Motorcycle Accidents: An After the Accident Checklist

motorcycle accidents

The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be quite traumatic. In a moment, a motorcyclist can go from enjoying the ride to dealing with the pain of injuries and serious damage to the bike.

In the midst of dealing with both of those motorcycle accident problems, there are also future legal proceedings to keep in mind—which can be incredibly difficult at a chaotic accident scene. In addition to medical bills and bike repair, pedestrians may also receive compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering resulting from a motorcycle accident. This checklist can help any motorcyclist get through the moments, days, and years after a motorcycle accident (and receive fair compensation).

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

___ Stay in the same spot (safely).
If it is possible to say safe doing so, try to stay in the same place after an accident (the bike too). The placement of the bike and all parties involved can be an important part of determining fault.

___ Call the police.
As soon as possible, contact the police. While waiting for them to arrive, don’t make any statements to the other involved parties or bystanders. Even small statements, such as “I don’t know what happened” or “I shouldn’t have…” can be misunderstood as an admission of fault.

___ Collect photos and information.
While at the accident scene, collect as much information as possible. Motorcyclists should collect insurance and contact information from other parties involved and bystanders. In addition, motorcyclists should take photos of the scene, nearby buildings and landmarks, injuries, and motorcycle damage.

___ Seek medical care.
Some accidents are visible and obvious, requiring immediate medical attention. Other accident injuries are not as evident right away and may take days for symptoms to appear. No matter what the type of injury, motorcyclists should always seek medical care as soon as it is obvious there is a problem. This could include a ride in the ambulance at the scene or a visit to a clinic days after. Motorcyclists should always keep all documentation (i.e. medical and bills) from the appointments for later reference.

___ Keep all motorcycle accident documentation on file.
After a motorcycle accident, motorcyclists receive documentation for bike repair, hospital and clinic care, chiropractor appointments, insurance matters, and any other accident matters. Even receipts for medications can be helpful when seeking compensation for injuries from a motorcycle accident. All of this paperwork can be an important part of future communications and proceedings.

___ Contact the insurance company.
Motorcyclists should always contact the insurance company that covers the bike, but should always keep in mind that communications are not confidential. As in all statements at the scene, motorcyclists should not admit fault to insurance agents and representatives.

___ Talk to an experienced lawyer.
After many motorcycle accidents, motorcyclists may receive offers from insurance companies that may not cover all the expenses caused by the accident. Even if the initial offer sounds fair, it can still make sense for a motorcyclist to  contact an experienced local lawyer to get information about compensation specific to the case and  Wisconsin shared fault law, which means that the fault of each driver is calculated and parties are responsible for their share of the expenses. An experienced personal injury lawyer can give you advice on how to proceed to receive fair compensation.

How to Prevent Future Motorcycle Accidents

  • Wear visible motorcycling gear (including bright clothing and a helmet reflector).
  • Make sure other drivers see you when driving.
  • Don’t drink and ride.
  • Drive safely.
  • Wear safety gear when riding (including a helmet, goggles or helmet shield, long sleeve jacket, long pants, and motorcycle boots).
  • Purchase a quality helmet.
  • Pay attention to the weather before and during riding.
  • Watch the road closely for sand, potholes, and excessive gravel that can cause an accident.
  • Take a  Wisconsin motorcycle safety course.
  • Look twice at intersections, proceed once.
  • Most importantly, drive safe and enjoy the ride!


The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

Wisconsin Estate Planning Documents You Need

estate planning documents

Estate planning is a necessary part of preparing for the future. However, in the here and now, the necessity of estate planning documents may not be incredibly apparent. Unfortunately, it often takes the worst-case scenarios to bring the importance of estate planning to light.

This post outlines estate planning documents every Wisconsin resident should draft before they are needed and why it is so important to make  estate planning a top priority.

Will

This estate planning document is one of the most well-known and well-misunderstood. There are several  misconceptions surrounding wills, but its also one of the most-needed estate planning tools.

A will is a legal tool for a person to express their wishes when they cannot. Unfortunately, verbal expressions are not enough to spur action in the State of Wisconsin. For example, telling a relative they can have an heirloom does not make the item exempt from a battle among family members.

People can use a will to detail these wishes:

  • Which persons or organizations should receive assets from the estate
  • Which person is responsible for the care of minors in the household (if the other parent should also be incapacitated)
  • The person or organization that serves as the executor of the estate and is responsible for settling the estate (including distributing assets)
  • If a trust is established for asset distribution


If there is no will drafted for an estate, the distribution of assets and settling of debts is handled by other parties who may not follow the wishes of the decedent. In Wisconsin, a legal will must be drafted (ideally by an  estate planning professional) and signed by the individual as well as two witnesses. The witnesses should not be beneficiaries who receive assets as spelled out in the will or lawful heirs of the estate. It is also recommended that the will is stored in a safe location in the full knowledge of a trusted person.

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney designates a party who can make financial decisions when an estate owner is unable to do so. This is essential for situations when a person is sick or hurt, and financial matters need to be handled during this time. The lack of a Durable Power Attorney can leave family and friends struggling during what can be a very difficult time.

A Durable Power of Attorney is only applicable when a person is alive; this power ends when the person dies. The person can express in the document what financial matters can be handled. A Durable Power of Attorney can give an agent the right to purchase and sell real estate, pay for expenses, and sign legal documents on the individual’s behalf.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a separate estate planning document from the Durable Power of Attorney. This estate planning document designates an agent to make healthcare decisions for another. This agent can be the same as the will executor, party named in the Durable Power of Attorney, or can be another party.

This estate planning document can be incredibly important when a person cannot make the decisions or express their wishes because of a health issue. In these cases, a agent can make decisions and carry out any wishes previously stated.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.