Any kind of road traffic accident can be very traumatic and involve serious, often life threatening injuries.
The risks are even greater when it is motorcycles that are involved. That’s because in exchange for speed, freedom and acceleration, you have to sacrifice some of the safety features you get with cars.
What your first actions should be in the event of a motorcycle accident depend on whether you are riding, otherwise involved or simply a witness. Although there are some rules that apply to every situation, it might be easier to separate these three in order to clarify the exact course of action.
If you see a motorbike accident, first of all you need to call the emergency services and give them as much information as you can in a clear and concise way. Try to let them know how many people are involved, your exact location and respond to any questions you are asked over the phone.
Think about your own safety too and do not attempt to do anything for which you are not trained. Try to keep people involved still and calm, and wait for the emergency services to arrive. If you have witnessed the accident, then you are duty bound to stay and report what you saw to the relevant authorities. This information could prove vital in the aftermath of an accident in terms of determining what happened and making a motorcycle accident claim.
There are certain rules about how to react in motorcycle accidents in terms of attending to riders, which you can find below in the ‘involved – motorcycle’ section below.
Involved – car
If you are involved in the motorbike accident but not riding, then you need to think about your own wellbeing and that of your passengers first. Even if you are in a car, there is still a chance you may be suffering from severe, internal (and therefore unseen) injuries. If you are certain that you are not injured and the health of your passengers is not in jeopardy then do what you can to make the scene safe. Again, stay calm and try to remove any potential hazards if is safe to do so.
If you have been involved, you are obliged by law to wait for the police and emergency services so that the exact cause of the accident can be determined. If the injuries are not serious, you will also need to exchange insurance details with other parties, including any motorcyclists involved, so that a potential personal injury claim can be made accurately.
Involved – motorcycle
The most important thing to remember is to try and stay still. If you have sustained injuries, trying to move may aggravate them. This is especially true with head and neck injuries, which can be common on bikes. You will almost certainly be suffering from shock, and will need to receive treatment from the emergency services.
The golden rule is never to remove your or anyone else’s helmet after an accident, unless the rider has stopped breathing or gone into cardiac arrest – in which case that emergency takes precedence. If you have witnessed or have been involved and are able to help, then check that the rider is breathing and that airways are clear.
After the accident
Once all first aid has been given at the scene and any ensuing treatment has taken place in the hospital, then it is time to sort out the legal, financial and insurance aspects of the accident.
Motorcyclists are protected by law in exactly the same way as other road users and if not at fault for the accident then may be able to claim for damages to property and person that have been sustained. In the case of motorcyclists, this can often be serious and involve extensive treatment and rehabilitation.
Ideally, the police would have been able to ascertain exactly what happened with the help of witnesses, CCTV and through some basic road forensics. However, if this is not the case or the information is disputed, the claim may not be so straightforward.
In these instances you need to have the right form of legal representation on your side to work within the framework of the law and obtain the compensation you deserve.
By using specialists in the field, like us at Lampkin & Co Solicitors, every aspect of your case will be handled sensitively and professionally in order to obtain the best possible result for you.
Motorcyclists can sometimes feel unfairly blamed for accidents and are often seen as a menace on the roads. However, very often they are not to blame for accidents where they are involved. If you feel you have been unfairly treated after an accident or have not received the compensation you deserve, talk to Lampkin & Co about your next step.