Cycling is a popular leisure activity, with the number of cyclists and bike riders increasing to over 47 million in the United States. When riding a bicycle, your safety and security should be your top priority. However, when cycling on the road, the odds are against you, as cars far outstrip two-wheelers.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, the steps you take in the immediate aftermath will impact how much compensation you get for your injuries. To help, here are five steps you must take.
If your bicycle has collided with a vehicle, you and the motorist involved are legally obligated to stay at the scene if there has been property damage or injuries sustained. Even if you haven’t got any injuries, you must call 911 and wait for the police to attend. You may go into shock or have internal injuries that don’t present themselves till later. Once the police arrive, they will file a report of the accident that you can obtain for your case.
Don’t Negotiate with the Motorist
Following your bicycle accident, you shouldn’t negotiate with the driver, even if they apologize or accept the blame. Tempers can rise and you may act out of character, which can damage your case going forward. It’s best to keep communication minimal and wait until you’ve received legal advice on what to do next. You may find that the driver changes their mind later down the line and denies their involvement in the accident.
Make sure that you keep calm and exchange relevant information with the motorist, such as their name, home address, and license number. This will be needed for insurance purposes and when you file your claim. If anyone witnessed the accident, you must collect witness statements. You should also take photos and videos of the accident scene, damage sustained to your bike, and any injuries you’ve received. Try and remember every detail about your accident and note it down, as it can be used as evidence.
Seek Medical Attention
Once you’ve done the above, you must get yourself checked out at the hospital. After a bicycle accident, you may have internal bleeding that you’re not aware of. So, consult a doctor immediately and ask for a written evaluation. Their report can also serve as evidence in your bicycle accident case. Make sure that you record your symptoms for several days after the accident and follow your doctor’s orders.
Contact a Reputable Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured in your bicycle accident, contact a reputable personal injury lawyer who has experience in cases like yours. Personal injury lawyers are there to seek compensation for your injuries and take care of the complex details that you don’t wish to deal with. Seeking compensation can be stressful and time-consuming, which is why you need to hire an experienced attorney.
The checklist above are key steps you must take following a bicycle accident. Whether you’ve sustained no injuries, or you have wounds that need treating, taking the steps above can help you maintain control and get justice for your accident.