Bicycle riders are at great risk of being seriously injured when accidents occur involving motor vehicles. While motor vehicle operators are protected by the vehicle itself, bicyclists are much more vulnerable when serious accidents occur.
Although there are some important safety steps that bicyclists can take, bicycle accidents still occur at an alarmingly high rate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 800 bicyclists die in motor vehicle accidents each year. As a result, it can greatly help to know what to do after a bicycle accident occurs.
Step # 1 – Wait Until Law Enforcement Arrives
After a bicycle accident, it is important to wait for law enforcement so they can create and file a police report about how the accident occurred. It is important to file a police report even if you do not think that you were injured because some injuries are not immediately noticeable after an accident. In some cases, minor injuries even grow to become very significant problems.
Step # 2 – Do Not Negotiate with the Other Party
After bicycle accidents occur, a large number of drivers will apologize and accept blame only to turn around later and deny any involvement with the accident. By waiting for law enforcement, you can make sure that documentation of how the accident occurred is made, which can prove particularly helpful in negotiating with the other party’s insurance company or in a court of law.
Step # 3 – Obtain Important Information from Other Parties
If it is possible to do so, make sure to obtain the name of the motor vehicle driver as well as their address, phone number, driver’s license number, vehicle license number, and insurance information. If anyone saw the accident occur, it is also a wise idea to obtain their contact information. Never assume that a police report will include all of these vital details because oftentimes, they do not. If you are not able to obtain this information because of your injuries, ask someone else to collect these details for you.
Step # 4 – Document Important Information
If it is safe to do so, write down important information about the accident including what happened, how it happened, where the accident occurred, when the accident occurred, and the road conditions at the time the event happened. Later, write down all of this information. You should also take photos of any injuries that occurred due to the accident as soon as it is possible and safe to do so.
Step # 5 – Preserve Evidence About the Accident
Do not make any repairs to your bicycle after the accident. Instead, leave your bicycle as well as any other damaged property in the same condition as it was after the accident. This step includes avoiding washing any clothing that was involved in the accident. These details can later be used to establish exactly how the accident occurred.
Step # 6 – Speak with an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A large number of bicycle accidents involve very complicated issues, which is why it is often essential to speak with a bicycle accident attorney after the event. Contact the office of Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, PA today to schedule an initial free consultation.