Do not fail to report the crash to police
If someone else hit you while you were riding your motorcycle, you absolutely must call the police. The other driver may promise to pay for your injuries or to replace your bike out of the goodness of their heart (and out of their own pocket), but you cannot take them for their word. People will say anything at the scene of a crash to get away without sharing too much information. They don’t want their insurance rates to go up, they don’t want to lose their driver’s license… they will have a lot of sob stories.
You need a police report in order to make the case that you were the victim in the crash. Without this police report, your case against the other driver collapses. If they fight you and argue that you were at fault, it’s just your word against theirs. Always, always call the police to the scene of a motorcycle accident.
Do not admit fault or apologize
I’ve seen too many victims “play nice” at the scene of a motorcycle crash, saying things that they wish they could take back later. I knew a rider who said to a driver, “You probably didn’t even see me.” But it was the driver’s responsibility not to turn left unless she could see that the path was clear. It wasn’t the rider’s job to make sure she saw him!
If you were hit by another driver, don’t let them off the hook. Call the police and make sure that you properly and confidently share your side of the story.
Do not get aggressive
On the other hand, do not get aggressive with the other driver, either. There is already a stereotype about “scary bikers” and if witnesses see you stomping around, yelling at the driver who hit you, their statements may not end up in your favor. Remain calm and call the cops so that you can share your side of the story.
Do not fail to gather evidence
If you are physically able, gather as much evidence at the scene of the motorcycle crash as you can. Take pictures of the entire area, including your bike, the other car, skid marks, debris, and nearby signage or businesses. Also, ask witnesses if they will make a statement of what they saw and if you can record it on your phone. Any evidence you gather at the scene makes it a whole lot easier to win a case against the other driver’s insurance company later.
Do not delay medical evaluation
Don’t be a tough guy or gal. If you were in a motorcycle crash, you need to see a doctor. Very few people come away from a motorcycle accident unscathed. Even if you “feel fine” in the hours after the crash, you should go see a doctor. Likely, you will feel stiff and achy the next day and you will need additional care. You should have a documented medical journey immediately following your accident. The last thing you want to do is ignore aches and pains until they turn into something serious. If you wait too long, those medical bills won’t be covered under the settlement you get from the insurance company.
Do not post on social media after a motorcycle crash
Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company
OK, so you finally get home after a motorcycle crash and the phone rings. Lo and behold, it’s the other driver’s insurance company, calling to “check on you.” Do not talk to them until you talk to a motorcycle attorney. The person who calls from the insurance company is trained to sound like he/she is on your side, just trying to be helpful, genuinely concerned about your health. But in reality, they are trying to get you to say things that will damage your case. You may say, “It could have been worse,” or “I don’t feel that bad,” and they will reduce their settlement offer by thousands of dollars. Also, never, ever let them record their conversation with you. Again, anything you say will be used against you.
Do not settle with an insurance company without seeking legal advice
Sometimes, it is so clear that a driver is at fault that an insurance company will try to quickly settle by offering the victim a low-ball offer, super-fast. If a victim is already stressed about fixing their motorcycle, and paying for medical bills, this offer can seem like a life-line. But if the insurance company is moving quickly, you can bet it’s because they are trying to protect themselves from a bigger payout.
Only an experienced personal injury attorney can truly assess your case and understand what you should be paid by an insurance company. Never accept a settlement without at first consulting an attorney.
It’s a sad truth that the playing field is usually stacked against motorcycle riders in Colorado, who have to battle negative stereotypes after crashes. Don’t let the system take advantage of you. I hope these tips help and, of course, I’m here to answer any questions any time. 877-562-9425