Imagine enjoying a peaceful ride on your bicycle when all of the sudden, you're tumbling on the ground after colliding with a car. Whether the car accidentally hit you or you ran into the vehicle, it is important to act quickly and appropriately in the minutes, hours and days after the accident. If you ever find yourself in a bicycle collision with a car or truck, here is what you should do next:
Get Off the Road and Get Help
After the accident, your first step needs to be caring for yourself. If you're still on the road and you're able, move to the side of the road or the sidewalk immediately. Don't worry about moving your bike and instead, get yourself to safety.
Next, if you are able, call 9-1-1, immediately. If you are unable or if your cellular phone was damaged, ask a nearby witness to contact the authorities. Try not to interact with the driver, if possible. Instead, ask someone who was not involved in the accident to contact the police. If you need medical attention, go to the hospital immediately. Your safety and health are the most important thing, so do not try to recover your bike.
Speaking with the Driver and the Authorities
If you are able to, ask for the driver's name and insurance information. Do not under any circumstances tell the driver you are sorry or admit fault. Admitting fault for the accident could prove detrimental when you are trying to recover damages from the other driver's insurance company.
Unfortunately, there are some instances that require the cyclist seek immediate medical attention. If this happens to you, make sure that the police get the driver's name and when you are able, provide a detailed account of the accident. Try to speak with the police while the accident is still fresh in your memory.
Strengthen Your Case
There are several things that you can do to strengthen your case against the vehicle's driver. One of the first things you can do is take photos of the accident with your cell phone. Make sure to get photos of the damage to your bicycle and any injuries you sustained. Also, take pictures of the vehicle and the surroundings.
Next, speak with any witnesses. Ask for their names and cellphone numbers. Ask them to provide an account of the accident immediately. Once again, it is always best to get a written statement as soon after the accident as possible, while the incident is still fresh in their mind. It is integral to gather as much information as you can about the scene. Remember, you can't always rely on the police to provide a detailed account of the accident.
Contacting an Attorney
After the dust has settled, it is vital that you contact a personal injury attorney immediately. The attorney can help you through one of the most integral aspects of your case: determining fault. It can sometimes be tricky to determine fault when there is an accident involving a bicycle and a vehicle.
For example, according to Nolo, because a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle, a cyclist must obey all of the rules of the road, just like a car, truck or motorcycle. However, if fault cannot be established, the judge might provide leniency to the cyclist because their vehicle weighs significantly less than a car, which places their life in more peril than a driver.
Once again, it is vital that you contact an attorney from a firm like Walsh Fewkes Sterba, instead of trying to work with the driver's and your insurance company on your own. Even if the accident was minor, you might wind up being sued by the other driver, which could leave you legally vulnerable.
From first making sure that you are okay to knowing how to interact with the driver, there are several steps you need take after suffering an accident on your bicycle.Share