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What Should I Do at the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident?


If you’re a motorcyclist, either an avid rider and enthusiast or someone who prefers to ride purely for transportation purposes, you need to ride safely and defensively to reduce your risk of being in a motorcycle accident. You also need to be aware that motorcycle accidents can happen to the best of riders because they encounter the worst of other motorists. If you’re ever in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, it pays to know what to do at the scene of the crash. The decisions you make and the steps you take while still at the scene and shortly after leaving it could make a big difference in your case if you file an accident or injury claim later.

Safety First

Put safety first no matter what after being in a motorcycle accident. Call 911 and let the dispatcher know that there has been an accident and try to give an estimation about how many vehicles and people were involved. Even if you think everyone is fine, you should call 911 to get emergency responders to the scene and take control of the situation. For example, police officers can redirect traffic to prevent more accidents while the original crash is being assessed and then cleared.

Seek Medical Attention

When emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or paramedics arrive, you should accept any medical attention that they offer at the scene, such as a quick check for injuries. If you are seriously injured, the paramedics will want to take you to the nearest emergency room for immediate medical care. If you feel relatively fine, you should still go to urgent care as soon as possible after the wreck. A doctor can evaluate your injuries, provide a diagnosis, and write in your medical records that you were in a motorcycle accident on that day and were displaying certain symptoms.

Document the Scene of the Wreck

Use your smartphone to take photographs or videos of the scene of the accident. Take as many as you can to show the entire scene, including all vehicles and injuries, traffic and weather conditions, and more. There’s no such thing as being too thorough when documenting the scene of a motorcycle accident. After all, it will be your only opportunity to take pictures and videos of the crash, so don’t miss it.

If you don’t have a smartphone to document the scene, ask anyone who has stopped to help if they can take pictures and send them to you. A first responder might be able to help with this task.

Exchange Information

You need to know who hit you and who insures them. Be sure to get contact information from everyone involved and insurance information from every motorist or driver involved. If any information is presented on paper, take photographs of it, or keep a copy of it if offered.

Stay There Until Permitted to Leave

No matter how much of a hurry you might be in to get back to your day after a crash, you must not leave the scene of a motorcycle accident until you have exchanged contact and insurance information with all parties. Leaving the scene before you exchange information can be considered committing a hit-and-run accident, which is a crime. Don’t put yourself in another difficult legal situation by leaving the scene too soon.

If someone has been injured and law enforcement officers arrive at the scene, you should only leave once you are permitted to go by an officer. Commonly, officers will interview everyone involved to make an accident report, so they won’t want anyone to go until the report is ready to be finalized.

Do Not Apologize

Keep in mind that while you are at the scene of the motorcycle accident, the other motorists involved will be paying attention to what you do and say to see if there is a way that you can be blamed for it. Don’t take it personally. Most people just don’t want to be liable for causing a bad accident, so they subconsciously start looking for ways to dodge liability.

With this said, do not apologize to anyone at the scene of the motorcycle accident. You might be the most courteous person in your friend group, but you have to set that aside while at the scene. Apologies can be misconstrued as admissions of guilt—“I’m sorry [that I hit you].”—that the other insurance company will highlight in conversations and proceedings.

Notify Your Insurance Company

If you have a moment while at the scene of the crash, you can notify your insurance company about it then and there. Report that someone else hit you and caused the wreck, but don’t go into too much detail. You can save the details for later when you have a motorcycle accident attorney by your side, who can make sure you don’t misspeak and inadvertently make it sound like you did something wrong.

Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

After being in a motorcycle accident, and after you have received necessary medical attention, reach out to a local motorcycle accident lawyer. In many cases, it is better to get a lawyer on your side as soon as possible because evidence regarding the crash will still be fresh and available. If too much time passes, pieces of evidence might go missing, such as tire skid marks that are cleaned by a street sweeper, and memories of the incident will fade.

By hiring a lawyer soon after the crash, you will give them a greater opportunity to properly and thoroughly investigate the situation and start building your claim or lawsuit. You can also allow your attorney to handle all communications with insurance companies, which will be one more weight off your shoulders as you try to rest and recover.

If you’re ever in a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas, Nevada, choose Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen first to help you with your claim. We have decades of combined legal experience and a long history of successful case results, and nearly 90% of our cases come from referrals or repeat clients, speaking to our reputation and skills. To see what we can do for you after a wreck, call (702) 505-8115 and request a completely free initial case review with our motorcycle accident lawyers.