Bicycle accidents occur more frequently on our roads than you perhaps know. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, some 840 pedalcyclists, including bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, an uptick of 829 from the previous year. Bicycle accidents can result in devastating and life-changing outcomes if a bicyclist collides with a car or truck. Here are six dos and don’t of bicycle accidents.
Dos of Bicycle Accidents
- Do Get the Police Involved
It is essential to remain at the scene so that the police can get your statement and file an official police report. The police would also take the driver’s statement and interview any witnesses to the accident. Your statement is a vital piece of evidence which your bicycle accident lawyer
could offer as proof that you were not at fault.
- Do Seek Medical Attention
It is vital that you see a doctor as soon as possible following the crash, and if you have serious immediate concerns, go to the emergency room to seek treatment. When you see a doctor, you establish a medical file, which can later be used to prove that your sustained injuries were a result of the bicycle accident.
- Do Take Pictures
Take photographs of the crash scene and capture images of your damaged bicycle and helmet and the other vehicle involved in the accident. Also, take pictures of any injuries sustained to create a visual record of the severity of your injuries. The pictures could be used in the claims process to recreate the accident and establish who is at fault.
- Do Get Witness Contact Information
It is vital to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses provide eye witness reports of the accident and their statements could be used to show that the driver and not you is responsible for the accident.
- Do Get The Driver’s Info
To file a claim later, you will need the driver’s name, insurance, contact information and vehicle information. You can confirm with the police on the scene that you are not given false information by the at-fault party.
- Do Consider Consulting with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
When in doubt, a good bicycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and get you applicable compensation. An attorney can help avoid a trial through effective negotiations for a fair settlement.
Don’ts of Bicycle Accidents
- Don’t Attempt an Agreement with the at-fault Driver
The driver may admit fault in the immediate aftermath of the accident and agree to pay for the damages you have sustained. However, the driver can simply back out later and you get nothing.
- Don’t Attempt any Repairs on Your Bicycle
Leave any repairs until the accident has been resolved. The damage is evidence that is crucial in the claims process and should be preserved until there’s a settlement.
- Don’t Attempt to Contact the Driver’s Insurance Company
Avoid talking directly to the driver’s insurance company, simply because the goal of the adjuster is typically to coerce you into settling for an amount that is significantly lesser than you may be due.
- Don’t Admit Fault
Simply uttering the words, “I’m sorry” is by default taken as an admission of fault. Even if tempted, avoid saying these words after a bicycle accident since the driver can use your words against you and put the fault squarely on your shoulders.
Don’t Dismiss the Collision
When in doubt regarding who is at fault or if any, real physical harm is done, don’t be too hasty to dismiss the collision and part ways. Injuries don’t always manifest immediately and without exchanging information with the driver, you would have negated any recourse against that individual.
- Don’t Procrastinate in Getting a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Trying to deal with an insurance company after a bicycle accident on your own can prove problematic. Get an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to guide you through the process and make sure you get fair compensation if not at-fault.
Staying calm after a bicycle accident is important to allow you the clarity to make the right decisions in the moment. These are several dos and don’t that you should adhere to after a bicycle accident in order to protect yourself physically and legally. A good bicycle accident lawyer could prove essential in the event of an accident.