Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
Despite the fact that bicycle accidents are decreasing in some major cities, it’s still fairly dangerous to ride a bike near areas with heavy vehicle traffic. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting hit by a car when riding a bike, but it’s an unfortunate risk that exists no matter how safe cities try to make the roads for cyclists. If you do get into an accident while riding your bike, here are the steps to take to protect your right to compensation.
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Get Medical Attention
As you know, vehicles are much larger and heavier than bicycles, so you’re likely to be injured if you’re hit by a car. Call 911 as quickly as you can to get an ambulance on site so you can be examined or taken to the hospital if necessary. This is a crucial step because not only do you need to take care of your injuries as soon as possible, but also to document those injuries for future compensation negotiations.
Hopefully, someone will call 911 if you’re unable to, but even if you don’t think you’re hurt, it’s a good idea to get a medical professional on the scene to make sure. Remember that injuries from a motor vehicle accident can appear days and even weeks later, so getting medical attention right away is always important.
Wait for the Police
Do not let the motor vehicle driver convince you to just exchange information and go on your way. Both you and the driver are required to stay on the scene until the police arrive, take your statements, and release you, particularly if there are injuries or property damage. If you leave the scene, even with the motorist’s information, you could have trouble tracking them down later, which could harm your case for compensation.
Don’t Negotiate with the Driver
It’s better to wait for the police to question the driver than it is to try to talk to them yourself. Even if they accept responsibility to you on the scene, they may deny that conversation later. You want a third person there to document their statement and ensure it’s on the record, which is what the police will do when they arrive. In fact, it really isn’t even necessary for you to talk to the driver at all. The police will get all the information you need to file a claim.
Obtain Witness Information
If there are other people around who saw the bicycle accident, and you’re physically able to, get their contact information so you or your attorney can reach them later to obtain a statement. These witnesses will be critical to your case, so try to get the contact information for as many people as possible. The driver should be doing this as well, but don’t leave it in their hands to get the information you need.
Contact an Attorney
Once the police have left and you’re able to leave the scene, contact an accident attorney. They will help you with all the remaining steps that you’ll need to follow to get compensation.
Getting into a bicycle accident is scary, especially if you’re hurt. Take these steps to make sure your rights are protected and that you are eligible for as much compensation as possible.