If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident and this accident is a result of someone else’s negligence you may be entitled to compensation. However, the first and foremost factor to consider is your safety. If you’re a rider and understand you are at risk of being hit by a vehicle and would like to be prepared for how to act in the case of such an emergency, or have already been hit by a vehicle and need guidance, read on for the best steps you can take to protect yourself, your bike, and your rights.
Move to Safety Although you’re probably very upset, shaken, and disoriented, move as quickly as you can to a safe place. Moving to the side of the road can avoid subsequent accidents.
Assess your injuries Emergency personnel will ask if and how you’re injured. Taking stock of any physical harm as soon as you’re able will help prevent further injury. You’ll also know what to tell emergency personnel when they ask if you’re injured. If you were riding your bike and were hit by a vehicle, you likely have a lot of adrenaline running through your system which can dull any pain from the physical harm you’ve endured. All the more reason why it is important to do a thorough assessment of your body to see where you’re bleeding or may have broken, sprained, lacerated, or bruised limbs or joints.
*This is important: Never minimize your injuries. It is too early to determine the extent of your injuries. Leave that to the emergency room physicians or your personal doctor. Oftentimes people do not realize the full extent of their injuries until days later. Also, minimizing your injuries could work against you later in court.
Call 911 Call emergency personnel to help with the aftermath of your accident. As explained above, the adrenaline may have numbed any pain resulting from physical injury, but that adrenaline will wear off and you’ll want emergency personnel present to help with your injuries.
Document With a phone camera, or the Notes app feature in your phone, or however you’re able, write down what happened. Include who, what, where, when, and your experience of how. If the car that hit you is nearby be sure to at least write down the license plate number. Get name and contact info, too if you’re able. This information will help you later with the police report, a potential subsequent lawyer, and your insurance company. If you’re physically able, take pictures of the scene of the accident, any vehicles involved, and your injuries.
Identify Witnesses Take note of where you were in the roadway and whether any people witnessed your accident. Perhaps some people or an individual is lingering nearby or rushed to your aid when you were hit. Ask these individuals what they saw, get their names, contact info, and permission to contact them for follow-up should you need it for the cops, a lawyer, or the insurance companies.
Stay in place Resist the urge to get on your bike and ride back home. If you’ve called the cops, if emergency personnel is on the way and you’ve documented the accident, plus spoken to any witnesses, it’s best to sit down and wait. The police will alert you when they have everything they need.
Call a friend/family member If you have someone you can call to pick you up so you can avoid riding home, do it. You do not want to make your injuries worse by riding your bike home, plus your bike may be damaged.
Get your bike checked. In addition to speaking with and seeing a doctor about your injuries, you should have your bike looked at by a professional mechanic. Your bike may have experienced damage that is not immediately noticeable. Getting a pro to take a look could help prevent further accidents.
Look into your insurance coverage. Even if you failed to get the driver’s information, you may be eligible for some insurance to cover some of your losses. Consider the cops might be wrong It’s not uncommon for the police to ticket bike riders for reckless riding as a result of a bike and vehicle accident even if you don’t believe you were at fault. You don’t want to challenge the police at the scene of the accident, but you do have time after the fact to reexamine the reports and show your documentation of the accident and the police reports to a legal professional.
Hire a Professional. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will help you weed through what can quickly become a messy legal process. While there are a large number of personal injury lawyers out there, you’ll need someone who can take the time to review and examine your case. Most personal injury lawyers, like our team at Mann Law, will consult for free and charge a percentage of the winnings if there are any. If you need help winning your bike accident case, handling the insurance companies, or just have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Someone will take the time to address your bike accident concerns and questions.