Camera phones are excellent but download the photos. I was recently in court on a road surface accident case where a witness had the presence of mind to photograph loose gravel, but then her phone got stolen, before the photos were downloaded.
Also, don’t be reluctant to get the police to show up at the scene of the motorcycle accident. Their reports are far from perfect but people tend to speak honestly to the police about what they saw.
Be nice to the eyewitnesses. Most are sympathetic to injured bikers (so long as you don’t go ballistic at the scene of the accident) and they are much more likely to help us. We work very hard to get eyewitnesses to give a statement but I really don’t recommend you get witness statements yourself. There are fairly relaxed rules about witness statements but taking them is a skill. Also your witnesses need to say what they saw at the accident scene, not just what you want them to say. A witness statement that is clearly biased carries no weight with a Judge. It is also very easy to destroy in cross examination. Also if the witness statement contradicts the police statement the Judges will always start off preferring what was said to the police before the lawyers got their hands on to it. I still enjoy the moments in cross examination of a defence witness (and it has happened quite a few times) when the witness says “The solicitor told me to say that” and my personal favourite, by a lovely witness down in Devon who said at trial “I did not sign the witness statement because the insurer would not let me put what I wanted. The motorcyclist did nothing wrong and the defendant reversed into him round a blind corner. I didn’t sign it because it is not what I saw but what they wanted me to say.”” Even the Judge couldn’t resist smiling, and I almost felt sorry for the poor barrister against me, but not too sorry. The moral is be honest, because the truth will come out.
If this is of help, maybe you should print it off, put it in a freezer bag and stick it in your bikes tool roll or your bike jacket. Hopefully you will never need it but if you do you have just seriously increased the odds in your favour if you have a less than straightforward motorcycle accident claim.
Motorcycle Accident Claim – Checklist
- Exchange Information – Number plates, driving licence and insurance companies
- Keep Calm
- Call the Police
- Eyewitness details
- Take Photos – Accident scene, road layout, road surface, other vehicles
- Take a sample of the road surface if you came off on gravel or similar
Solicitor Advocate & Barrister
Law Society Personal Injury Panel.
Senior Partner White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors