Bicycle accidents can be devastating, particularly when they involve bike versus car situations. Here are ten steps you should take immediately after the accident.
Step one actually takes place before you get on your bike, and that’s to ride prepared. Never leave home without a cell phone and personal identification. A small notepad and something to write with is also a good idea.
Call 9-1-1, or have someone else do it if you’re not able to. Then wait for the police to arrive. If there are any injuries (or property damage, like your bike, for that matter), you and the motorist are legally obligated to wait for the police. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, stick around anyway. Some injuries don’t begin to manifest until later, and at that point finding the at-fault driver may prove difficult.
If at all possible, leave the accident scene as is for the police to see, unless doing so would cause a road hazard. This includes the position of your bike and the car that hit you.
Make sure a police report is taken and filed, and the responding police officer listens to and takes down your side of the story, because the motorist involved may tell a different story. You want your version of the events in the accident report, including any injuries, no matter how seemingly minor.
Regardless of who is at fault, regardless of whether the driver apologizes or even admits fault, never negotiate. People aren’t always honest, and they could always change their mind later about what happened.
This includes anyone involved in the accident, and any witnesses to it. Here’s where that small notepad could come in handy.
Again, even if your injuries seem minor, seek medical attention. Injuries that seem minor at first can have long-lasting consequences. And document those injuries with photos and a written record.
Your bicycle of course, including parts that may have fallen off, so don’t get it fixed just yet, no matter how much you want to get back on the road. But also hang onto the clothes you were wearing, and anything else that was in any way involved in the accident.
The motorist’s insurance company may contact you right away and attempt to settle before all the facts are in, particularly if they believe they are at fault. Be polite, but do not under any circumstances engage with them.
Talk to an attorney experienced with bicycle accident cases, even before contacting your own insurance company. An experienced lawyer can advise you on how to move forward, negotiate with all insurance companies involved, and represent you in any lawsuits moving forward.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, contact the attorneys at LaSalvia Law. We will fight to win you the compensation you deserve.
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