Statistically speaking, motorcycle riders are more likely to be injured in accidents than drivers of passenger cars. This fact should come as no surprise given that motorcycle riders have nothing but the clothes on their backs to protect against road rash, broken bones, head injuries, and fatalities. Even the most careful rider can wind up being involved in an accident as a result of another driver’s lack of attention, so everyone that hops aboard a motorcycle, whether it’s for the first time or the 100th, should know what to do if an accident occurs.
1. Move to a Safe Place
The first thing to do after being injured on a motorcycle is to assess the surroundings and, if necessary, move out of the way of traffic and other dangers. Next, check to make sure that anyone else involved in the accident is safe. Just keep in mind that people with suspected back or neck injuries should not be moved until first responders arrive.
2. Leave on Protective Gear
After a crash, even the most level-headed motorcycle rider will feel the adrenaline pumping, and many people even go into shock. Both of these physiological responses can prevent people from noticing their injuries or feeling pain. Leaving helmets and other protective gear in place until the EMTs arrive, regardless of whether accident victims are in pain, can minimize the potential of exacerbating an injury.
3. Call the Police
After making sure everyone involved is safe from further harm, it’s time to call the police. Don’t assume that a witness has already made that call. Calling 911 immediately after the accident isn’t just necessary to file a timely police report before witnesses to the accident leave; it’s also to get paramedics on the scene as quickly as possible.
4. Seek Medical Care
If paramedics arrive on the scene, injured motorcycle riders should allow themselves to be examined. In many cases, the paramedics will recommend taking an ambulance to the hospital for further care. Even if a medical professional says that it’s okay to leave the scene without going to the emergency room, motorcycle riders involved in accidents should always seek medical care as soon as possible to ensure that they don’t have internal bleeding or other hidden injuries.
5. Gather Evidence
In cases where riders are confident they have not been seriously injured, it’s worth taking a moment to gather evidence immediately after the accident. Use a phone to get pictures of the vehicles and road, take notes, speak with other involved parties and witnesses, and make arrangements to get a copy of the police report. This evidence could be helpful later in determining who was at fault.
6. Talk to a Lawyer
The best time to contact a motorcycle accident injury attorney is as soon as possible after seeking medical care. The responsible driver’s insurance company will start reaching out quickly after it becomes clear who or what caused the crash, and it’s always best to speak with a lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement. A lawyer can negotiate on behalf of the injured rider to make sure the insurance company is making a reasonable offer.
It’s impossible to prevent 100% of motorcycle accidents, which is why every rider should know what to do if he or she gets injured on the road. In addition, it’s always worth taking all appropriate safety precautions. Wear a helmet and other safety gear, check the bike for mechanical issues before each ride, and pay attention to the road.