After An Accident, What To Do
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, the first thing you need to do is stop; pull over to the side of the road if you can. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident in California.
Assess The Crash Scene
- Check to see whether you or your passengers have been injured.
- See if the occupants of the other vehicle(s) are okay.
- If anyone is injured, call an ambulance.
- It is usually best not to move an injured person yourself.
- If you can move your motorcycle off the road safely, do so.
- Prevent additional collisions and thereby injuries by making your motorcycle visible.
- Set out flares and turn on your hazard lights.
Are you injured?
Adrenaline is pumping which covers real pain.
Make sure you get the medical care you need asap. Don't delay. Do it before you make a mistake.
If you don't have medical insurance, call DEAN GOETZ and he will find you a good doctor who won't need money up front.
Get medical care as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident. If you are in pain and an ambulance shows up at the scene, go to the hospital and have them examine you. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you are sitting at home in a lot of pain wondering why you didn't go to the hospital, have someone take you to the nearest emergency room. Follow the emergency room doctor's advice and make an appointment asap to see a doctor for follow up care and get in to see your own doctor right away. If you have had a head injury, even a mild concussion, make sure you follow up with your doctor.
The police will decide whether they need to come to the accident scene. If you have been injured at all, make sure you tell the police that you were injured.
- Exchange insurance and driver's license information with the other driver.
- Write down the driver's name, address, telephone number, license plate number, driver's license number and full auto insurance information.
- Give your information to the other driver, too.
- Witnesses? If anyone witnessed the accident, get their name, phone number, address and license plate number. If they have a business card, get it.
Do not depend on the police nor the first response team to do this for you.
Record What Happened
Think about and write down the circumstances of the crash and anything unusual that you noticed. Record the weather conditions, lighting conditions, the speed limit on the road, your speed at the time of the crash, your estimate of the speed of the other vehicle and relevant road conditions. This will be important, if the case ends up in litigation or an insurance dispute.
- Take a photo of all involved vehicles and your motorcycle, front and back and all sides.
- Take a photo of the accident scene.
- Take a photo of the driver.
- Send the photos to a friend or family member so you have a duplicate.
- If you are injured and can't take photos yourself, ask someone to take photos for you.
Call your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible. Have all the important information available for this telephone call. Talk to a lawyer before placing this call.
- The name and address of the driver of the other vehicle;
- Your driver's license number;
- Your insurance policy number;
- Make and model of your car;
- Date and time of accident;
- Brief description of how the accident occurred;
- Description of all your injuries and don't omit any areas that hurt;
- Brief description of the damage to each vehicle, and,
- Names and telephone numbers of witnesses.
- Report the accident to DMV within 10 days by using the SR1.
DO NOT SIGN ANY DOCUMENTS FOR ANY INSURANCE COMPANY UNTIL YOU HAVE IT REVIEWED BY YOUR ATTORNEY.
Dean Goetz is available to provide a free consultation and to answer all of your questions immediately at no charge. Additionally, there are no attorney fees until you have a monetary recovery.
If you, as an operator, are involved in an accident which causes more than $750 in property damage to one person, including yourself, or in which anyone, including yourself, is injured, no matter how slightly, you (or your insurance agent, broker, or legal representative) must report the accident to DMV. The CHP or police will not make this report.
You must make this report within 10 days on the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (SR1) form. You can get this form from any DMV or CHP office. This form is also available on DMV's web site at www.dmv.ca.gov.
Start a daily diary making notes on how you are feeling each day. Make sure to note all parts of your body that are hurting. Also make notes on how your life has changed due to the injuries you suffered in your motorcycle accident.