What to do if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident

What to do if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident crash

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 possibleRoad safety crash accident motorcycle scam

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.
  • Contributor post

6 Comments

  1. Note that fingers, toes, testicles and ear lobes are NOT covered by the NSW Accident Compensation Fund. Which I found out to my absolute shock. But really with insurance companies, some claim experiences are very satisfying and no problem whatsoever, whereas others are all about your ability to serve them with “cheque-book justice”. It is far too often a lottery. Just as it is with the system and the judge you may or may not get. Its a ridiculous state of affairs symptomatic of a system that just isn’t there to serve the plebs, so ALWAYS walk around acting like you own the place, and that dad is one seriously bad hombre. And that you have FRIENDS, important friends. In the media – even better. So much crapola!!

  2. I was rear ended a few years ago, hit by a speeding driver who apparently did not expect me to brake and give way to vehicles on a roundabout. He made the mistake of refusing to give his details and then being overheard threatening me whilst I was on the phone to police. This appeared to cause all the traffic police in the area to show up. Driver then claimed to have been following me for the last 30 miles and that the bike ‘stopped on a sixpence’. I recall being asked how many caravans I overtook on the road and if my brakes were substantially modified, the answers being “about 14” and “there’s a braided steel brake line on the front and a 3 month old cable on the back” at which point they looked at the venerable ’92 XV535. Turns out one of them had a K100 of similar age and was entertained by the primitiveness of my ride. Police threw the book at him and despite some cosmetic damage the bike only needed some electrical tape and replacement (plastic) registration plate screws, both of which I carried. I’d trashed my waterproof glove, torn my waterproof overtrousers and scuffed my leathers, but my helmet hadn’t hit the deck and I felt ok, and with the emerging sunshine was able to continue home. I figured with the other party facing at least at least a hefty fine if not prosecution all would be good.

    This is where things fell apart. I’d scraped the exhaust, broken the rear light, bent the rear fender and scraped a peg and some bar ends. My insurers calculated the damage as above £2000 and offered me £400 as the value of the bike, offering me a salvage value of £150. Non runners change hands for about £1000 and mine had been in immaculate condition. I’d replaced the rear light on the monday (accident on a Saturday) and had an early MOT (annual roadworthyness check) and a full inspection at my local independent on the tuesday along with quotes for minor parts and for bodyshop repair.

    On the thursday i was out in my summer gloves and it chucked it down. I’d not gone far, maybe a 20 mile round trip to get salt pork for a reenactment at the weekend. came in, took my soaked gloves off and put my hands around a coffee mug to get warm. Then i collapsed in pain and was very lucky not to get soaked in coffee. Off to hospital. Turns out I’d damaged a ligament in my left thumb. I think I’d been on the turn signal (self cancelling indicators on the 535 needed “reminding”) and ended up taking a great deal of my landing on that thumb as the left handlebar controls got rotated some. That was 3 months of private phisio (nhs waiting list was nearly a year long) which my insurers immediately offered to cover, expecting to recoup the money from the other party.

    Then my insurers stopped replying to phone calls. They just stonewalled me leaving me on the hook for the physio and to cover the cost of damaged gear and bike repairs. There was a period of 6 months of them saying they’d call me back and never doing so. I wrote a complaint. Ignored. I wrote to the chief executive of the company. Ignored. Then a Letter Before Action and I started looking for a solicitor. The day after the letter was received I got a phone call from my Insurer’s pet solicitors. Turns out the other party had the same underwriter and they didn’t appear to know how to claim against themselves, at which point facing both legal action and an investigation from the financial services watchdog. They immediately offered to pay out my declared value of the bike, medical costs, 3 months loss of use of the vehicle at £46/day (equivalent to the inflated hire costs of the accident management industry) and all of the pain and suffering cash that one would expect to be negotiated down to between 50% and 75%. Then they failed to send a cheque in a timely manner so I reminded them of the 8% APR interest after the first 60 days that they were supposed to pay and I got a cheque for 8% of the total but nothing else. I wrote to them and they sent another 8% cheque and finally two weeks after that the total sum. It was a ridiculous comedy of errors.

    What I should have done was immediately seek an independent accident specialist solicitor and have the other party’s underwriter identified and leave it to them to chase on a conditional fee basis, rather than let the underwriter fail to ask themselves for money.

  3. That’s strange, on the iPad there is a picture of an accident site taken from above, yet on the computer the picture is not there but has the words “Road Safety Crash Accident Motorcycle Scam” inside an empty box??

    Is some of the article missing?

  4. Often your first instinct is to get up out of the road and pick your bike up.
    If it’s safe to just lay there then do just that and keep idiots from trying to move you or remove your helmet.
    Next you you get up because it’s not safe try to stay upright and not move your head
    Do not let them lay you down without a neck brace on.
    Instruct others on how to move your bike and remove the key don’t do it yourself or with out help.
    Don’t rage at the idiot who hit you except for making a clear accusation of fault in front of witnesses. If you can get someone to take photos.
    Take the ambulance ride to the hospital with a spinal care unit not the closest or cheapest hospital.
    This is best advice based on experience but not expertise.

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