Accidents occur on a daily basis. It is constantly on the news and often we witness these ourselves whilst on the road or we know someone who has had the misfortune of being involved in an accident. Road accidents are uniquely dangerous and those involved face specific potential impacts and injuries that can affect them for the long-term.
Motorcyclists are in a particularly vulnerable position when it comes to road accidents and statistics show that one-fifth of motorcyclists involved in road accidents do not survive.
Although defensive driving and being aware of hazards on the road can reduce the chances of an accident happening, we are not able to control other road users’ negligence that may lead to vehicles crashing. If you are a rider and find yourself in an accident there are a few things you should do, which we will discuss in this article.
If you become a victim in a car accident, particularly when riding a bike, negative feelings will most likely take over the situation, which is natural, thus resulting in poor thinking skills, which can further increase the risk to yourself and other road users.
This risk can grow, especially if you or the other individual involved become frustrated and decide to argue whose fault it is. For this reason, trying to remain calm is essential – this will allow you to think clearly, check your own health and the wellbeing of others and take the required steps to deal with this.
Prioritize Your Health
Being involved in an accident as a motorbike rider can be extremely dangerous, as discussed above. You are more likely to suffer more serious injuries, resulting in lifelong damage and even death. This can be a tremendously traumatizing experience leading to psychological issues. Therefore, your physical health and mental wellbeing must be a priority.
Even if you feel okay and believe that you have not sustained any injuries, you must get checked up by a health professional regardless, as accidents can cause internal damage that you are not aware of straight after the accident has occurred. These untreated injuries can potentially progress into more serious health issues. After the accident, ensure that medical support is requested at the earliest opportunity for yourself as well as others involved.
Report the Accident
Once you have ensured that everyone is well and medical care has been requested, you must take the steps in order to report the accident, so the authority, such as the local police, can deal with this. It may not appear to be of significance but reporting the incident will make its existence official, and you can use this report as evidence when liaising with insurance companies or going to court to claim personal injury compensation.
Once you have checked your wellbeing, and that of everyone else involved, contacted medical support and the local police, you should start collecting evidence of the accident and any injuries to yourself and damage to your property. However, ensure you are in a safe position to do this, as it can be dangerous especially if you are on a busy motorway.
With today’s technology, you will most likely have a smartphone with you. If you do, you can take photographs of any damage to your motorbike as well as damage to any other vehicles involved. Also, take photos of any injuries you may have sustained as a result of the accident. If you are able to, you can record videos to further emphasize the details and impacts of the accident on the property and yourself.
You can later use these photos and video recordings as evidence of the accident and the extent of the damage it has caused to the property and yourself. This can also help professionals build a timeline of how the accident occurred, which is highly important when determining whose fault it was.
Collect Witnesses’ Details and Statements
If you are on a busy road and if the accident has happened during the day, it is possible that there were other road users and/or pedestrians in the area at the time of the accident, that witnessed the incident as it occurred.
If you are able to, try to ask these individuals if they observed the accident and if they are willing to provide a statement. Make sure you get their contact details. These people can serve as witnesses and testify for you in court if required. Uninvolved third parties are a great source of evidence and reliable in court as they will be able to provide a non-biased account of what happened.
Seek Legal Representation
You may have assumed that contacting the insurance companies were going to be on top of this list, as this is a common mistake amongst those who find themselves victims of road accidents. People tend to liaise with insurance providers themselves, not realizing that they may be significantly reducing their chances of being supported as much as they expect.
By helping you financially, insurance companies are suffering financially themselves, therefore they will be difficult and create barriers in order to offer you the minimum payment possible and make you believe that is all you are entitled.
These cases can be particularly difficult when it involves motorbike riders, you can read more here if you wish to learn more about the complexities of such cases and how a lawyer may be of benefit to you. A qualified legal representative has the expert skills and awareness of the law to liaise with insurance providers and agree on a fair settlement on your behalf, making this simplifying this process for you.