Safety is key when cycling, but bicycle accidents are bound to occur regardless of how safety conscious you are. Knowing what to do if you are involved in an accident while riding is important for your health and your personal injury case. Here are some things to do when you have been involved in a bicycle accident.
1. Wait for the police to arrive
You and the vehicle driver involved in the crash are legally obligated to stay at the scene. This is when there have been injuries or damage. It’s important to wait for the police officers to arrive even if you believe you have not sustained any injuries. Once you have left the scene, tracking the motorist might be difficult or impossible.
2. Contact a bicycle accident lawyer
Most bicycle accidents involve complicated legal issues. You may need to consult a lawyer who understands cycling or has handled bike accident cases before. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will help you find the one at fault and negotiate with the insurance companies to ensure you get fair compensation or represent you in a lawsuit.
Most bicycle accident lawyers will handle such a case on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t have to pay the attorney up front. Furthermore, any fees the lawyer collects are taken out of the recovery from the driver or their insurance company. That means you will never use money from your pocket.
3. Collect witnesses’ contact details
Witnesses are usually essential in proving what happened in a crash between a bicycle and a motorist. As soon as it is safe to do so, get the names and contact details of everyone who witnessed the accident. You shouldn’t assume the police report will include all this information. If you are seriously injured and cannot collect these details, ask a passer-by to do it for you.
4. Seek medical treatment
Seek medical treatment immediately after the crash with a motor vehicle or as soon as you start to feel pain. Your body may be in shock, and only a doctor can help determine the seriousness of the injuries. A delay in getting medical treatment can harm any future insurance claim or lawsuit you may file. It may be hard or even impossible to link any injuries you might later complain of back to when the accident occurred without a medical record.
5. Keep the bicycle in its damaged condition
The damage to your bicycle proves that you were involved in a collision. Furthermore, accident reconstruction specialists may use the impact points on your bicycle to find out how your accident occurred. You may need this information to disprove false allegations from the at-fault driver. Since you may not know what kinds of things the driver might say to try and avoid liability, it’s best to keep your bike exactly as it was when the accident happened.
As a cyclist, you have the same responsibilities and rights as motorists. Drivers should respect the rights of cyclists and be careful on the road to avoid accidents. However, it’s also in your best interest to take the right actions after an accident to protect your rights. Every bicycle accident injury case is different, so you should be careful when deciding what actions to take.