Even with the most careful riding, bicycle accidents happen. Although these accidents are different in many ways from vehicle accidents, there are many similarities when it comes to what to do after one happens. Now that the coronavirus restrictions are lifting, bike sales are on the rise, there will be more drivers and more people riding bicycles on the streets.
Here are some guidelines for you or someone you know to follow if you are ever involved in a bicycle accident.
Treat these types of accidents as you would any other by calling 911. Having the police document the accident, and having access to emergency healthcare is very important. You or the driver of the car may feel fine at first, or it may appear as though the damage was minimal. Many times a victim of an accident will not feel pain or discomfort for minutes, hours, or even days after an accident. If you begin to feel pain or discomfort, but do not have a filed police report documenting the accident, it can be extremely difficult to prove that the accident occurred or to prove the events that took place during the accident. This can make seeking treatment extremely difficult, and expensive.
Take pictures and keep the evidence
Immediately after the accident, and after you have alerted 911, try to take pictures of the entire vehicle, your bicycle, and any debris that may have been knocked loose during the accident. Documenting everything that happened right away will make it easier when the police arrive and ask you questions. Pictures are huge when it comes to evidence in court, and can make a big difference if there are any questions about the circumstances of the accident.
If your bike, clothing, helmet, or anything else was damaged during the accident, you should not only take pictures but keep these items as is and ask your attorney for what steps to take next. They may want to hold onto one or more of these items as evidence of the severity of the accident.
Tell your side of the story
Make sure that when the police arrive, you clearly describe the accident, and feel your side of the story is represented on the police report. It is possible to contact the department and amend police reports, but this can be time-consuming and difficult to accomplish. Getting everything done immediately is always best, as time can alter your memory of the accident the longer you wait. If you do not speak with the police about your perspective of the accident, the only thing your attorney and the insurance company(s) can base the case on is what the driver of the vehicle said – which will almost never be in your favor.
Obatain insurance information
This is generally included in a police report, but you can never be sure – so it is always smart to get this information directly. ALWAYS contact an attorney after an accident, as most injury attorneys provide a free consultation, and can give you critical information to protect yourself if you are injured and need to seek treatment. When you contact the attorney, the attorney will ask you if you have several things. These include accident reports, insurance information, and medical information. The more you can provide your attorney in the beginning, the more your attorney can help you.
Even if you have none of the above-mentioned documents, contacting an attorney is still in your best interest as your attorney can help with all of these things, have access to many different healthcare providers’ contact information, and many other services that can take a lot of the stress and worry out of the entire process.
If you or someone you know has been in an accident, please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation at (404) 948-3571.