A four-wheeled vehicle, or a “cage” as a biker buddy calls them, caused a wreck while you’re riding. What do you do?
1. First, move to a safe area if possible. This doesn’t mean leave the scene. Move yourself out of the way of any additional injury or damage. Try not to worry about your bike until you’re safe.
2. Now that you’re in a safe area, call 911. Report the accident and any injuries. Avoid any confrontation with the other parties. Nothing good will come of it, as tempting it may be to give that inattentive driver a piece of your mind.
3. Gather as much information as you can at the scene. Oklahoma law mandates everyone involved in an accident to exchange insurance and driver’s license information. Beyond that legal duty, grab your smartphone and start taking photos of the vehicles, the area of the accident and any visible injuries you may have. Gather witness information from anyone that saw the accident but wasn’t involved. Law enforcement doesn’t always provide witness information in the collision report, and often witnesses leave the scene before the officer even arrives. If you have an injury, no matter how minor you think, let the officer and the responding paramedics know. Remember, your adrenaline will have taken over. Once that goes away, the “minor” injury may not be so minor anymore.
4. Don’t delay getting the medical treatment that you feel is necessary. Your medical decisions are just that, yours. They are not an insurance company’s decision. If you are hurting, go see a doctor or go to a clinic. Don’t wait until an insurance adjuster gives you the OK.
5. File a claim with all insurance companies involved. Yes, even with your insurance. You don’t know what kind of insurance the other driver may have. Plus, you may have been paying for optional coverages that you can now finally use. You can file claims over the phone or, in many instances, over the internet.
If the accident wasn’t your fault it is important to know that the insurance adjuster for the other person is not on your side. Their duty is to the other driver. As such, they may try to convince you they will not pay for medical treatment or will not pay to repair or replace your bike. Unfortunately for them, the adjusters are not the final authority on what Oklahoma law allows you to recover in the event your bike wreck was caused by another.
Anthony Gorospe is a personal injury lawyer with the Gorospe Law Group personal injury law firm in Tulsa.