What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Bicycle accidents can have severe, life-lasting consequences. Without the protection afforded to passengers in a standard vehicle, any collision between a bicycle and passenger vehicle could result in serious or even fatal injuries. Whether you ride a bicycle recreationally or for transportation, inherent risks exist that can be mitigated by properly maintaining the bike to avoid tire-blowouts or broken mechanisms, wearing reflective clothing to increase your visibility to passing vehicles, and following traffic rules to decrease as many hazards as possible. Common causes of bike accidents include reckless motorists, unsafe road conditions, defective parts, and more. Common injuries resulting from these accidents include crushed bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. In some cases, you might be able to apply your own car insurance to the accident in order to cover your damages. Regardless of what causes a bicycle accident and what injuries occur, it’s important to know what steps to take immediately after a bicycle accident.
First, call 9-1-1 and seek medical care.
The most important thing to do after a bicycle accident is call law enforcement and seek immediate medical care for your injuries. Getting law enforcement to the scene of the accident as quickly as possible ensures there is a record of the event, and that valuable evidence at the scene is preserved. Additionally, your health is the most important thing in these sorts of cases, so it’s essential to seek medical care both immediately after and following the accident. Waiting to seek medical care can actually weaken your case in the long run, and could inspire the other party to argue that you must not have been injured that badly in the first place if you were able to wait.
Second, collect evidence.
Evidence that you can gather at the scene of the accident includes pictures of all vehicles involved, the bicycle, damages to each, pictures of the surrounding area and other property damage. If you are able, collect witness contact information and testimony if they agree to be recorded. If you are unable to collect this evidence due to your injuries, a family member, friend, or attorney can do so on your behalf. Some evidence may only be possible for an attorney to obtain, such as law enforcement traffic records and surveillance footage from local businesses which might have recorded the accident.
Third, contact a personal injury attorney.
It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney after a bicycle accident, as they will be able to discuss your options to seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more, in addition to guiding you through your insurance policies. In some cases, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), Medical Payments (MedPay), or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage included in your insurance plan, you might be able to file against your own insurance company to seek financial compensation. However, having an attorney versed in insurance law and bicycle accidents on your side can help ensure you are receiving the maximum financial assistance available to you based on your policies, and can help you file a personal injury claim if your insurance is insufficient to cover the cost of your damages. If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a bicycle accident, seek legal counsel to learn what assistance you might be eligible for.