Seeing a motorcycle accident occur is more than an emotionally difficult experience. It is also a chance for bystanders to participate and provide help to the accident victim. The act of pulling over, providing assistance, or even contacting emergency workers can end up playing a substantial role in an accident’s outcome. The Insurance Information Institute reports that in 2020, 5,579 fatalities and approximately 83,000 injuries will occur due to motorcycle accidents in the United States. This substantial number of impacted accident victims suggests that a large number of bystanders also saw these accidents occur. Unfortunately, at least some of the bystanders struggled with deciding how they could best help the accident victims.
Following the substantial damage that occurs in an accident, it is vital to remain calm and make informed choices. Even though your actions might seem minor at the time of an accident, they can be life-saving. The following article offers detailed recommendations about what to do if you ever witness a motorcycle crash.
Immediate Actions to Take Following a Motorcycle Accident
Some of the most helpful pieces of advice that witnesses should follow immediately after a motorcycle accident include:
- Evaluate the scene from a distance. Before rushing to the accident scene, take some time to assess how serious the accident is. Be observant of any potential dangers, which might include leaking fuel, downed power lines, or various other hazards.
- Notify other drivers. If you have a flashlight or any other piece of equipment that can be used to gain the attention of drivers, utilize the device to alert approaching traffic. Doing this is especially helpful if the accident occurred at either a blind spot or a curve. This will provide other drivers with a heads-up and can help them to avoid other accidents.
- Remain calm. When approaching the scene of a motorcycle accident, you should remember to stay calm. Maintaining your composure during this difficult situation can greatly help comfort victims. When speaking to victims, do so gently and inform them that help has been contacted and is on the way. In some situations, simply the act of talking can offer substantial relief to accident victims.
- First aid. If you have received first aid training, remain prepared to provide basic care. Always prioritize contacting professionals before engaging in providing care. If you are not trained in administering first aid, do not attempt to provide such assistance and instead focus on comforting the crash victims.
- Do not move vehicles. Except for fire or other imminently dangerous threats, avoid moving vehicles involved in the crash. This way, law enforcement and other emergency workers can more accurately evaluate the scene and determine how the accident occurred.
Relay Important Details to 911
As a witness to the accident, you might be asked by emergency workers for details about how the accident occurred over the phone or in person. When it comes to relaying important details about the accident to 911, remember to include details about the following important factors:
- Potential hazards. Inform emergency dispatchers about any immediate dangers found at the accident site, including fires, fuel leaks, or exposed electrical wires. This way, emergency workers can make sure to send the most appropriate response teams as well as inform arriving teams about potential accident hazards.
- The Motorcyclist’s Condition. Provide a quick assessment of the motorcyclist’s condition. This should include details about whether the motorcyclist is conscious, if they can move, and the degree of pain that the motorcyclist is in. This data can be vital for paramedics to prepare response teams appropriately.
- Traffic situation. Describe the traffic conditions around the accident site. This should include information about whether traffic is growing congested as a result of the crash, if vehicles can move past the accident, and whether the crash site is a total blockage on the corresponding road. By providing these details, emergency vehicle drivers can better strategize their approach.
- Other involved parties. If other vehicles or pedestrians were harmed in an accident, make sure to include details about these parties. Specify whether any other person is injured or distressed.
- Your location. Let emergency workers know where you are after a crash. This way, first responders can locate you quickly if they need additional details after your arrival. This ensures you can guide them and provide any additional details in person.
Provide a Formal Witness Statement About the Motorcycle Accident
Some of the most helpful advice that you should follow when providing a formal witness statement to emergency workers includes:
- Speak to other witnesses at the scene of the accident to cross-verify details. This way, you can make sure that your statement about the accident is accurate. Multiple consistent accounts also provide additional clarity for insurance carriers and emergency workers’ accident investigations.
- Remain objective. Focus on the facts. Avoid speculating or adding personal opinions, which can end up creating bias in a report. Instead, remain focused on what you either directly saw or heard.
- Provide contact details and mention your willingness to follow-up questions or clarification. Remaining accessible can prove invaluable during investigations or legal proceedings.
- Secure the evidence. If you have taken photos or video footage of the accident, do your best to keep them safe. This evidence might be required later for your statement as part of the official investigation.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents often have long-lasting and serious implications. If you or a loved one is the victim of a motorcycle accident, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of an experienced accident attorney. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, we remain dedicated to helping victims of motorcycle crashes fight for the results they deserve. Our experienced team is prepared to do what it takes to ensure that motorcycle accident victims receive the maximum compensation they deserve. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900