What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles are fun and affordable modes of transportation and sport. They generate a feeling of freedom and allow you to tour beautiful sites. Sometimes motorcycles are a young adult’s first opportunity to be significantly mobile. Calculated risks can be mitigated with a safety course, leathers and motorcycle helmet. There are still nevertheless many serious motorcycle injuries and deaths every year from accidents in Vancouver and the surrounding area.
A motorcycle is a small and light vehicle when compared to others on the road and it offers no protective shell or airbags in a crash. You need to be prepared for what to do if you have a motorcycle accident.
Immediately at the Accident
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident on the road, you will likely need emergency assistance. If no one else is around, you may have to call out for help or contact 911 yourself with your name and location if you are able. You should not remove your helmet and should assess whether or not you can comfortably move to safety since you do not want to risk further injury by moving too soon. It’s important to communicate with others to let them know you are conscious and where your pain is. You should also ask these other road users if they can act as a look-out until the police and ambulance arrive. If you feel that you are able to move without incurring further injury, getting off the road out of the path of other vehicles is recommended. When the ambulance arrives, they will assess your injuries and take you to the hospital if it is needed.
If you call 911, the police will also be dispatched and can meet you at the hospital if you are gone before they arrive. If you don’t need an ambulance to take you to the hospital, then you should call the non-emergency police number in your area and wait for the police to arrive. In the meantime, if you are well enough you can obtain the name and insurance information of the other party and take pictures of the vehicles, including the other party’s license plate. If you leave the accident scene without contacting police, the accident must still be reported to the police.
The police’s role is to try to determine what happened based on the statements of the parties involved and independent witnesses, and they consider any other available evidence, such as the position of the vehicles, any skid marks, weather, traffic conditions, road conditions, including debris on the road, time of day and the point on the road where the accident occurred (e.g. at an intersection, at a hill, where there are any distractions or where there is a curve in the road). It is best that you or a family member make a record of these conditions yourself as soon as you are able and take photos from different angles and distances of the accident scene and your injuries as the police may not collect all evidence possible. The police will lay charges at the time if they feel they are appropriate.
Steps to Take As Soon As Possible after the Accident
Medical assessment and treatment of your injuries is a priority. Your family physician should be seen once you are out of the hospital or if you never went to the hospital to ensure that all your injuries are recorded and addressed. At the doctor’s visit, report all your injuries, including any that could be related that you did not feel immediately at the time of the accident. Your medical record is an important part of your case, so it is important that your doctor records each item, including where you may have soreness, stiffness, aches or pain. An immediate visit to your doctor and regular follow up appointments can have significant effect for your case, just as it is important to attend the recommended treatment.
Another priority is to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience with motorcycle accidents. The lawyer can assess your case and begin immediately acting on your behalf, including by reporting the claim to ICBC. Your lawyer can provide ICBC with the information they need. Your lawyer will explain your legal rights and entitlements and help you obtain the most compensation.
If you decide to contact ICBC to report the claim yourself, it should be done as soon as possible after the accident (within 24-48 hours is recommended). You can call ICBC dial-a-claim line at 1-800-910-4222 or complete the online form at www.icbc.com. You will need your driver’s licence number; insurance policy; vehicle ownership information, including the vehicle year, make, model and licence plate number; accident date, location and details; information about others involved, police report information; current vehicle location if needed; name and address of the repair facility; and information about the other motorists/vehicles involved. It is recommended that you not provide a statement to ICBC, however, without consulting with a lawyer first. The adjuster may use anything said in the statement or telephone call later against you.
In dealing with your motorcycle accident benefits claim and personal injury case (if there is one), your lawyer should have extensive experience in dealing with ICBC in order to benefit you the most financially. At Kenneth Cristall Law in Vancouver, our accident lawyers have the training and experience to handle your accident effectively with ICBC. We will protect your legal interests and help you obtain the most compensation for the injuries you have suffered from. Contact us today for your free consultation at 604-654-2250.