It depends. Virginia law requires that drivers report motor vehicle accidents, including
those involving motorcycles, to the police if the crash resulted in:
- Death; or
- Property damage in excess of $1,000
If a driver or motorcyclist is injured in a collision and requires immediate medical attention, the law takes this into account and does not require them to file a report right away. However, injured parties must do so as soon as they are reasonably able.
Why file a report?
Even if the accident is minor and causes no apparent injuries or vehicle damage, it is a good idea to file a police report regardless. Some injuries take time to reveal themselves, and the same goes for damage to a car or motorcycle.
If a motorcyclist has an accident but fails to make a police report, and then begins to suffer symptoms weeks later, it is much harder to prove the other driver is responsible and pursue them for damages.
The other party might also change his story and claim the victim caused the accident. Without a police report, the victim could end up paying all his injury costs out of pocket.
Failure to report an accident in either scenario can also result in fines and license suspension or revocation. The violation will appear on a person’s driving record for years. This will almost certainly result in substantially higher insurance premiums.
Four steps to take after a motorcycle accident
Filing a police report might be a motorcyclist’s only legal responsibility after an accident. But it is not the only thing he should do. After a motorcycle crash, one should always do the following:
• Seek Medical Attention:
It is important to get checked out after an accident for a couple of reasons. One, even if a person feels fine, he might have internal injuries that do not appear until days or weeks later. The sooner a doctor can address these issues, the better chance of recovery. Also, documentation that one has received medical care can serve as compelling evidence in a personal injury case.
• Collect Information About the Crash:
If the victim is not injured too badly to do so, he should take pictures of the scene of the accident and log as much information as possible. Also, it is a good idea to speak with any witnesses present and take statements from them on what they saw.
• Follow Doctor’s Orders:
An accident victim should always follow doctor’s orders. For instance, if the doctor orders a particular test or refers the patient to a specialist, the patient should comply. Failure to do so can make it harder to win compensation for one’s injuries.
• Call a Personal Injury Lawyer:
The legal team at Tronfeld West & Durrett has helped many motorcycle accident victims win big settlements. A skilled attorney is an invaluable asset after any motor vehicle collision. Injured victims should call 804-358-6741
as soon as possible after the accident to set up a free attorney consultation.