Complete guide to knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident
Perhaps you are thinking of packing your bags to go travel around Spain by motorbike or maybe around Europe. Summer holidays aren’t only for the beach and pool, they’re also made for travelling, going through mountain passes and discovering new places on our bikes. With the arrival of good weather, an absence of rain and days off, the roads fill up with riders enjoying the pleasure of feeling the open air and freedom on two wheels. Sadly however, the number of motorcycle accidents also increases this time of year. In our article on road safety, “Safety on two wheels”, we give important keys for avoiding accidents, but sometimes you might be a witness to an accident and it’s important to know how to react as the first 7 minutes after a collision can be decisive.
First of all, whether you are the one who had an accident or it was someone else, you must remain calm and not panic. Everyone, whether a driver or not, should know the “PAH Protocol”: Protect, Alert and Help.
- Protect: If you’ve fallen off, the first thing to do is a self-diagnosis, to check yourselves and stand up if you don’t have any serious injury. The next step is to move the motorcycle to a safe place, put on a reflective vest and switch on the bike’s parking lights and emergency blinkers.
- Alert: When you’ve made sure you’re all safe, that’s when to make an emergency call to 112; they will ask you for all the available information, so it’s important to remain calm and inform them of everything: location, vehicles involved and any injured people.
- Help: If there are more people involved or someone else has been in the accident, you must help them but without moving them. Many times more harm can be done when wanting to help. If the person is upset, it’s important to reassure them and keep them calm until the emergency services arrive. If you see that injuries are more serious than was initially told to the emergency operator, you must call back and inform them of the severity of the injuries.
How to help an injured person?
The first thing we must do is make a general assessment and take a pulse. The golden rule of motorcycle accidents is Do Not Remove The Helmet. You must never remove a helmet as you won’t know what injury they might have sustained to their head. You must never move an injured person, except if you’re in the middle of the road or in a danger zone, in that case you have to do it carefully, holding them by the arms and legs and always done by two people.
The next step is to wrap up the wounded, either with a thermal blanket or with a jacket. If they have any open wound you should bandage it with clean or sterile gauze, applying a bit of pressure to try to stop the bleeding. In the case of fractures, try to immobilize the fractured limb. A stick or a rod can be very useful, at least until emergency services arrive.
It is important to remain calm at all times and transmit serenity to those injured. The operator will help you stay calm so you can collaborate while waiting for help from emergency services.
The official police accident report or mutual declaration of accident
Once the emergency services and the Police or Civil Guard have arrived, it’s time to gather what happened in a report. In accidents where a motorcycle was involved, the rider tends to get blamed, so it is very important to be very thorough when adding up the facts and identifying potential witnesses who could attest how the events occurred. At Beebiker we recommend calling the Police or the Civil Guard at the slightest doubt of who the culprit of the accident was so that they can properly evaluate the accident and draw up a report which can be used later on.
In cases where you have not been the cause of the accident, we can request compensation from the insurance of the other party. They will make you an initial offer of compensation, but to really know if this is the maximum you are allowed, you have to know the full extent of your injuries and how they will affect your day-to-day living in the future, so you will have to wait to completely recover or become stable at least. At this point it’s important to have a lawyer specialized in traffic accidents who can guide and advise you and make recommendations in each case. Not only can compensation be requested for physical injuries, but also for material losses, both for the motorcycle repair and the clothing, cases or other material that you had at the time of the accident and that suffered some damage. Another element to take into account when calculating compensation is what is called “loss of earnings” and is the loss of income you have while out of work due to accident injuries. As one can see, it is important to have good advice so that you can receive the compensation you deserve and not a penny less.
As Manuel, one of our Beebiker team guides tells us, “The day I had my accident and I fractured my wrist, the only thing that mattered was to recover soon and to be able to return to work. In the end it took me more time than expected, so thanks to the advice I was able to receive the right amount of money for everything that had happened”.
At Beebiker we remind you that the most important thing is taking care of yourself. So first of all, do ride carefully and always take minimum safety precautions when you are on the bike.