Motorcyclists are without a doubt the most vulnerable road users and even the most experienced riders can come unstuck. No matter whether you’re a new biker or a seasoned vet, not knowing exactly what to do if you get into an accident can cause further heartache, writes Rachel Erin of compensation lawyer firm Australian Accident Helpline.
Never discuss liability until you have spoken to a lawyer
Following a motorcycle accident, it can be unclear who or what was at fault. Even after the event, it may have happened that quick that it’s difficult to picture what happened in clear, unambiguous terms. For this reason, you should never accept responsibility until you have spoken to a motorbike accident lawyer.
It’s important that you seek legal advice because insurance companies will do almost anything to dishonour your claim. It’s not uncommon that they go as far as tricking people into admitting liability.
Most lawyers will offer you a free no obligation consultation to help you determine who was actually at fault using their expert knowledge and experience in cases like yours.
Always seek medical attention
Many motorbike riders make the common mistake of not getting checked out by a medical professional, to later find out that they have in fact suffered quite serious injuries.
One case we dealt with, a female rider was stationary at the traffic lights when the back wheel of her motorbike was struck by a car. This nudged the motorcycle forward vigorously although she managed to keep control and not fall off. Noticing no visible damage to the bike presumed she was fine and left the scene without swapping details with the driver.
Nearly two months later the rider was experiencing severe shooting pain in the thoracic region of her spine (upper back), which after medical diagnosis turned out to be a fracture.
In this sad case, the plaintiff ended up having to take three months off work to recover and was unable to claim compensation for her motorcycle accident.
For this reason, always go for a quick medical assessment. Even if it seems petty, or a waste of time.
Gather as much evidence to support your case as possible
As I previously mentioned, insurance companies or other parties (if another individual was involved) will sometimes go to extreme lengths to get off the hook. For this reason, we recommend gathering as much evidence as you possibly can.
Some of the most important things to get hold of are:
- Photographs of the damage to your motorbike
- Police reports
- Your motorcycle helmet if it’s damaged
- Any witnesses’ names and telephone numbers
Also if your motorcycle accident was the result of adverse road conditions, it’s good to take a photo of the damaged road surface. I even recommend going as far as keeping a piece of debris if possible as it will further help your case.
Also return to the accident scene as soon as possible and make a note of any changes (if any) that have been made to the scene.
Many of the specialist motorcycle accident lawyers at Australian Accident Helpline ride bikes themselves and know more than anyone the dangers that motorcyclists face on a day to day basis.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, seek legal advice.
Most lawyers will offer you a free no obligation consultation to let you know where you stand.
- Author: Rachel Erin, Australian Accident Helpline.
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