What To Do In A Bicycle Accident
It won’t be that long before bicyclists return to Utah’s roadways. While cities have done their best to accommodate and protect bikers by offering them a bicycle lane, the fact remains that they are an extremely vulnerable party when commuting.
Often times an accident that involves a bicyclist is the result of a driver not paying attention or seeing the cyclist. Some bicycle accidents can be extremely serious, and others a simple nudge by a vehicle that can lead to injury.
So if you were a bike rider who was involved in an accident, what should you do?
Bicyclists Must Keep Their Cool
First, as a rider you must keep your cool. Your actions in the aftermath of any accident, including a bicycle accident, may have a significant impact on your injuries, the damage to your bike and how much you are able to recover as a result of the injury. In fact, your actions during the events following the wreck could affect the outcome of your lawsuit.
Call The Police
Next it is recommended to call the police. Waiting for the police to arrive at the scene of the accident is vital to ensure a police report is properly document, injuries are noted and details necessary to your personal injury attorney can be provided as a part of your pending case. It’s also important to note that injuries you may sustain in a bicycle-auto accident may not appear until hours or days after the wreck.
Do Not Negotiate
Many drivers will attempt to negotiate with the bike rider. This is highly discouraged. More often than not, the at-fault driver will initially apologize and accept blame, only later to deny their negligence. Wait for the police to come so that they can document a full and accurate police report. An added benefit of waiting for the police is the possibility of the driver being ticketed, which will help in your case against the insurance companies.
Be sure to get your version of events into the police report. It sounds like a simple task, but sometime police officers will take a statement from the motorist but forget to talk to the cyclist. Be respectful to the police, but ensure they include your perspective in the police report. And do not leave out any injuries, no matter how minor.
Get Details, Details, Details
Don’t forget to get as much detail from the scene as possible. Who was the driver, were there witnesses, what are their names and contact information, driver’s license numbers, license plates and insurance information. Never assume a police report will include all of this information.
Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained as a result of the accident. Seeking medical attention will not only ensure your health, it will serve as proof you did indeed sustain injuries as a result of the accident. Medical records and photos will be used to document those injuries which will help your case.
Consult An Attorney
While the driver’s insurance company is likely to cover the accident, avoid talking to any insurance companies before consulting a personal injury attorney. Anything you say to an insurance company may be used against you later, which is why they record your conversations. Often times cases never go to trial, but in the event they do, you’ll want to be on the same page as your attorney from day one. This includes meeting before discussing anything with insurance companies.
It is extremely difficult to remember to think clearly after an accident. Emotions are running high, you are shaken and upset and likely have suffered injuries that are causing you pain. It is imperative that you focus on remembering these steps, especially if you’ve been involved in a bicycle-auto accident. They will not only help you receive the compensation you deserve, but ensure you are protected and that any medical treatment you require is covered.