It’s all well and good with the generic advise on what to do in motorcycle accident but most of what I found only applies only to the US hence not appropriate so I did a few more searches and only it some more useful but vague information around the subject. Since there is missing information on what to do in a motorcycle accident in Australia, here’s the detail that’s missing and the steps that occur if you manage to walk away from a motorcycle accident. This is from personal experience. So the following is some actual detail on the processes and what can go right and wrong in an insurance claim that goes beyond the simplistic money and liability issues. This write up represents just one scenario so should not be taken as actual instructions or advise for your situation!
Apart from the obvious to get details of any one involved in the accident people, vehicles, witnesses conditions, pictures etc. Just remember if they don’t provide details you can be sure there is and underlying issue,it’s not their car, they are unlicensed etc… plenty of ‘advice websites’ will tell you. License details are not essential but names registration numbers and contact is! There are more important things to do than worrying whose at fault at the time. You should call the local police station to see if you need to report the incident.
Apart from surviving a motorcycle accident, if it’s a busy area that causes traffic jams you are in ‘luck’. The local or government department that looks after roads will definitely be there in a short period of time to help with the clean up. They do it everyday and are efficient. They will give you paperwork regarding the cleanup in particular towing. They generally have a list of towing companies and they often just pick the next one down the list. They tow company will usually take the bike if not ridable to the towing yard. You can get it towed else where.
Then comes the towing company, generally they are decent companies and people but you need to careful. Some towing companies in particular Victoria are well known to have dubious practices such as double billing and claiming ignorace. Hence if you are just lumped with the ‘next on the list’ towing company then you may be lumped with the next problem you have to sort out.
There are costumer laws in regards to towing and there where many TV investigation reports on their bad behaviour. Their bad behaviour is often word of mouth which is unfortunately but often true regardless of circumstance. So if you get a bad towing company then do complain not only to the Government departments concerned since they are the administrators of the roads, consumer affairs and roads, the insurance company and of course the police as well.
Next step is dealing with the insurance companies and some are are difficult to deal with, purely because they don’t want to pay out but by all accounts most Australian insurance companies are very good because they have to be. There is strong consumer legislation and word of mouth reports that keep them above board. The cheapest insurance can often mean less than satisfactory claims processes.
Then comes the insurance company. You will need to call them or email – I prefer calling first. Then you will need fill out the forms either on line or by download. Some insurance companies are quick to process the initial steps but more often than not many will have a 48 hour turn around time – which is entirely fair. They will them provide you with a temporary claim number once they receive the form and then official claim number at their leisure, which you need to reference on any correspondence written or emailed with anyone involved with the accident. The temporary claim number and the official claim number are usually different so wait till the real one is sent to you. Along with the number you will get a letter with what the insurance company will do and what YOU should do next. If unsure call them.
Once the claim has been determined as genuine the next events usually happen pretty quickly. The will send an assessor to where the bike is to see if it can be fixed else you can try and get some quotes but if the bike can’e be ridden or easily moved best like the insurance assessor determine that. Motorcycle parts are expensive so if its your favourite bike be ready for the worst. If it can be fixed you will usually need to arrange for it to be towed to the next place to quote. If it is a write off they will do the admin and you will need to deal with the paperwork when it arrives. The main thing to remember is that the registration needs to be cancelled as it will be recorded a write-off.
Now it is critical that you get your self checkout by a medical centre. You’ve survived by truly thankful. If you where wearing the appropriate safety gear you will more than likely come though with some deep bruising and nothing broken. If you where injured there are other processes that I won’t go into since I haven’t been a scrap that resulted in broken or other body injuries. The medical check u is essential as there may be injuries that will not surface until hours later.
Dealing with who’s fault will occur if there is any dispute. The person other than who will likely say all sorts of things that where is host in their opinion. Of course this can be complete lie aka. dishonest since self preservation is the human thing to do. Overall can be traumatic. There are plenty of grey areas like claims of speeding mostly but can include reckless driving etc.. which are smoke screens which is why witnesses are important. The insurance company is the intermediary and deal with these situations all the time and they should be on your side but there are laws to take into account. In the end if the accident is your fault your will need to pay the excess on the policy which will be deducted from the pay out if a write off. If not you will need to pay the excess to the repairer when picking the bike up – when fixed. It’s a small price to pay – but if you consider that you are not at fault then you should speak up.
Any questions should be made to insurance company or authority involved not me as this is just one of millions of combinations of accidents. Accidents are just that.
This post will be updated as required.