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What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident (UK)
No one ever wants to be involved in a motorcycle accident but sometimes they can happen in the blink of an eye and just can’t be avoided. These unfortunate incidents can be frustrating, emotional and lead to severe injury or disability. It is vital that you know what to do immediately after the incident has occurred as this can have a significant influence on how such an event will impact you.
This guide explains what you should do after the incident to make sure that you are safe and to ensure you get the help that you need.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, Potter Rees Dolan Solicitors can help. Call our expert team on 0800 027 2557 or fill out our online contact form to arrange a call back at a time convenient for you.
Immediately after the incident
First things first, get yourself to safety even if that means that you leave your bike behind. If the road is clear and you can move on your own, then the top priority is to get yourself to an area safer than the middle of the road. Pedestrians and other motorists can approach a downed rider which can create a bigger hazard in the road and could potentially be another accident waiting to happen.
Check yourself for injuries. You are going to experience a surge of adrenaline which can mask even serious and life changing injuries.
It's important that you do not move your motorcycle, firstly to try and avoid any further injuries to yourself but also so as not to compromise evidence and impede any police investigation.
Call the Emergency Services
You should call or be asking someone to call the emergency services as soon as is safely possible. Many people ‘freeze’ or go into some level of physical and emotional shock after an accident. If you need someone to call the emergency services for you be sure to signal to them and be clear in what you are telling them to do.
This should ideally go hand in hand with not removing your gear after the accident. Most motorcyclists will try and remove their helmets immediately after the accident, but this can cause more serious injury to the head, neck or spine.
Whilst waiting for the Emergency Services
Try to remain calm. Motorcycle accidents can be emotionally and physically traumatic, but it is in your best interests to remain as calm as possible. Losing your temper can lead to rash decisions. Keeping a clear head allows you to think more clearly, so be sure to take a few deep breaths and try to take stock of the situation as best as you can.
Try to recall what has just happened. You can then accurately convey this information to the police and paramedics when they arrive. Information such as this can help them to determine the nature and extent of your injuries and provide you with efficient and effective treatment.
Exchanging motoring details
In accordance with motoring laws, if you are able then you should speak with the other driver and obtain their details – name, insurer, reg number and provide your own. You can save these in the notes function on your mobile phone. You should also note down the details of any passengers or witnesses to the incident.
The law defines a reportable road traffic collision as a collision involving a mechanically-propelled vehicle on a road or other public area which causes:
- injury or damage to anybody - other than the driver of that vehicle
- injury or damage to an animal - other than one being carried on that vehicle (an animal is classed as a horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog). You may also report collisions or incidents involving deer, but this is not a legal requirement.)
- damage to a vehicle - other than the vehicle which caused the collision
- damage to property built on, attached to, growing in, or otherwise forming part of the land where the road is
What should I record?
Knowing what to make note of after a motorcycle accident can be confusing, especially if you feel disoriented and stressed. It's important to gather as much evidence about what has happened as you can for insurance and legal purposes.
With modern mobile phones being so good, if possible, you should take as many photos and videos of the scene as you can. These should include everything from your motorcycle in the road, the car or vehicle that hit you, the road layout an any specific features, skid marks if any and even road signs. Another good idea is to talk into the camera whilst you are videoing the scene and the vehicles involved. It helps to create a timeline of the incident which will be useful for the police, insurers and lawyers if required.
Finally, do not apologise or admit responsibility for the accident. Your insurers almost certainly insist upon this in your contract of insurance. Instead, if you can, do find out details of any other drivers and witnesses. Tell them that this will be sorted out by your insurers and give details if you can. Whilst it's very important to be honest, you do need to protect yourself from liability later on if the incident was not your fault.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and require legal advice, our expert team is here to help. Call Potter Rees Dolan Solicitors on 0800 027 2557 or fill out our online contact form to arrange a call back at a time convenient for you.