Here in Houston, the weather permits motorcycle riding almost year-round. While taking the bike out can be exhilarating, it is never without risks. Accidents can happen even to the most cautious of riders, resulting both in property damage and potentially serious injury.
If you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to follow a few basic steps to protect not just your physical health and safety, but also the strength of any legal case you might later bring. What follows is a brief checklist for any biker to keep with them, just in case.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT: A CHECKLIST
- Check yourself and others for injury. Safety is always paramount. If you are able to, stand up, dust yourself off, and make sure you move out of harm’s way. If possible, check other people who were involved in the accident, and if anyone has been injured, call 911 and have an ambulance dispatched.
- Take photos and videos. When you file an insurance claim (or take the case to court), having photographic evidence of the accident scene can be invaluable. If you are able to snap some cell phone photos from a safe location, away from oncoming traffic, you should do so. Take photos of your bike, specifically the damaged areas, road conditions, and also any other property or collateral damage such as the other vehicle, broken signs, fences, medians, etc.
- Move your bike. After you take pictures, try to move your bike off the road, if it is possible to safely do so. Your motorcycle will be a hazard for other drivers, so moving it to a safe roadside location is important for preventing further accident and injury.
- Call the police. If you have not already called 911, do so now so that you can file an accident report with police. Always answer the police officer’s questions honestly but do not apologize or admit to fault. Just present the facts. Make sure to record the officer’s name, badge number, and the report number.
- Collect information. It is important for you to gather information from other motorists and witnesses, specifically names, vehicle information (license plate number and make and model), contact information (phone number, email, and address), and insurance information. If they ask for your information, provide it to them. Again, avoid apologizing or admitting to fault. You can record the observations and account of the witness with your phone or write it down. You should also write down the accident location, road conditions, and speed limits.
- Call your insurance agent. Once you can safely do so, call your insurance agent and let them know what happened. Generally, it is better to report accidents and start the claims process sooner rather than later.
- Contact a personal injury attorney. You will also want to reach out to a personal injury lawyer who has expertise in motorcycle accident cases. Your attorney can walk you through the claims process and help ensure you get the maximum monetary compensation.
- Go to an urgent care facility or to your regular doctor. Even if you do not think you were injured, it is wise to get checked out by a doctor, just to make sure there aren’t any latent injuries you might be missing. This due diligence strengthens your insurance case.
Keep these tips in mind if you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident. To speak with a motorcycle accident attorney in Houston, Texas contact McLaurin Law at any time.
Jason McLaurin is a founding member of McLaurin Law. He has over a decade of experience representing clients at trial, arbitration, and mediation in matters concerning insurance policyholder recovery disputes, complex commercial litigation, and catastrophic personal injury claims. He also represents businesses as outside general counsel for clients in a variety of industries including construction, oil and gas, maritime, technology, and professional services. He is licensed and handles matters in both Texas and Louisiana.