the total loss of their motorcycle, and their property damage claim for their damage/destroyed personal property (e.g. helmet, motorcycle jacket, motorcycle gloves, boots, etc.). Before a motorcyclist ever has a chance to give me a call after their accident, there are some things that a motorcyclist can do to help with their case. There are also things that a motorcyclist should avoid doing, so as not to actually hurt their case. In this post and in a couple to follow, I am going to talk about what a motorcyclist should or shouldn’t do prior to talking to a lawyer about their motorcycle accident. In this post, I am going to focus on the scene of the accident.
Scene of the Motorcycle Accident
If you have just been involved in a motorcycle accident, your medical condition is the most important thing to keep in mind while you are still at the scene. If you are injured then some of what I discuss below will not be possible for you to do at the scene of your accident, and that’s fine because, again, your medical condition in the first priority. The following are my suggestions as to what to do/not do at the scene of your accident:
– Call the police – It is always advisable to call the police if there has been any type of accident, whether it be motorcycle, scooter, car, truck, bicycle, pedestrian, etc. Even if the other driver is begging you not to call the police and they simply want to exchange information, I urge you to resist their pleas. The investigating officer will be able to document a lot of information in the official accident report that could be helpful in proving to the insurance company of the other driver that their driver was indeed at fault in the accident.
– Do not move vehicles from where they land after impact – I understand that there are situations that may require vehicles to be moved for safety reasons. If that is not the case, however, please leave the vehicles at the location where they came to rest because that could help with the investigating officer’s determination of which driver was responsible for the accident.
– If you must move the vehicles prior to the law enforcement coming to the scene, take photographs of the location of the vehicles.
– Get the names and telephone numbers of any and all witnesses, even if you see law enforcement talking to these individuals. I discuss this issue in more detail in an earlier blog post titled “Get the Names of Those Witnesses to Your Accident.”
– Explain to the investigating officer how you have been injured. The investigating officer will indicate on the accident report if an individual has been injured in the accident, and it is important to an insurance company if an individual is reporting an injury at the scene.
– Photograph any injuries.
– When talking to the investigating officer, do not guess/speculate about how the collision occurred – In other words, don’t guess/speculate to the investigating officer about your speed, the other driver’s speed, etc. Only tell the investigating officer information that you are certain about.
Please note that all of the suggestions listed above would also apply if you have been involved in a car accident, truck accident, scooter accident, bicycle accident, or pedestrian accident. In the next post, I will give suggestions about what a motorcyclist should do or avoid doing if they are transported from the scene to the emergency room.
Gary Poole – North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyer “On the Side of Those Who Ride”